Pelotonia 2019 Wrap-Up by Patrick Florence

CC-Love Out Loud ready for Pelotonia

I would like to thank all of you have supported Pelotonia this year.  It is such a great cause and a fantastic event.   

This year our team (CC-Love Out Loud, see below)  rode 45 miles from downtown Columbus to New Albany.  It is so incredible to see the level of support from riders, corporate sponsors, volunteers, communities with people lining the streets with posters and signs of loved ones that have been affected by cancer.   

Being my 3rd year riding, each year some there is something memorable that gets to me on the ride.  This year it was riding through Old Pickerington.  As we approached the small downtown are there were motorcycles that were parked all lined up.  As we rode through their owners reeved them up to a thundering roar over and over again in support of Pelotonia.  It brought chills over me as we passed by, it was soooo cool!!!  It was a perfect day for riding and reflecting on all the support our communities have and also reflecting on the ONE GOAL of Pelotonia-End Cancer.  Below is a little about our Group CC-Love Out Loud & Shut Up and Ride.  Thank you for your support!!

Greatest Team Ever - Pelotonia

CC – Love Out Loud is small team of riders that are riding in honor of a friend, educator, musician and an all around amazing person, Chris Collaros.  Chris for years has support our Pelotonia fundraising by playing music at our party.  He was always there, always willing, and always had a smile for a brother or sister.

Chris was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last September and passed in April. He has impacted hundreds if not thousands of people from his students, colleagues and friends.  He is greatly missed.

He got involved with Pelotonia when we had our first party.  We started Pelotonia when Stacey’s friend Belinda was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.  While fighting cancer she was training for the 1st Pelotonia.  She would tell Stacey to “Shut Up and Ride” when Stacey was whining.  She passed after the first Pelotonia.

So we were originally “Shut Up and Ride”, but we are honoring Chris this year and changed our name.  We hope that we will not have to come up with a new name because that will mean we lost another friend.

But that is why we ride!

ONE GOAL, Shut Up and Ride, Love Out Loud

Pelotonia 17 for James Cancer Center

Patrick at Pelotonia 17 - riding for the James Cancer Center

I would like to thank everyone who supported Pelotonia 17.  THANK YOU!!!!!!!

On Saturday, I completed my goal of the 50 mile course from Columbus to New Albany thanks to the overwhelming support of friends and family.  Thank you for all your encouragement and support!!

This event raised over $15 Million toward cancer research with over 8,000 riders this year.  I did have high expectations for Pelotonia, but was completely amazed at how well organized it was and the hundreds of volunteers that made this possible.  The 50 mile ride seemed like 25 as every 10-15 miles there were stops where sponsors provided riders with snacks and beverages to refuel, have a quick adjustment on their bike or use the bathroom if necessary.

As this was my first Pelotonia, I  trained hard and was prepared for the ride.  I however, was not prepared for the emotions that I experienced as I passed thousands of people who lined the course cheering, encouraging and thanking each rider as they passed.  Kids with their hands out “high fiving” riders as they passed.  Many moms, dads, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives & friends held posters and pictures of their loved ones that have been affected by this heartless disease.  Seeing all of these people, their hurt, their  pictures, their stories, their lost ones, their survivors,  their determination, their hope and their encouragement beat this disease, I put my head down, embraced any discomfort or fatigue I had– and I RODE!

I rode and will continue to ride each year for #onegoal- to #endcancer!!!!!  Thank you again for your generous contributions and support to make Pelotonia 17 such a success.