Magnus Backstedt (left), a retired professional cyclist who's known as "The Big Swede" because he is both big (6'4'') and Swedish, was at Parris nightclub in Faneuil Hall last night to hype up this weekend's Pan-Mass Challenge, which benefits cancer research. Backstedt, a cancer survivor, signed up for the Pan-Mass ride after being contacted by local cyclist Matt Dillis (right), who has been a longtime fan of the Big Swede, mainly because he's roughly the same size. Backstedt accepted the invite to come to Massachusetts for the event, and was nice enough to take questions from fans at the bar about everything from his height to his family history with cancer.
Other cyclists of note joining the weekend bike trip across the state include former Patriots linebacker Joe Andruzzi and his wife Jennifer, Stacey Lucchino, Tiffany Ortiz, Jacque Francona, former Red Sox COO Mike Dee, and a number of former Bruins including Lyndon Byers, Bob Sweeney, Don Sweeney, and Frank Simonetti. The Pan-Mass opening ceremonies are tomorrow in Sturbridge.
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