Archive 2008 - 2019

CF Cycle for Life A Big Success

by Matt Varrell

This past Saturday, October 6th, 302 riders took to the roads of Holliston and surrounding towns to raise money to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as part of the CF Cycle for Life. In its 16th year, the CF Cycle for Life (formerly known as the Cycle for Haylee) raised $212,000 thanks to riders, volunteers, sponsors and corporate donors.

The riders began the day under overcast skies and wet road conditions and were on the course shortly after 9:00AM. The riders taking the challenge of the 65-mile route departed first, followed by the riders who were tackling the 30-mile and 12-mile routes. Over fifty different teams, including the 12:15 Express, Dan Bessette Team, Ellie's Team, Knotheads, Paperback Riders, Tour de Frank, Maggie's Milestones, and  The Sprok-ettes, joined individual riders on the beautiful New England roads. Rider safety was emphasized and support was provided by a number of Support and Gear (SAG) vehicles, mechanics from Landry's Bicycles and Grace Bicycles, and a team of HAM radio operators who kept the communication lines open on the route and between the rest areas and the start/finish line at the Fatima Shrine.

Prior to departing onto the route, the riders heard from WBZ-TV's Lisa Hughes, riding in her second CF Cycle for Life, about the 40+ other rides across the U.S. and the fact that those rides are expected to raise over $4 million dollars to support CF research.

Upon returning to Fatima Shrine, riders were greeted with food donated by Dunkin' Donuts and John Harvard's Brewery and Ale House and music from a local DeeJay. Perhaps the most rousing moment of the event was when word came that the last rider of the day (who had taken the 65-mile challenge) was heading north on Summer Street toward the finish line. All the volunteers and riders gathered at the finish line to cheer on this young man as the theme to Rocky blared out of the loud speakers. It was a fitting end to a wonderful day of camaraderie and fun.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

Over the past sixteen years in Holliston alone, the Cycle for Haylee/CF Cycle for Life has raised over $1 million dollars to help find the cure for CF. If you are interested in donating, there is still time. Please visit:

Holliston's Auxiliary Police did their part to keep the riders safe.