By John Toole
---- — PELHAM — Paul Dadak is pedaling through the countryside these days, preparing for a 60-mile cycling benefit, the Tour de Cure, for the American Diabetes Association.
Sometimes the rides take him to neighboring Hudson and Nashua, other times to his job at the Tsongas Industrial History Center in Lowell, where he works as a museum educator.
For Dadak, 65, the tour is a ride he loves for someone he loves.
“My wife, Ann, is diabetic,” he said. “She has been on insulin 43 years. Her pancreas quit at 19.”
Dadak wants to help his wife and others coping with diabetes.
The tour takes place in 44 states. Dadak is riding May 19 in an event scheduled in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. There are levels to accommodate riders of different abilities.
“I’ll be riding with many other people,” Dadak said.
The ADA said more than 55,000 people rode in the tour nationwide in 2011. All of them are logging a few miles in training beforehand.
Some of Dadak’s rides are just a few miles. But a big trip will be back and forth to work in Lowell.
“That’s 14 or 15 miles,” he said.
People can support riders like Dadak by visiting tour.diabetes.org, clicking on donate and searching for the rider’s name.
Kevin Mallette of Windham will help riders in another way.
Mallette, 51, who works in financial communications in Boston, expects to be staffing a rest station for riders in Atkinson.
“It was amazing last year,” Mallette said.
Volunteers provided riders with sliced oranges and Gatorade as they paused on their journey.
Mallette’s brother, Al, is a rider who got him involved.
No one in the Mallette family has diabetes, but a family Al Mallette knows is afflicted with the disease.
Mallette started writing a check for his brother. Then his brother encouraged him to do more.
For Mallette, helping the cause takes a few hours of his time, but is worthwhile.
“This is extremely rewarding,” Mallette said.