Eryn Kalbfleisch said she isn't the most accomplished cyclist, and she knows riding 100 miles might be pushing her limits.

But when she is gasping for air and her leg muscles start to burn during Pelotonia, she will be thinking of the countless people -- including her father and mother -- who have suffered much more during their battles with cancer.

Kalbfleisch, a data-analytics manager, moved to central Ohio in 2011 and was a casual biker. While riding her mountain bike on the various trails around town, she said, she saw "all these Pelotonia signs all over the place" and immediately was intrigued.

When she learned about Pelotonia's goal to raise funds for cancer research, she was sold.

Kalbfleisch's father lost his leg to cancer when he was 12 and her mother has multiple myeloma, a painful type of cancer that forms in plasma cells.

She even fought and won a brief battle with thyroid cancer.

By 2014, she had saved up enough money for her first road bike and worked herself into good-enough shape that she felt confident riding.

She participated in Pelotonia in 2014 and 2015, and she is back this year to ride 100 miles, her longest ride since she completed 75 miles in 2015.

A Powell resident, Kalbfleisch, 42, said she is feeling confident about the route but knows it can become a grind.

"The last 50 miles are the most difficult," she said. "I will definitely get to the finish line, but whether I'll have to walk my bike up the last hill is the question."

But in those difficult moments, she said, she will be motivated by the experiences of her parents and a variety of other friends and family members.

"When I think about what my mom has physically gone through, I just project that onto what other people are going through," she said. "When I'm out there riding and it's really hard, I just say to myself, 'I'm not getting chemo; I'm not in a bed. You can keep going.' I think of that to keep moving."

She said she also will find motivation in her three daughters: Lauren, 20, Bailey, 18, and Aliya, 7.

"It's scary for a mom to think their kid is going to have to go through that someday," she said.

She said she always is taken aback by the amount of support for strangers riding bicycles during Pelotonia.

In her experience, she said, the "community support" is one of the most amazing parts of the bike tour.

"There's almost always people in their yard saying, 'Thank you,' or cheering you on," she said. "It's really probably one of the only experiences, for me, that really kind of makes me feel like I'm part of the community. I don't do a lot of other stuff where I get that feeling.

"But on that day, it's eight hours of everybody working together and being happy and being friends. It's kind of beautiful."

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