Tour organizer: Most bicycle riders will finish in New Albany
Many of the estimated 5,000 bicycle riders in the Pelotonia tour will finish in New Albany.
"The objective is always to select the best venue that will support an exceptional ride" Pelotonia co-founder and New Albany resident Tom Lennox said.. "With the route heading from Columbus in a northeast direction to Kenyon (College)and returning to Columbus, New Albany is on the way and a natural fit.
"Also, with more riders from the 43054 (New Albany ZIP code) than any other ZIP code, New Albany is loaded with Pelotonia riders," he said.
"We are hopeful the entire community will come out on Sunday afternoon to cheer and congratulate riders finishing the two-day ride."
The 2012 Pelotonia is set for Aug. 10-12.
Pelotonia is a 180-mile cycling tour in which riders raise funds for cancer research. It attracts riders from 38 states, according to organizers.
Cyclists can choose one-day 25-mile, 50-mile, 75-mile or 100-mile rides or two-day 155-mile or 180-mile rides. Rides can begin and end in different locations, but most of the routes start at Columbus Commons, a new 9-acre green space in downtown Columbus.
The two-day riders will travel to Kenyon College in Gambier the first day. They can end a 75-mile or 100-mile ride there or ride a second day into New Albany and complete the 155-mile and 180-mile rides. The one-day, 50-mile ride also ends in New Albany. The shortest route, a 25-mile ride, ends in Pickerington.
"New Albany is conveniently located on the way back from Kenyon to Columbus,"Lennox said. "The community offers beautifully diverse riding conditions. New Albany is close enough to Columbus that it is on the edge of an urban environment while having the feel of being in the country."
Each rider raises sponsorship money to participate. Lennox said sponsors support race costs so 100 percent of the riders' sponsorship money is donated to the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.
Sloan Spalding, a New Albany City Councilman and Pelotonia rider, said one-day riders will finish Aug. 11 in Bevelhymer Park, in northern Plain Township, which will have food and bands. Bevelhymer Park is owned and maintained by the New Albany-Plain Local Joint Park District.
"Shuttles will take riders back to downtown Columbus, if that's where they left their cars,"Spalding said.
On Aug. 12, riders will finish on Market Street in New Albany, where many riders meet to train for Pelotonia.
Spalding said Market Street will be set up with food and entertainment and Lennox said a band has been added to extend the Pelotonia celebration.
"It will be great to have a lot of people come through New Albany,"parks director Dave Wharton said. "It's a great opportunity for New Albany to show (its) facilities and what (it has) to offer."
Wharton said the parks district typically charges a rental fee for the park, but the parks board waived the fee for this activity.
Wharton said the parks district will be reimbursed for any expenses associated with the event and a third party will evaluate the facility within 10 days of the event to make sure nothing in the park was damaged.