If you ask Rich Broderick why he participates in the Pelotonia charity bicycle tour, he has a light-hearted answer and a serious one.
"I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006 and I'm a survivor," he said. "The first time I attended Pelotonia, it was as a survivor, and I went to the kickoff dinner where they had a tent for survivors and one for riders. In the survivor's tent, we were served hot dogs and hamburgers."
The Grandview Heights resident said he noticed the riders were served grilled chicken and salmon.
"I said to myself, 'Next year, I'm going to be in that tent,' " he said with a laugh.
More seriously, Broderick said, he rides in gratitude for the treatment he received at Ohio State's James Cancer Hospital and in honor of his father, who died in 1962 of colon cancer when Broderick was 10.
Broderick is now 64, the same age his father was when he died.
"At that time, all they could do were surgeries. It wasn't enough," he said. "I still miss him and think about him every day.
"I'm raising money and riding because I believe we will find a cure someday. It's my way of giving back."
Broderick said he even signed up his father, Michael John Broderick, as a virtual rider to raise additional money in his honor.
Broderick is marking his eighth year as a Pelotonia rider. He is a member of the Grandview/Marble Cliff Peloton and previously served six years as team captain.
"Anyone who has never attended a Pelotonia should go," he said. "What will grab you is the feeling of camaraderie and support among the riders. It will hook you in."
In 2010, his first year, Broderick rode 50 miles. The next year, he rode 180 miles from Columbus to Athens and then back again when the route still proceeded east and south instead of the current route, which runs east and north to Gambier.
This year, he is signed up to ride 180 miles from New Albany to Gambier on Aug. 5 and back to New Albany on Aug. 6.
He also is pursuing another goal this fall.
"I'm in training to run for the second time in the Marine Corps Marathon in October in Washington, D.C.," he said. "I run really slow, just like a bike. It just feels good to be able to run a marathon or take part in a long-distance bike event."