Riders Reflect on Pelotonia 2010
Some 4,047 riders participated in the 2010 Pelotonia bicycling event held Aug. 20-22 to raise money for cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Here are excerpts from a few of the notes ride organizers received after the event.
We were all lined up to go at the starting line at 7 a.m. There was much excitement as we headed out into the sunrise, and supporters rang cowbells and cheered for us. As we approached the outskirts of the city I really wondered what I had gotten myself into and if I ought to just give up! But right at that time another girl started riding next to me, and we got to talking. She was riding for her dad who had passed away. I thought about all those people who have struggled with their treatments and felt like they could not go on, and I just kept on peddling for them.
Every time along the way I wanted to quit, there was someone cheering on the roadside to spur me on, or another rider saying “You can do it!” (or good-naturedly teasing me about my pathetic cardiovascular conditioning). And I just kept thinking about all of you who have supported me, and about how cancer has touched you, and the people that you want to find a cure for.
I believe that research is leading us to a world where HOPE will be foremost in the minds of everyone who hears the words, “You have cancer.” Because the new treatments will be so successful, they will have no reason not to have hope. I believe that this ride, and the money that is going to the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, is going to have a profound impact and will bring us closer to that world even sooner than we have dreamed.
I rode the 100+ mile route from Columbus to Athens. Last year at this time, I was participating in the Flavopiridol clinical trial. During the trial, I told my wife that if I was able to I’d like to ride in Pelotonia this year. After getting the message from Dr. Byrd on March 1st that I was “stable,” I registered for Pelotonia and put in over 1,000 miles on my bike between then and last weekend.
Riding into Athens late Saturday afternoon and making that final turn into the Ohio University campus was a dream come true. My sincere thanks to all who played a part in my treatment.
I want to share the story of a fellow rider who encouraged me to continue when the going got tough. At our 43-mile lunch stop, my [partner] and I noticed an elderly gentleman who was cycling as well. We thought he must have gone to the wrong lunch tent because it appeared that he was continuing on to do the 102-mile ride, which seemed impossible at his age. However, he was continuing on, and every time I wanted to give up, I thought of him. Not only did we see him at the 102-mile finish later that day, on Sunday we found out that he spent the night in Athens and rode the entire 180 miles, and that he is 80 years old! He even took a wrong turn and did a few extra miles on accident. He says it was the ride of his life for the love of his life – his wife of 57 years who is celebrating her 22nd year as a cancer survivor. Pretty inspiring stuff.
I rode for Grandma, Gary, Betty, Ruth, Anne, Sylvia, and all my friends, co-workers, patients and relatives who have fought cancer, and I learned that nothing is impossible – not even a cancer-free world!