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Wex on the Road, on a Bike

Sun, Sep 6, 2009
"You may have to come and pick me up along the side of the road, if I can't do this." --Tim Fulton, Wex media coordinator, at 5:30 AM, Saturday, August 29.

Back in April I traded in my motor vehicular habits for a more economic and environmentally friendly form of transit--a bicycle. Since then, I've really grown to love my bike and value riding it as a part of my routine. When I heard about Pelotonia, the grassroots bike tour to raise funds for Ohio State's James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, it seemed like a great opportunity to challenge my boundaries as a cyclist. I had never ridden more than 15-or-so miles before. With the fine folks at the Wex pledging to support part of my ride (read: donate money), I set out to accomplish my goal: crank out 50 miles on a one-speed bicycle.

I began training independently in June by doing consecutively longer rides each week. The summer proved busier than I'd hoped, and I ended up "falling off the wagon" in mid-July. As you can imagine, I was a bit worried in the days leading up to the tour. All I could do was carb-up and hope for the best. The constant checking in from my coworkers ("Are you nervous," "I could never do that," "If you die on the ride, take off the Wexner Center shirt first") didn't help my nerves.

On the day of the ride, I awoke at 4:30 AM, ate breakfast, and arrived at the starting line. Although I didn't know anyone else riding, there was a great sense of community among the more than 2,200 riders, all there to have a good time for a good cause. The tour began, and my goal was just to pace myself to ensure that I'd complete the 50-mile ride on my one-speed. (Riding uphill was quite comical.) As I pulled in to the 12-mile rest stop, I was feeling pretty good. I wasn't too fatigued, my muscles were holding up, and I was experiencing the beginnings of the adrenaline rush that comes with a long ride. To affirm my optimism, I saw Mayor Coleman pull in about 5 minutes behind me. If I was out pacing the mayor (who completed a mini-triathlon earlier this year) at 12 miles, I knew that everything was going to be just fine.

Three hours, fifty miles, and four Power Bars later, I was on a bus back to Columbus, tired, proud, and looking forward to conquering the 100-mile ride next year.
PARKING UPDATE: Construction at 15th and High. For more information click here.

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