FROM OUR BRAVEHEARTS
"I’ve been riding and fundraising with the Bravehearts since the very first year. I hadn’t been on a bicycle for years and that first Bravehearts ride was a life changer for me, rekindling my love of cycling. I encourage everyone to join us on July 13 as we remember Dylan and ride in his honor."
- Tony Amenta Waitsfield VT
“As a passionate cyclist, I have sought out and participated in a wide range of organized cycling events. These have included some of the most iconic rides in Massachusetts, including the Pan Mass Challenge, the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee (D2R2), the Great River Ride, and popular club rides such as the Charles River Wheelmen’s Spring and Fall centuries. Through these experiences, I have come to appreciate what makes for a truly memorable organized ride, one that I hope to repeat year after year. The key ingredients are: a challenging and scenic route; a vibe that celebrates cycling/cyclists, in all their varied forms and skill levels; great organization and logistics; and a festive environment for riders and their friends/family, replete with great food, music, and fun/ games. The Team Braveheart Dylan Connelly Annual Memorial Ride scores huge on all these “must haves”, and it’s a not-to-be missed ride on my calendar every year. In short, it’s as special as Dylan “Braveheart” Connelly was to those lucky enough to have known him.”
- John Llodra
"I would love to share my wonderful experience with the Braveheart’s Bike Ride. I have done it for two years and i would not miss it in the future! The course is a magical ride through beautiful fields, ponds with lily pads and herons, woods and beautiful architecture throughout the town and especially in Still River. I did the 25 mile ride and was able to enjoy the scenery, taking pictures and chatting with other slower riders. We met up with the serious, speedy 50 milers at the half way mark where they provided watermelon, water and energy drinks. There was even someone at the start of the race that checked out my bike and gave it a quick tune up!
The cookout after the ride offered delicious macaroni and cheese, veggie burgers, hamburgers and of course cold beer with great music. I would recommend ordering your shirt in advance as they are collectors items, last year was a southwest themed shirt. I met several other very interesting and friendly riders on the course. If you own a bike and love to ride,I would definitely not miss this once a year opportunity for a lovely day in July!"
- Karen K. Patalano - Boylston, MA
"2016 was the first time that I participated in the Braveheart’s ride, and my first time riding in the beautiful countryside of Harvard. I chose the challenging 50 mile ride and was rewarded with fantastic scenery, challenging climbs and descents, and an incredible camaraderie with the other cyclists. The volunteers all were cheerful , helpful, and mindful of the cause we were all supporting. The post-ride activities, food, and drink were great, and there’s no doubt in my mind that I will do this ride again."
- Lance Ryley, Charlestown, Boston
" I’ve ridden a bicycle all my life, and never had an experience like this! I chose the 25 mile course - which ended up being about 31 miles after my navigation issues – but not to worry, the day was as low key or as challenging as I wanted to make it. I didn’t call myself an avid cyclist before Bravehearts, but I finished the summer and fall visiting the glorious Harvard hills many times and look forward to returning for this summer’s ride. To support the event I bought a cycling shirt that sports a winged biker in a Gaellic design. The free beer was refreshing, the venue spectacular, and people were dancing to the live music. Camaraderie seemed to flow from both seasoned riders and non-cyclists with their children. And I managed to secure two therapeutic massage coupons at the wonderful silent auction. The summer’s day had been overcast and on the cool side, but the spirit of this event was altogether about the warmth of people coming together."
- John Caesar, Lancaster, MA
"I volunteered at the 4th annual Bravehearts Ride and Family Day. It was such an energizing and fun experience with hundreds of riders from near and far. The food, drink, games and live music were lovely. Most of all, I was inspired by the warmth and kindness multiplied by so many people, who were there for the good of the community and others."
– Helen Shi, Natick, MA
"Each year, I eagerly await Bravehearts! Turning into the majestic driveway painted by the Fruitlands backdrop, you are instantly engulfed with the energy and emotion exuded from this meticulously orchestrated event. The ride is carefully choreographed with the perfect balance of challenge and aesthetic; you can't help but to feel accomplished and at peace when you finish. It is clear that the Bravehearts organizers place countless hours of planning to ensuring that Bravehearts stays true to their mission of Family, Community, Camaraderie and Fun(qualities memorialized of the late Dylan Connolly, who the ride honors). Those who ride become members of the Bravehearts community and join the cause in support of the National Brain Tumor Society. We ride to remember Dylan, his fire continues to burn in each and every Braveheart."
- Andrew Mckenna, Norwell, MA
"I've ridden the Braveheart ride for the last two years and had a great time both times. Signing on is quick and easy, loads of parking and a nice goodie bag. The route is well signposted with well stoked food and water stations along the route. The routes themselves are well thought out taking in some of the areas nicest small country roads. The after ride event consists of a BBQ, live music and plenty of activities to keep kids and family members happy. Highly recommended and it's for a good cause."
- Matt Tibbutt, Acton, MA
"The Bravehearts Ride is a family reunion in the best sense of what family has to offer; hope, encouragement, friendship, lifelong bonds and new beginnings. If you have been to one ride or if this will be your fifth you are deemed part of the family, it is Powerful, it is Solid it showcases the best that people have to offer in support of one another and a great cause and it will continue to grow. Come join the Braveheart Family."
- Brian Sheehan