About the Ride

In October of 2017 the Inaugural DEATH RIDE Tour Fall Blaze …War On ALSÒ …So Others May Live took place to honor the memory of Jon the “Blazeman” Blais # 179. Jon was a triathlete who was diagnosed with ALS on May 2, 2005 at the young age of 33. On October 15, 2005, Jon competed in and finish the Kona Ironman. A feat never accomplished by a person with ALS. It took Jon 16 hours … 28 minutes & 56 seconds for him to finish. He crossed the finish line by log-rolling over it, and since that day, the “Long Roll” has become famous and graciously performed by countless athletes as a symbol of hope, and more importantly, as a means of raising awareness for ALS. Athletes are honored by having the opportunity to wear Jon’s Kona number #179 when competing.

In 2017 Ironman Brad Kelly wore #179 at Kona.

Because of the relationship formed with Bob & Mary Ann Blais, decided to start an East Coast DEATH RIDE Tour called the Fall Blaze. Fall Blaze because of the wonderful colors a blaze in the Western Massachusetts countryside and also because Jon’s nickname the Blazeman.

I contacted many tour companies in the East to help me design a route and to provide logistical support. When I found Gary Briere of River’s Edge Cycling, I knew I found the right company to help me. Gary designed a 214-mile course with over 16,000 feet of climbing including the famous Mount Greylock, the tallest peak in MA.

This is a Three-Day Tour, starting at Jiminy Peak Resort in Hancock, MA going to Brattleboro, VT Day One. On Day Two you will ride from Brattleboro to North Hampton, MA and Day Three from North Hampton back to Hancock. All this takes place through the beautiful countryside along rivers the through the woods. You will ride through Four different states, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York.



As with the other DEATH RIDE Tour Inc. events this is a charity event with 100% of the proceeds going to the Blazeman Foundation. Memorial flags are given to participants for either a deceased family member or friend or a current pALS (person with ALS) for them to carry with them through the ride. This tradition started in 2009 with the first Colorado DEATH RIDE Tour and has continued since.

Flag in Cemetery

Hillside Cemetery Silverton

Cemetery Flag and Tree

Lone Tree Cemetery Telluride

Cemetery in Durango

Greenmount Cemetery Durango

Standing with Gravestone

Actual tombstones of my parents in Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, NY Tombstones

Actual tombstones of my parents in Buffalo, NY with Deb, Brandon & Rachel

That year and ever year since then I carry one of those flags to the top of each pass to celebrate the achievement and again remember why I am here doing this event.

Bikers with Flag

Flag Design

Lizard Pass Sign

Displaying the Flag in the Snow


As with the Colorado DEATH RIDE Tour, Angel of Life Awards are presented to participants of the event who show or provide unselfish commitment to the mission and values of the DEATH RIDE Tour – Ride Strong …Live Strong …And Give Back (Tzedakah) More Than You Get.

All participants of the 2017 Inaugural event were awarded Angel of Life. They were Chris Baker, Matt Levine, Chris Byrne, Mark Johnson, Skip Cathcart, Joseph Paydon, Yvette Ahern, Michael Judkins, Deborah Sopinsky.

The 2017 Inaugural group with a memory flag for Arthur Cohen our PICKALS friend who passed away August 10, 2017.

2017 Joseph Paydon and Matt Levine receiving the Angel of Life Award


For many years, the DEATH RIDE Tour Inc., Charity Cycling Events has wanted to do something to honor Jon Blais and to directly support the BLAZEMAN FOUNDATION which is run by his parents Robert & Mary Ann Blais.