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Saving Our Team and Saving Lives.

By Andrew Shepler

Pelotonia weekend 2018 was a memorable one for the eight members of the #SaveTheCrew peloton riding to raise money for cancer research.

Our adventure all started the Wednesday before the ride with a peloton meetup. While meeting up at #SaveTheCrew business ally Land Grant Brewing Company, we were met with multiple yells of “Save The Crew”. I also was stopped and asked where I could get the amazing bike jersey I was wearing (and to answer the question I’m sure you have, they were a special edition just for Pelotonia and aren’t being sold).

The weekend continued with the opening ceremony on Friday. Thousands of riders, families, and friends came together to celebrate the start of the weekend and the hard work that has gone into training and fundraising. A true celebration of what the Columbus community can achieve working together for a common goal.

As an important member and supporter of the community, #SaveTheCrew was well represented. Not only were members of the peloton there, but the #SaveTheCrew outreach team also set up a tent handing out stickers and Pledge 2019 information. I was only at the tent for a short time, but there was a steady flow of people stopping and showing their support for keeping the Crew in Columbus where they belong.

The main event of the weekend, the ride, started Saturday morning. We had peloton members doing distances of 25, 45, 75, and 100 miles. The 75-mile riders started at Pickerington North High School and the 25, 45, and 100 riders started downtown.

If you’ve never been to the start of Pelotonia, it is a big event. There are thousands of riders, not to mention the family and friends that come to support. They even have an announcer talking about the riders heading out.

Pelotonia, being an important member of the Columbus community and a #SaveTheCrew business ally, recognized the new STC peloton as the 45 and 25 mile riders started their ride. The announcer gave a nice shoutout to the new peloton for thousands of riders and their families and friends to hear.

Along the route, I lost count of the amount of times someone riding by me yelled out an excited “Save the Crew!” I know my fellow riders had a similar experience. We even had cars stopping to show their support.

Pelotonia is not a race, it is a ride with a purpose. In this case, the purpose is to support our community by ending cancer. The #SaveTheCrew team is also an organization with a unified purpose: to keep the Crew here in Columbus. While we reached the finish line of the ride, we still are working together as a team towards our goals.

As a team of eight, we have already raised almost $10,000 for cancer research. Fundraising continues until October 5th. I encourage everyone to support Pelotonia and make a donation to cancer research.

Don’t know how much to donate? Here are some suggestions:
$19.96 in honor of the Crew’s first season
$15 in memory of Kirk Urso
$10 to #RespectOurRoots and honor the 10 original MLS teams

If we all come together as a community, anything is possible. The Columbus community has proven that many times over. I truly believe that ending cancer and saving the Crew are achievable goals.

Hopefully next year we ride again under a #SavedTheCrew banner with both community and team support. Ideally we’re riding for a different cause because we will have found a cure for cancer, but even if we don’t, there are countless stories of people whose lives have been saved by the research being done through Pelotonia.

I hope to see you out riding with us next year (especially if you want an awesome #SavedTheCrew bike jersey).

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