What Pelotonia Means to Me & Why I ride
My first Pelotonia was 11 years ago and it’s been, without a doubt, the BEST 2 days of my year, every year. It is the most enthusiastic, positive experience that I have ever been part of. My brother-in-law, Chip Greenlee, encouraged me to join him and for several years we both rode with Stephanie Spielman’s Team of Hope Peloton. Chip and his wife, Sara, were great friends of Stephanie and her husband, Chris. The loss of such a strong-willed cancer survivor and friend encouraged Chip to do his part and he encouraged me to do the same.
Little did we know back then the impact of Chip’s ask, because today he’s fighting terminal Glioblastoma brain cancer and in the last 11 years, I have had many of my friends (Tim, Adam, Sheila, Rick, just to name a few) as well as my mom die from cancer. Betty, my mom, lost her battle with Leukemia in 2013 and that is when I kicked up my game to begin riding the 2-day 180-200 mile event. I wanted to show her that I could do more by grinding through a second day even though I’m tired and don’t want to get back on that little bike seat.
We all have optimism and hope to finding better treatments and ultimately a cure! A lot of that enthusiasm is due to the leadership efforts and hard work of the Pelotonia staff but also so many more – the dedication of doctors, researchers, interns, volunteers, and those that grind out 25-200 miles every August for the journey to One Goal – kicking cancer’s ass.
I get goose bumps thinking of the supporters, both financially and spiritually. I will see survivors in the country with masks on, no hair in wheelchairs at the end of their driveway ringing a cow bell to encourage each rider to “keep on pedaling”, or every year the guy holding his sign “thanks for saving my wife”.
Come on folks, I can’t make this stuff up, it fuels your legs and you keep on pedaling. Join me in this amazing positivity! There are too many neighbors, co-workers, friends, classmates and even beloved family members (Todd, Jeff, Kathleen, Chip, just to name a few) fighting their own personal journey with cancer. I am so fortunate and blessed to be healthy and I am driven to make a difference. Will you join me? I hope so!
P.S. In 2020, I made the decision to start my own Peloton, Team Cleary Cyclers! Click here to join me on Team Cleary Cyclers or find out how you can help support Pelotonia’s mission.
One Goal – End Cancer! George B. Cleary