As a girl, Marie Rineveld was an avid cyclist.

"I always grew up riding bicycles everywhere," the Clintonville resident recalled. "I would ride to the library and I would ride trails."

After moving to Columbus from Michigan 10 years ago, Rineveld, 35, got out of the biking habit.

She said she got back into it and joined the Cardinal Health Cycling Team for Pelotonia 2016 after her father had transplant surgery at the University of Michigan hospital to replace his cancerous liver.

"We were preparing for a coffin, and instead we've had the blessing of a father for three more years," Rineveld said.

Participating in last year's Pelotonia led not only to a determination to be in this year's ride -- during which she will pedal 180 miles from Columbus to Gambier and back to New Albany over two days -- but it also rekindled Rineveld's love of going places on a bike.

"It's impossible not to smile on a bicycle," she said. "That is my motto. You see people running down the trail, grimacing and sweating. They're hating their lives.

"On bicycles, you see people laughing. It doesn't matter how fast you're going, whether it's 12 miles per hour or 21 miles per hour."

Rineveld said her father, who was down to just 108 pounds prior to receiving the new liver, is in remission and doing well.

She said her commitment to raising money for research into cancer treatment was further strengthened last year during a tour of the James Cancer Hospital.

She said she was especially impressed by one researcher who is studying the cells of people who died from the disease decades ago.

"They're looking back at what happened to make sense of what's happening now," Rineveld said. "It's absolutely astounding."

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1