As he gears up for his fourth Pelotonia leading a Pickerington-based peloton, Randy Holloway said he remains inspired by his grandmother and the memory of family members lost, as well as the support of the Pickerington community for riders who pass through town during the bike tour.

Four years ago, Holloway and Joe Henderson co-founded Team Pickerington, a still-growing peloton that has 17 members and as of July 19 had raised almost $10,500 to aid the Ohio State University's James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in a quest to create a cancer-free world.

The 38-year-old financial adviser, who has an Edward Jones Investments office in Pickerington, also has tried to spur his community to participate in and support the charity bicycle tour through numerous events the past year.

With this year's ride looming, Holloway said, he is ready for his 25-mile route.

What has prepared him most for this year's ride are his loved ones: family members he has lost to various forms of cancer and his 83-year-old grandmother, Shirley Nofziger of Westerville.

"Everyone has been touched by cancer one way or another, and Pelotonia is a direct way that I can help to end this evil disease," Holloway said. "I've lost many a family member to cancer and my grandmother is currently in her second battle with it.

"We haven't put the James out of business yet. While there is progress being made, they need our support and funding to keep going."

Team Pickerington isn't the biggest peloton and it's still in somewhat of a fledgling stage, as Holloway continues to seek new members, he said.

But much like the three-day Pelotonia event from Friday, Aug. 3, to Sunday, Aug. 5, is a microcosm of the ongoing, daily fight against cancer, Team Pickerington has sought a grassroots, community-driven way to embolden riders and bystanders.

In addition to events throughout the year to raise money and awareness, Team Pickerington has seized upon Pelotonia's route that annually takes most riders through Olde Pickerington Village.

Riders for five of the 10 routes -- the 25-, 45-, 100-, 180- and 200-mile options -- will go through Pickerington on Aug. 4.

The team created a tradition by working with the Pickerington Local School District and residents and businesses to arrange for high school band members, cheerleaders, students and other supporters to line the streets of Olde Pickerington Village to cheer on riders.

The tradition includes "Thunder Alley," in which motorcyclists lining those streets rev their engines as Pelotonia riders pedal past.

Henderson said he has been told the gestures lift riders' spirits, but he also noted it's a way of engaging a wider portion of the community to take up the cause against cancer.

He credited Holloway for leading the charge.

"Randy has been phenomenal," Henderson said. "One of the things that makes us special as a team is our involvement of getting people out to the Olde Village of Pickerington as teams are riding through.

"As riders come through the Olde Village, they get the experience of the cheerleaders, the bands, the community, the businesses all coming out and cheering them on."

In addition to continuing the fight for his grandmother and everyone faced with the disease, that tradition and joining with friends and neighbors in the unifying goal for a cancer-free world are foremost on Holloway's mind as Pelotonia approaches.

Asked his hopes for this year's ride, he said, "To once again see thousands of people line the streets in the Olde Village of Pickerington to cheer on the riders. Also, I want to see more riders from Pickerington join our team."

More information about Team Pickerington, including how to join the peloton, is available by calling 614-313-8459 or emailing Holloway at randy3440@gmail.com.

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate