Pelotonia, a grassroots fundraising tool for cancer research in which bicyclists traverse central Ohio roads in exchange for donations, will wind through Pickerington and Violet Township on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 9.
Pickerington High School North, 7800 Refugee Road, will serve as either a whistle-stop or starting point for bicyclists taking one of the four ride options on the tour, now entering its sixth year.
Pelotonia officials estimate approximately 6,500 to 7,500 bicyclists will ride through the area from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Aug. 9.
That means motorists should expect traffic delays.
Pickerington Police Patrol Commander Greg Annis said the route through the city and township is the same as last year.
Pelotonia riders will enter by way of Wright Road, crossing Diley Road and traveling west on Columbus Street until reaching North Center Street, where riders will take a left heading north until North Center Street turns into Pickerington Road and then proceed to Pickerington High School North, said Annis.
The Fairfield County Sheriff's Department will coordinate traffic flow once Pelotonia enters Violet Township.
Pickerington High School North will again serve as a rest stop where riders can replenish with liquids and attend to any minor medical or maintenance issues.
Annis said there will be delays, but advised motorists to "be patient, we will get you through."
He said residents "should plan appropriately" for the event.
"Essentially the city will be cut in half. We will be stationed at the primary travel points to assist," he said.
While roads will not be closed, Annis said Pickerington police officers will be stationed at the following three "traffic control areas" to direct motorists through: the intersection of Diley Road and West Columbus Street; the intersection of Hill Road and West Columbus Street; and the intersections of North Center Street and West Columbus Street and East Columbus Street and Lockville Road.
Pickerington Mayor Lee Gray said the city welcomes Pelotonia with open arms.
"I think it's a great cause and I'm glad Pickerington is on their route. They came through last year and we worked with them to keep everything safe," Gray said.
Violet Township Fire Chief and Interim Director of Operations John Eisel echoed Gray.
"I think this community is lucky to have this event on their route," Eisel said.
"The Violet Township Fire Department will be on standby if any illnesses or injuries should occur, but the event has its own emergency medical team with it as well," he said.
Pelotonia organizers say an estimated $10 million has been pledged for the 2014 ride.
One-hundred percent of what every rider raises goes to cancer research at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Pelotonia is able to pull it off because its funding partners pay for operating expenses.
Event officials said $61 million has been raised in the previous five years.
For additional information, visit pelotonia.org.