This is my 7th year riding Pelotonia but I have been a part of this journey since 2009 when my mom and my sister first rode in the inaugural Pelotonia. I credit Pelotonia as one of the biggest forces in shaping who I am today and I thought I would take this space to let you know why. I am truly passionate about 3 things in my life:
1. Cycling - I rode in my first bicycle tour at age 4 on the back of my dad's tandem and I never got back off the saddle. Everyone who rides in Pelotonia knows my secret, that cycling isn't a work out for me, my bike is my coolest toy and every ride is pure joy. Joining Pelotonia and meeting other riders who felt that same joy and commitment to ride farther and train harder made cycling my lifelong sport and favorite playground. It has lead me to work with a local bike shop to expand the women's cycling community in Columbus and spread the joy getting back in the saddle.
2. Columbus - I was born and raised in Buckeye Nation and now I go to school at THE Ohio State University and I love Columbus more and more every day. I like to boast that I've done everything on the Trip Advisors top 50 things to do in Columbus. One of the things I learned from Pelotonia from an early stage was that the work done by Pelotonia works and thrives because of Columbus, and would be difficult to replicate outside of this community. Starting as early as 2009, I remember roaming the streets of my hometown and seeing streets filled with green Pelotonia yard signs, as green arrows overtook political signs, school sports signs and even sometimes the entire yards themselves, all in support of a cause everyone can get behind, meant to unite and not divide.
3. Cancer - Cancer touches everyone and nobody who reads this is unaware of that fact, so I thought I'd skip the usual spiel about my losses and the people I ride for every year. Instead here's a small anecdote to give you an idea about how much has Pelotonia impacted my narrow view of cancer. By 2009 I knew of exactly 2 types of cancer, breast and ovarian, my mom had a friend, Mrs. Spielman, who had breast cancer and we had put on a fundraiser at my school for ovarian cancer. I knew Mrs. Spielman had cancer but she always had the warmest smile on her face didn't look like someone who was sick. I knew of the pink ribbon for breast cancer and teal for ovarian. So when I went to Chemical Abstracts on August 7th, 2009, I was confused about why each tent had a different color, yellow, green, red, blue etc, each representing a type of cancer. I can honestly say I thought the whole park would be pink. Walking through the park and realizing how many ribbons there were and how many people that meant were affected by cancer, I started to realize that it wasn't just Mrs. Spielman who had cancer and that if I couldn't tell that she was sick, how many other people did I know who might have cancer. At 11, it's hard to grasp the number of people around you affected by cancer, but seeing that every color in the rainbow was needed to show that impact was a staggering start. That small experience helped me launched my passion to help end cancer in any way that I can and ultimately lead me to take a summer internship at that very establishment that fights to end cancer.
These are my 3 Big C's, Cycling, Cancer, and Columbus. I was 11 when Pelotonia started and I can honestly say the generosity of each rider I've met, the stories of the survivors who owe their lives to Pelotonia, and now, interning at Pelotonia HQ, seeing the passion that the staff has for our one goal, have allowed me to grow up with each of those Big C's guiding my life. Please consider donating to my ride and helping me end cancer.
Donate here: https://yourpelotonia.org/public-profile/200432