David Cohn, MD, is a gynecologic oncologist and the chief medical officer at The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. He is a member of the Team Buckeye superpeloton and rides with Team OBGYN/GynOnc. In his free time, Dr. Cohn enjoys being active. He is also a self-proclaimed bad musician. He plays mandolin, guitar and ukulele, each one worse than the other! This will be his 11th year riding in Pelotonia.
When did you first hear about Pelotonia?
I recall being at a meeting in 2008 when the idea of Pelotonia was first being discussed. At that meeting, I was literally told that I would ride. So, I bought a bike. Eleven years later, I am still riding.
What routes have you participated in?
I have ridden between 100 and 200 miles every year of Pelotonia. I love the experience of a long day on the bike, experiencing the incredible support along the route.
How do you train for the ride? Do you participate in training groups, train by yourself or with a friend?
I am a fair-weather cyclist. I ride in my basement when it is cold outside and come out of hibernation in the spring. I enjoy riding with a group of friends on the weekends, some of whom ride in Pelotonia as well. For the last two years, my daughter and I have trained together when she comes home from college in the spring. This year will be her third year riding in Pelotonia.
Is there someone who you ride for?
As a physician and chief medical officer at The James, I ride for all of my patients. Every dollar raised goes to critical cancer research that will hopefully improve treatments and ease suffering. I ride for many friends and family members who have been diagnosed with or who have succumbed to cancer.
What does Pelotonia and their one goal to end cancer mean to you?
Ending cancer would be the best reason to be unemployed! It would mean never again having to tell a patient and their support team that they have cancer or that they will die from this disease.
Do you have a favorite/memorable moment from riding in Pelotonia?
The emotional experience of seeing patients being treated for cancer is always special for me. In particular, my patient on the route had a yard sign that read “Thank you Dr. Cohn for saving my life.” It led to a trail of tears behind my bike as I rode by.
What advice can you give for first-time participants?
I wish I could go back and be a first-time participant again. My advice is to prepare for a remarkably special, emotional and gratifying experience. Remarkably, this has not diminished for me over the last 10 years of riding.
Anything you’d like to add about Pelotonia that we haven’t covered?
I would remind anybody who is thinking of riding, virtual riding or volunteering that their participation is incredibly important. The researchers in the cancer program are all so grateful for this support, and cancer patients have already benefited from these research efforts. Everybody who participates in Pelotonia is doing their part in working towards the vision of creating a cancer-free world.