A local man will be among some 5,000 cyclists riding through Massachusetts this weekend to help fight cancer.
Brian Hood of Dawsonville said the overall goal is to raise $34 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for cancer research and treatment.
Riding for his father who died of lung cancer, Hood said participating in the nearly 200 mile ride showed him how many people are directly and indirectly affected by the disease.
"It only took that first ride to make me realize that was something I was going to do for as long as I could," he said. "I soon learned it was way less about the ride and way more about the people affected by this."
In its 32nd year, the Pan-Mass Challenge offers varying routes and fundraising minimums that make it possible for anyone with a bike and determination to participate.
"Our cyclists come from all walks of life, from stay-at-home moms, to corporate CEOs, to police officers," said Pan-Mass Challenge founder and Executive Director Billy Starr. "The PMC unifies them with one mission -finding cures for cancer."
Since 1980, the ride has raised $303 million for adult and pediatric cancer treatment and research.
For more information on the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, call (800) WE-CYCLE, or visit www.pmc.org.