Motorcycles to ride for Robyn on Sunday

Friday, July 26, 2013


Staff writer

On Sunday, July 28, keep your ears perked for the revving of engines and your eyes wide for a pack of motorcycles as they ride 45 miles in memory of Robyn McGilvary with the intent to raise money for the Pan-Mass Challenge occurring Aug. 3-4.

“My wife and I used to ride all the time,” John McGilvary said, Robyn’s husband. She passed away in April 2011 from cancer. “She always sat behind me when we rode. A sticker for ovarian cancer now sits there in memory of her and the license plate on the bike now reads Robyn.”

The annual motorcycle ride that began in July 2012 was organized by McGilvary as a way to support Robyn’s brother in the Pan-Mass Challenge. Her brother, Timmy Derosa, has been participating in the PMC for the past seven years, and must raise around $4,000 dollars to ride in this year’s event. The PMC is an annual bike ride that raises money to provide Dana-Farber’s doctors and researchers the necessary resources to discover cures for all types of cancer.

Last year, the motorcycle run called Robyn’s Ride was able to raise around $1,000 dollars with roughly 55 participants. The profit was given to Derosa in which he gave 100 percent of the money to the PMC. This year, McGilvary hopes to host more than 100 participants, which could potentially raise around $3,000. Tickets to ride in Robyn’s Ride are $30 dollars per rider and $27.00 per nonrider. Nonriders can make their way to the restaurant Clam King located on Second Street in Manchester, while riders will begin their ride at Market Basket in Bedford at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, July 28 where they will receive $3 off breakfast items at the grocery store.

“Last year’s ride wasn’t as local,” McGilvary said. “Since it is more local this year, we hope to get more people to come.”

The 2012 edition of Robyn’s Ride was a run up to Kona Mansion on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. Included in the ticket/donation was the opportunity to kick back and relax at a pig roast. This year, the riders will end their journey at Clam King where Tom Lavasseur, the owner, will give $5 dollars off everyone’s meal who participates or donates to the ride. The ticket also allows for the rider/donator to receive 10 percent off their next purchase at Clam King.

“I have known John for a while now and I am always happy to participate,” Lavasseur said, 50, of Manchester. “It was such a shock to everyone when Robyn passed away. She was such a good person and John was just devastated.”

Robyn, who worked as a para-professional for the Bedford school system, was 52 years old when she passed away from ovarian cancer. Robyn was a cheerful and bright woman who loved her family and her dedicated husband. Her favorite activities included spending time with the family, along with riding on the back of her husband’s Harley Davidson electra glide.

“We took a lot trips together on the bike,” McGilvary said. “We drove the bike everywhere. We visited Niagara Falls on the bike, went to a Red Sox game in Toronto and even took a cross country trip to Arizona.”

Just like Robyn who was an inspirational and good person, McGilvary can be said to be the same. He thinks of his wife every day and will never forget all the good she left in the world.

“Everyone who knew her loved her,” McGilvary said. “She was such a good person and it is still hard to deal with her loss today.”

McGilvary and his family will attend the PMC in August to support Derosa as he crosses the finish line on the last day of the race.

“I have met so many people who have battled cancer,” McGilvary said. “This is a way to raise money and support those who we have lost, who are still surviving, and keep the memory of my wife alive.”

To participate in Robyn’s Ride or to donate, .

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