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'Long Ride' includes stop in Hancock

July 30, 1998|By LAURA ERNDE

A double-lung transplant hasn't stopped Mary Pierce from bicycling across the country from Seattle.

Shirley St. Cyr, who is awaiting a transplant, is using an oxygen tank on the GTE Big Ride Across America.

Yet another rider, Fred Griffith, 71, is making the trip knowing he has prostate cancer and a prosthetic heart valve.

"He wants this to be the exclamation point on his life," said Andrew Shane, spokesman for the GTE Big Ride, which hopes to raise $8 million for the American Lung Association.

The group of more than 700 bicyclists will come through Washington County on Friday, making stops in Hancock and Boonsboro, Shane said.

After spending the night in Frederick, Md., the cyclists will head to their final destination Saturday - the Mall at Washington, D.C.

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"You see what the human spirit is all about," Shane said.

Two Tri-State area residents are participating in the ride. They are Michael Granger, 43, of Frederick, Md., and Kathleen Brown, 40, of Mount Airy, Md.

The bicyclists will stop at the Western Maryland Rail Trail parking lot in Hancock between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Hancock Chamber of Commerce is setting up a booth to sell water, sports drinks and food, said President Steve Hixon.

The riders will go through Boonsboro between 10 a.m. and dusk, he said.

The exact route was not available.

When the Big Ride left Seattle on June 15, the group had raised $6 million. All along the way, people have been adding to the cause, Shane said.

Pledges are being accepted at 1-800-GTE4ALA.

Hancock is having its own bike/in-line skate fund-raising ride on the Rail Trail on Aug. 22, said Town Manager Lou Close.

The town has joined with residents of Big Pool to get pedestrian lighting and bike racks along the paved 10.7-mile tract.

For more information, call the town of Hancock at 301-678-5622, e-mail Town Manager Lou Close at hanmd@erols.com, or write the town at 126 W. High St., Hancock, Md. 21750.

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