Participants in Pelotonia can be rightfully proud of their physical as well as fiscal support of cancer research.
After all, completing up to an 180-mile route by bicycle in two days is a grueling endeavor.
But for Grandview resident Mark Schaefer, last year's ride was a walk in the park compared to another facet of his fundraising effort.
Schaefer spent a weekend last April aerating more than 80 lawns in the Grandview area in exchange for donations to the Grandview/Marble Cliff Pelotonia team.
"I was exhausted before the weekend was over, rushing to get all the lawns finished. My muscles just ached," he said. "Three days (of pushing an aerator) was a lot tougher than two days of riding. It was good conditioning for the bike ride, though."
This year, Schaefer will be joined by other members of the Grandview/Marble Cliff team, which will use three donated machines to reach a goal of aerating more than 200 lawns.
"Triple the lawns we hope will raise triple the money," team captain Rich Broderick said.
Pelotonia raises money for cancer research at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.
Last year, in its initial effort, the team raised more than $20,000 by combining donations for the bike ride, the aeration project and other fundraising activities, Broderick said.
The group has distributed about 1,000 fliers promoting the upcoming aeration project, set April 25-27, Schaefer said.
At least 13 riders will be part of the Grandview team in this year's Pelotonia, which will take place Aug. 8-10, Broderick said. Eight of those riders were part of last year's group.
"Our team members are people who either live or work in the Grandview area," he said.
Broderick will participate in his fifth Pelotonia, and the cause is personal for him: He is a survivor of prostate cancer.
"I went through treatment at the James, so I know what good work they do," Broderick said. "I'm committed to the Pelotonia as long as I can ride a bike. My riding skills, though, aren't as good as my fundraising skills."
Schaefer participated in his first Pelotonia last year.
"I was hesitant to join because I didn't like the idea of begging people for money," he said. "What I like about this event is that you feel like you're doing something to earn the money people donate."
Other members of the Grandview/Marble Cliff team include: Stephen Beight, Jerry Bower, Joy Bush, Gretchen Goffe, Jack Moore, Rich Moore, Marty Post, Emily Schnittger, Donald Solt, Roni Stiffler and Tyler Wolfe.
The team will hold other fundraisers in advance of the ride, Broderick said.
On May 31, the squad will host a Texas Hold 'em tournament at Woodlands Tavern, he said. Woodlands is a primary sponsor of the team, along with Roush Honda.
A wine-tasting also is planned, most likely for July, and a bike wash will be scheduled as well, Broderick said.
Anyone interested in making a donation to the team may email Broderick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The great thing about the Pelotonia is that 100 percent of the money that is raised goes to the James," he said. "There aren't any administrative costs. They are all covered by sponsors."
Pelotonia has become a model for similar events and other charitable organizations around the country, Schaefer said.
"It's been so successful, I think a kind of cycling subculture has grown up around it in Columbus," he said.
Participating in the cycling event is special, Schaefer said.
"All along the route you'll see people holding up signs saying, 'Thank you. You saved so and so's life,' or 'Thanks for saving my life.'
"It's really inspirational," Schaefer said.