Assonet Woman Will Celebrate 8 Years of Volunteering at Autumn Escape Bike Trek this September

Autumn Escape Bike Trek celebrates 30th years of cycling to fight lung disease

(August 18, 2014)

Every fall, hundreds of people from New England and beyond escape to Cape Cod to enjoy the beauty of the Massachusetts coastline while riding their bikes to support the American Lung Association of the Northeast’s mission  to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease .   This year is a special year for the Lung Association and participants alike as the Autumn Escape Bike Trek presented by Sunovion, celebrates its 30th anniversary.  The event will be held September 26-28.

The AEBT wouldn’t be the event it is today without the hundreds of volunteers who commit to spending a day or, in many cases,  the entire weekend helping ensure that the  event runs smoothly and the needs of cyclists are met. One volunteer who veteran trekkers look for each year is Dottie Bates of Assonet who has been volunteering at the rest stops along the route for the last seven years.  Bates began volunteering when her husband, Stan, started riding with Team Mohawk.  Stan and Dottie’s daughter was originally scheduled to ride that year but an illness prevented her from participating so her father took her place. Neither Dottie nor her husband Stan has looked back since. For both of them, being a part of the AEBT is something they look forward to every year.  

Dottie Bates photoAs a rest stop volunteer, Dottie shows up early in the morning each day of the AEBT to meet with her team of volunteers to ensure the rest stop is stocked with needed supplies for the cyclists when they arrive.  They set up their tables, unload the trucks filled with copious amounts of bottled water and a variety of snacks, and make sure that every cyclist who stops for a break is greeted with a smile and some words of encouragement.

“I think this is a great cause and I am proud to be a part of it,” says Bates.  “I lost my grandfather to lung cancer and have known many, many people who suffered from lung disease during the course of my life.  Working as a hairdresser for more than forty years, I got to know several clients who suffered from lung disease including a young woman who needed to be on oxygen all the time, even during our appointments.  Having healthy lungs and being able to breathe clean, healthy air is not something to take for granted.  I think that even if I didn’t know anyone with lung disease, I’d still be involved with the American Lung Association.  The work they do is just that important.”

The 2014 Autumn Escape Bike Trek kicks off at the Hilton Garden Inn in Plymouth on Friday, September 26 and rides along the coast to Provincetown, finishing Sunday afternoon. Trekkers travel 160 miles over three days and experience some of the most breathtaking sights Cape Cod has to offer, and come away with an unmatched sense of pride and camaraderie. Trekkers may also choose a two-day, 105 mile option.


Cyclists are required to raise a minimum of $500; those who raise $1,000 or more become a part of the Winner’s Circle. Members of the Winner’s Circle will receive a one-of-a-kind 2014 Autumn Escape cycling jersey, along with plenty of perks throughout Trek weekend. The 2014 Autumn Escape Bike Trek hopes to raise $300,000 to support the Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. 

Volunteering is a great way to experience the event and help support the Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Volunteer assignments are varied and can be for the entire three days, Friday to Sunday, or just a few hours.   Some of the volunteer positions include cheering at the start and finish lines, driving route support, medics and cycling medics, massage therapy, bike mechanics and more.  Meals and overnight accommodations are provided for all volunteers. 

For more information on the 2014 Autumn Escape Bike Trek presented by Sunovion, to register, or sign up as a volunteer, visit   Those interested in discussing volunteer options may also contact Judy Deane at
You may also visit the website to learn more about the American Lung Association of the Northeast’s other bike treks in Maine and New Hampshire.