CUMBERLAND â€“ Scott Miller may never have gotten into charity ultra-distance cycling if not for a letter he received in the mail way back in the late 1990s.
â€śIt was from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the letter asked me to get involved in the event,â€ť noted Miller, a 57-year-old business owner from Cumberland. â€śIt said, 'We'll train you to do a 100-mile ride, and you'll be a member of a 'Team in Training.' That caught my eye, so I looked into it.
â€śI was out of shape; I probably weighed 250 pounds, and I wanted to lose some weight,â€ť he added. â€śMy friends thought I was crazy, that I'd probably end up killing myself, but riding a bike was something I always did for fun, so I figured, 'Why not?'â€ť
After a few months of working with his teammates, they all traveled to the West Coast to attempt to complete a 100-mile charity ride around Lake Tahoe.
â€śThe coaches really knew what they were doing,â€ť he stated. â€śChris Tomsett and Pierce Gasgon were ultra-riders who had done 750 miles in a four-day span, and the most I had ever ridden in my life was 20.
â€śI definitely wasn't used to the altitude; I thought I was going to explode,â€ť he continued. â€śI did some walking up a couple of huge hills, but I finished it. It took me about nine hours, and I was exhausted, but the feeling I got from completing it was amazing.â€ť
Over the ensuing years, Miller went on to complete two other 100-mile endurance events for the society, one in New Mexico, the other in Arizona. Soon after, in 2000, he learned of the Pan-Mass Challenge from some friends, and decided with those rides for leukemia behind him, he'd give it a shot.
Miller claimed he loved his initial foray into the PMC; that's why he's currently gearing up for his 15th consecutive ride, slated for Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 2-3.
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