Bike ride fund-raiser in memory of Belmont cyclist

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Belmont resident Al Bolea lost his gallant seven-year fight against myelofibrosis at age 47.

Bolea was a member of the Charles River Wheelmen (CRW) cycling club. Riding on his own, he dominated the hills on rides throughout Massachusetts and New England. Yet as a leader of CRW's Wednesday night ride throughout MetroWest Boston, he chose to ride in the back to strike up a conversation with the slower, more recreational riders. For Bolea, the joy of riding was not so much the course, but enjoying the company of other riders.

It's in that same spirit of caring and compassion that Bolea's friends are hosting the Al Bolea MPD Memorial Bike Ride on Sept. 10. All proceeds will go to the MPD Foundation for myeloproliferative disorders.

Myeloproliferative disorders are a closely related group of hematological malignancies in which the bone marrow cells that produce the body's blood cells develop and function abnormally. The disorders are progressive blood cancers that can strike anyone at any age, and for which there is no known cure.

The Al Bolea MPD Memorial Bike Ride will start at approximately 9 a.m. (check the Web site for updates on the exact time) from Regis College, 235 Wellesley St. in Weston, and traverse several MetroWest towns depending on whether you choose the 15- to 20-mile, 45-mile or 62-mile course. Each course includes rest stops with food and drinks.

Tom Maggliozzi, from NPR's Car Talk, will be sending the riders off, riding, and leading the post-ride ceremonies.

The entrance fee for the ride is $35 with a minimum pledge requirement of $100. Entrants raising $300 or more will receive an official Al Bolea MPD Memorial Bike Ride jersey. Participants raising $200 will receive a T-shirt.

You can register or make a donation to the Al Bolea MPD Memorial Bike Ride by going to Those interested in volunteering or being a sponsor can get involved by calling 617-947-8935.

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