DCC XI: A Groovy Day with a Great Purpose


It was at the second rest stop, more than 30 miles into my 56-mile Dolphins Challenge Cancer (DCC) ride, when I struck up a conversation with a woman whose cycling jersey had “cancer survivor” written on the back.

“Sylvester saved my life,” she told me while I was munching on a pickle the size of my head that came from a bag filled with juice.

Her comment, as well as the salt from the pickle, energized the remainder of my ride and reinforced my annual commitment to participate in the DCC, which contributes 100 percent of funds raised to support groundbreaking research and treatment at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine.

My wife, Merrill, who lost her father to cancer just before we met, and our friends Jen and Michael crossed the finish line with me, all of us proudly wearing our Team Hurricanes—Mack Cycle tie-dye kits (these are soooo groovy!!!). This was my sixth DCC but the first for the rest of my crew. We raised more than $8,000 among us, with Merrill and Jen earning Heavy Hitter status.

I’ve lost grandparents, friends, and other loved ones to cancer. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t grieved a loss from cancer. But just as powerful is the knowledge that research at Sylvester continues to save lives, including three of my very close friends who all were diagnosed within a month of each other last year.

I couldn’t be more grateful to Mack Cycle & Fitness—the best bike shop ever—for all of the time and resources they devote to making the DCC a success. Every time we spotted a Mack tie-dye kit on the ride, my crew and I got the warm fuzzies knowing “these are our people.” Mack Cycle signed up 183 cyclists  who collectively raised more than $280,000. I’m also grateful to Mack Cycle for being a shop that is not only where I purchase bikes and accessories but also where I receive cycling advice (eat pickles), encouragement to push the extra mile (or 50), and connections to a network of other cyclists who have become friends.

Congratulations to all of the nearly 3,400 people who participated in DCC XI and to all of the people who worked behind the scenes to deliver an event that felt safe and “normal” after spending a year in COVID-19 lockdown. Hope to see you at DCC XII!

By: Meredith Camel




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