Pelotonia 2010 - Part I
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
What an emotional day! I arrived at Chemical Abstracts at a little bit after 5:30 a.m. for the 7 a.m. start. They wanted people to get there at 6, but I wanted to get there a little bit earlier than that to make sure that I had enough time. There were over 4,000 riders; so, just trying to get everyone set and ready to ride was quite a feat.
I can’t really explain the atmosphere as we were waiting for the ride to begin. It was a mixture of excitement, hope, anxiety, along with some sadness for those who had lost their fight. I remembered my grandfather, who passed away from cancer of the esophagus when I was 11. He was the first person to pass away who I was really close to and at 11, I really felt it. I also thought of the little 8 yr old girl, Eden, who lost her battle in December 2008. Her dad works with my husband and he is the one who formed the team that I joined. Her brother was the team captain and he was one of the youngest riders (at 16) to ride the full two days of the ride. I didn’t know her, but our team jersey had a picture of her on it and I just felt inspired by her and her fight. Later in the day, I met a couple of nurses from Children’s Hospital who treated her and they said that she was just the sweetest little girl that you could imagine.
They grouped people by fast, steady, or casual riders and called everyone to get to their areas and get ready to go at about 6:45. The ride actually started pretty close to 7, which was amazing. I was maybe a little over a third of the way back and it took a while for us to get going. We had to walk our bikes as we moved up to the start because there were so many people, but when we got out to the road, it moved pretty well (not very fast though). The route went from OSU through downtown and then out from there. The roads were all closed to cars until we got out of downtown.
It was amazing all of the support from people along the way. People were cheering, had signs, and were ringing cowbells and saying thanks for doing this. There were friends of riders, survivors and people who had lost family and friends to cancer. My heart was just filled by the caring of these people and by my opportunity to ride in Pelotonia in order to help find a cure for cancer.
(I will post another blog with more details of my actual ride because this one is getting so long.)