Friday September 07, 2012 | 10:40 AM

The Dempsey Challenge annually touches the lives of many Mainers as a fundraiser for the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing. This year it aims to touch even more through a couple other events that go hand-in-hand with the October ride.

First there's the Gritty's Triple Ride on Sunday, Sept. 16. Pedal 75 miles from Gritty's in Freport to Gritty's in Portland, then on to Gritty's in Auburn, and back again to Freeport, for a 75-mile total. (You can also bypass Auburn by picking the 50-mile route.)

Check out the 75-mile route here.

The fee to register is $50 and includes beer and BBQ at the finish. That money goes directly to the Dempsey Center and helps a Maine rider in yet another ride to battle cancer.

The Cancervive Peloton Project begins on Oct. 3 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with teams of about 40 riders pedaling in groups of six for six hours at a time. The teams will ride 24/7 and complete the 2,400-mile journey on Oct. 12 - just in time to ride in the Dempsey Challenge.

Andy Bailes, the father of a cancer survivor and a member of the Merrymeeting Wheelers Bicycle Club, will be pedaling for the Gritty's Cycling Team in the Cancervive Peloton Project. He'll be documenting the ride in a blog at Those who participate in the Gritty's Triple Ride will be supporting his efforts from Canada to Maine.

Click here to donate to Andy's effort.

To Doodle in for the Gritty's Triple sign up here, then bring a check made out to Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing.


About the Author

Karen Beaudoin lives in Portland and is the web editor for

Her Pedal On blog offers info, events and advice for people who love their bikes more than, well ... almost anything.

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