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Pan-Mass Challenge Cyclists Excited For Chance To Ride In-Person This Year

STURBRIDGE (CBS) -- It's the Pan-Mass Challenge 2021 edition.

Although it isn't fully in-person this year, Pan-Mass Challenge founder Billy Starr says he still wanted to give cyclists at least the chance to ride in-person.

"We have over 6,100 people registered, 4,600 whom will be riding this weekend," said Starr. "Because of what we could and couldn't do and the way we're doing it, we're spreading them out over 16 different routes."

Masks are optional during the ride and staggered start times aim to keep riders at a distance.

"We can't congregate. We can't all hug each other and dance," said Starr.

Virtual riders can ride anywhere in the country, but many in-person riders will head to the finish line in Provincetown, which has seen a continual decline in COVID cases since the July 15 breakout.

Cyclists say although it isn't the full experience, they're just happy to be on the road again raising money for a cause they love.

"Even a year when it's a little bit different, like last year or this year, I wouldn't miss it. There's nothing that would take me away from being here," said Chris Nikolis of Suffield, Connecticut.

The fundraising goal for the 2021 Pan-Mass Challenge is $52 million to fund cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

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