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NamesCyclist.jpg


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.

About this blog

This blog features the latest local and national celebrity news from The Boston Globe's Names column team. Check back for the latest updates.
Mark Shanahan joined The Boston Globe in 2003, having worked previously at the Portland Press Herald, where he covered City Hall, and the Lewiston Sun-Journal, where he was the education reporter. A Northampton native and graduate of Bates College, Shanahan enjoys the usual - books, music, movies, etc. - as well as the unusual.
shanahan@globe.com
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MarkAShanahan
Meredith Goldstein has worked for the Globe since 2003, covering everything from nightlife to New Kids. She keeps her eyes peeled for celebrity juice, and also writes Love Letters, a Boston.com blog for hopeful (and hopeless) romantics. Meredith chats about love problems every Wednesday at 1 p.m. If you see Justin Timberlake or someone like him at a local eatery, please e-mail her immediately. mgoldstein@globe.com
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MeredithGoldste

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