GAMBIER — More than 6,000 bicyclists will ride in Pelotonia 2012 during the three-day event that begins Friday. Now in its fourth year, Pelotonia is deviating from its original course and this year the route will extend from Columbus to Gambier. Approximately 700 two-day riders will be hosted overnight at Kenyon College residence halls.
The former vice president of corporate communications at Abercrombie & Fitch, Tom Lennox, is a cancer survivor. Lennox, the founder and executive director of Pelotonia is also an athlete and passionate about supporting cancer research. He is also excited that Pelotonia is coming to Gambier.
The three previous annual events wound from Columbus to Athens and Ohio University, but the route was changed this year to offer a flat route, more choices of mileage, and new scenery to attract more riders.
Corporate sponsors cover the operating expenses and salaries of Pelotonia so that, as Lennox emphasized, “If you ride with us, every penny goes to the cause. I really think that’s important to know and understand.”
“We’re very efficient,” he added, “in managing the money and investing in the research at Ohio State.”
Kenyon senior and swimmer Hannah Saiz qualified for Olympic Trials this year, swimming the 200-meter butterfly in 2:14.54 at the NCAA Championship. Saiz is from Rapid City, S.D. She is riding in the Pelotonia as member of the Kenyon team, or peloton.
She stated that she participated in a triathlon last summer but she didn’t have a road bike. As she watched all the other athletes pass her on her mountain bike, she decided that wasn’t going to happen again.
She started riding a road bike last summer. She also started riding with the Kenyon Cycling Club, but swimming in her final varsity season is her priority.
“I joined Pelotonia on a whim,” she said, “but I really like the idea. It’s fulfilling to be using my athletic abilities with a goal in mind like raising money for cancer research.”
She is riding the 100-mile route, so she will be raising $1,800. To gather support she has sent e-mails out to friends, family, and former swimming alumni.
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