Monica McJunkin admits that once Pelotonia ends Aug. 6, the next thing she and her husband will do with their bicycles probably will involve dusting them off next spring.
"We usually ride once a week starting in the spring to train for this," said McJunkin, a Westerville resident preparing for her sixth Pelotonia in seven years.
"We were so moved by and hooked on this cause that we went out and bought ourselves bikes. This is what turned us into cyclists," she said.
This year, Monica and Kevin McJunkin will ride "only" 55 miles, from New Albany to Gambier in Knox County.
Kevin McJunkin had ridden 100 miles each of the past five years and was accompanied by his wife every year except 2014, when she served as a volunteer.
At the encouragement of his employer, Kevin McJunkin took up Pelotonia in 2010 and was a virtual rider that year. His wife joined him a year later.
"We've had several family and friends – 'several' seems like an understatement – afflicted with cancer," said Monica McJunkin, 52, a development manager in information technology at Cardinal Health who is riding with the Cardinal Health Cycling Team. "Each year, this seems like the right thing to do, a way we can help.
"Living in Westerville, we're fortunate to have a lot of great options for biking around here. We bike across Hoover Reservoir.
"We've never done this route, but we know it's hilly. Luckily, we have some great training hills in this area."
McJunkin said she will ride for Tom Cherry, a Columbus resident and family friend since college who was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in February. Several other family friends have died of pancreatic center, she said.
The McJunkins each pledged to raise at least $5,000 this year, classifying them as High Rollers, the Pelotonia term for those who go above and beyond the minimum to raise that amount.
Their motto for this year is, "It's about the raise, not the ride."
"It's hard to not be a believer in the cause of funding research in the fight with cancer," McJunkin said. "My husband and I met at Ohio State. It's a place we love. I am glad the funds stay here and support an institution we're so fond of."