Meet Bob Bland, Rider #1. Bob and seven friends started this ride in 1985 as a fun way to complete a one-day ride that ended in Provincetown. There were various other bicycling groups that did this ride in either a one or two-day format. Two friends met the pioneer riders a couple of times along the way, effectively becoming SAG support.
In 1986, after participating in a bike ride in France, interest was expressed in once again planning this "double metric century" ride. This time, the ride was publicized to many of the gay outdoor activity clubs around the country. Sixteen riders participated in the 2nd Annual Boston to Provincetown Ride.
The Ride was becoming such a positive experience that it was run a third time in 1987, now with 45 riders. Bob arrowed the route as he rode it, and organized formal SAG stops for the riders. Word continued to spread about this event, and the Ride grew to 80+ riders, then 130+ riders, and was eventually capped at 300. In 2016, the assigned numbers for new riders will begin at 2605.
As the ride grew beyond the ability of one person to manage, an organizing committee was formed. Bob remained the coordinator through 1990, with Peter Smith coordinating the Ride through 1996, and Mark Legere continued the work from 1997–1999. Dan Williams coordinated the ride from 2000 through 2010, upholding many of the traditions that have become hallmarks of this event. The current coordination team consists of Lew Lasher (Rider #23), Jim Gerhard (Rider #98), Sondra Spencer (Rider #220) and Joe Desmond (Rider #2200), but there is always room for more on the team.
Bob was active in the ride as a rider initially, and as a volunteer as long as he lived in New England. After he moved to Arizona, the ride remained close to his heart up to his death in 2011. We are all the beneficiaries. And finally, thanks to all those riders and volunteers who have, and continue to, support this incredible journey!