Samantha Guirlinger rode in Pelotonia in 2015 to fulfill a personal fitness goal of cycling 50 miles.
After that first organized ride, she was hooked on cycling.
Soon after, she joined the Pelotonia executive board at Ohio State University, where the 21-year-old senior from New Albany studies business and psychology.
For one year, she managed member recruitment. For the past year and a half, she has served as the vice president of fundraising.
"Everyone is very connected to cancer, so it helped me get connected to the cause," Guirlinger said. "When I started, I had no connection to cancer. I've gotten to know so many people, that I feel that cancer is all around me. It's something that I feel very passionate about changing."
Through her work on the Ohio State Pelotonia board, Guirlinger has gotten to know researchers and doctors at the James Cancer Hospital. She said their innovation, creativity and hard work helps her stay motivated.
"It gives me the will to say, 'OK, if they're doing all that, I can at least get on my bike,' " she said.
Guirlinger, a New Albany High School graduate, is a third-year rider, and she plans to pedal the two-day 180-mile route. As of the end of June, she had raised $4,940, and her goal is $7,000.
As a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Guirlinger serves as captain of the BSR-Greek Strong peloton, a team of all Greek-life members at Ohio State. The peloton is small at 11 members, but Guirlinger said she is working to increase its membership.
Guirlinger said she is proud to be part of something so impactful as Pelotonia.
"Too many amazing people hear the words, 'You have cancer,' and I vow to continue to work hard until those words are no longer scary to hear," Guirlinger wrote in her online Pelotonia profile.