Somewhere between the return of football season and pawing through my dresser for jeans, I start to wonder where summer went. I’m sure we’re all feeling that way now, as drizzly weather highlights the first full week of classes.
We packed a lot of fun in this summer, visits to the zoo, walks in the park, King’s Island, vacation at the beach, etc. But there was one event that defined this summer–Pelotonia. For those of you who don’t know, Pelotonia is a bike ride to raise funds for the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center/James Cancer Hospital. At its longest, it is a two-day tour from Columbus to Athens and back to Canal Winchester. However, there are shorter tours to Groveport and Amanda. Amazingly, 100 percent of all donations go to cancer research.
After following news of Pelotonia’s launch in 2009, my husband, Bill (who works for OSUMC’s biomedical informatics department) signed up to ride this year. While his generous spirit did not surprise me, I was a bit concerned about how he would accomplish a 30+ mile ride from campus to Amanda AND raise the $1,000 he was required to pledge. Let’s face it, the only bike he had was one he used on campus as an undergrad nearly two decades before, which now resided in our barn as a home for wayward spiders. That bike wasn’t going to be touring anything.
So…with two months to go before the big event, we began shopping for bikes, looking at accessories, mapping training routes, and spreading the word that we would welcome donations. Every Saturday morning Bill would head out on his new bike, gradually increasing his distance and improving his endurance. Occasionally I would join him on these rides, but my old tank of a bike couldn’t keep up with the sleek model he bought (yeah, that’s my excuse, I mean, that’s the real reason I was panting).
After months of training and fund raising, Bill reached his goal: He rode the 32 miles to Amanda in good time, raised more than $1,000 from generous friends, family, and coworkers, and helped spread the word about the amazing cancer research happening at the OSUMC. Now it’s time for the bike to go into storage until the next Tour de Corn for a good cause.
For more information about Pelotonia, visit www.pelotonia.org.