Pelotonia '15 - We Raised, We Rode, We Believe in ONE GOAL
Let’s just start by saying Pelotonia is pretty incredible. If you aren’t aware of what the organization does or what the event is, you must keep reading, then go to their website and plan to ride next year...
…okay you don’t have to do all that, but at least keep reading.
When a co-worker and fellow Pelotonia alum and I first brought up the idea of starting an M+A team, we were hoping to have enough interest to make up the minimum requirement for a team – 5 people. So you can understand why I was BLOWN AWAY when we ended up with 14 riders! It was awesome to see such commitment, yet such a sad realization to see how cancer has touched all of our lives in one way or another. But this is why we chose to ride. It’s not only about the ride, it’s about the fundraising, research, and community support Pelotonia ignites well beyond the boundaries of the OSU James Cancer Center and Columbus.
Our team included a mixed bag of 10 M+A staff members and 4 consultants and friends that covered a wide spectrum of cycling experience. Some hadn’t ridden (or owned) a bike in years, while some were cycling aficionados. Knowing the ride happens in August, we banded together in March and started to devise a master plan for our jersey, training rides, fundraising events and flat tire fixing 101.
Since I had ridden in Pelotonia before, I knew we needed jerseys that POP! One of the coolest part of ride day is the unveiling of all the bright, hilarious, obnoxious, sweet jerseys. With the help of everyone’s creativity, we came up with a vibrant team jersey that set the bar pretty high for years to come. Who says 14 riders can’t stand out among nearly 8,000 riders? Well you’re wrong - we got TWO megaphone shout-outs with my favorite being "we got architects in the house!"
Our jersey was also a major source of fundraising; we are fortunate to have such awesome and supportive A/E/C partners. For donating to our team, these partners got their logo on the back of their favorite architects' jersey :). There were 19 amazing companies, to be exact, that made our jersey look even better - raising $11,000!!
While helping plan our team events, I figured out that fundraisers are called FUNdraisers for a reason. We partnered with some pretty fantastic companies and hosted three fun and successful events: a happy hour with the ever-cool and ever-delicious Land Grant Brewing Company, a Wine and Shine Wednesday Jewelry party with Miss Em’s, and capped it off with a wine raffle courtesy of a friend from Heidelburg Distributing. These events alone accounted for more than two riders’ fundraising goals! Whoa.
Our team’s fundraising goal grew with our riders. We started at what seemed like an attainable $14,000, then climbed to $17,000, eventually crept to $21,000, and ended at $23,000 - the amount we needed to have the 14 of us ride our desired mileage. With a lofty goal of $23,000, you can see why I was again, BLOW AWAY when we raised over $27,000. That isn't a typo.
One fall, three flat tires, leg cramps and I can still say our M+A Peloton all had a fantastic ride weekend. Our riders rode between 50 and 100 miles, which makes for a pretty long day on a bike (and a bike seat), but despite some bumps, bruises and soreness I can confidently say this year sure won’t be our last. Through thousands of small efforts, Pelotonia riders have and continue to create one huge, united effort supporting cancer research, and on behalf of M+A, I can say we are proud to join that effort.
In closing, the team and I just want to say another gigantic THANK YOU to everyone who not only supported our team, but volunteered, rode, or helped organize the incredible weekend. With the efforts of so many, this event is one-of-a-kind. The sense of community behind Pelotonia was palpable from the moment I signed up as a rider to every lingering green arrow I see throughout the year.
We'll see you next year Pelotonia '16.
Graphic Design Lead
Chelsea has a B.S. in landscape architecture from The Ohio State University. When she's not designing graphics for M+A projects, she is probably walking her dog or finding the best places to eat.