When Lou Panaccione learned that his colleague and friend Duncan Finigan had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, he was drawn to help. Lou, CEO and co-founder of OOFOS and a lifelong athlete, knew that a long distance event could be a great means of fundraising for cancer research. Duncan suggested the Pan-Mass Challenge. This fully supported bike-a-thon runs through 46 towns across the state of Massachusetts. The ride donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar to its charity of choice: the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute– the same medical facility where Duncan sought treatment.
As a competitive high school and collegiate runner, Lou was no stranger to pushing his athletic limits. He kept up running into adulthood, but found that the road had taken a toll on his body. His friend Darren Brown recommended that he try out an ElliptiGO bike. Starting from his first test ride, Lou was hooked. He decided to get one as soon as possible.
When he and Duncan signed up to ride their first Pan-Mass challenge four years ago, she suggested that they complete the ride on ElliptiGO bikes. After all, Lou says, “Riding a traditional bike for that long is simply not comfortable!”
Lou continues, “Riding an ElliptiGO bike in a standing position saves me from back pain and – with no seat – from butt pain.”
Lou and Duncan will set out on their fourth annual 160 mile, 2-day ride soon. Lou has already reached his fundraising goal, but he still hopes to bring more donations and more awareness to the great work of Dana-Farber. In addition to the Pan Mass Challenge fund raising Lou does individually, he and Duncan have also spearheaded a fund raising effort through OOFOS called “Pink Ribbon” where they donate 3% of all sales on OOFOS.com to Dana Faber.
The Pan-Mass Challenge is now Lou’s major goal event each year, and he admits that working towards such a long distance requires careful planning. Lou does a few 50 to 60 mile rides as part of his training. He is lucky to have beautiful surroundings to ride through during his build up. Many of his training rides took place in Central Park and some even along the shores of Cape Cod and South Shore of Massachusetts.
Lou’s dedication to his training and fundraising continues to inspire us. He showcases how you can turn the simple action of riding your ElliptiGO bike into something incredibly impactful. We wish both Lou and Duncan well during their upcoming ride!