When it comes to Team Bexley's Pelotonia contingent, even children want to get involved in raising funds to benefit cancer research.
Tricia Gockstetter, a Team Bexley member and organizer of an event called Pedal for Pancakes, said she created the fundraiser in 2017 as a way for her and her husband, Matt, who is also a Team Bexley member, to involve their daughter, Vivian, 9, and son, William, 7, in their Pelotonia preparation.
"My kids wanted a kids' event that they could participate in," Gockstetter said.
To help raise money for the 2019 Pelotonia, Team Bexley will play host to its third annual Pedal for Pancakes event at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 23, at Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave.
Team Bexley has raised more than $2 million over the past 10 years for Pelotonia. The three-day event, which is scheduled for Aug. 2-4 this year, benefits the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
Pedal for Pancakes invites children ages 3 to 11 to ride their bicycles around Commonwealth Park near Jeffrey Mansion.
"Once they cross the finish line, families enjoy as many pancakes as they can catch from Katie's Pancakes, along with sausage, orange juice and coffee," Gockstetter said.
Participants can choose the amount of laps they complete on their bicycles: a 0.6-mile lap for older children or a 0.3-mile lap for younger children, or they can customize the amount of laps.
"We say, 'You can do one lap or you can do as many laps as you are old,' " Gockstetter said.
Ryan Schick, another Team Bexley member, said Pedal for Pancakes has become a family tradition for him, his wife, Laura, and their 6-year-old son, Henry.
"It gives him a real opportunity to feel that he's involved in the movement, and it also gives him a deeper appreciation for why people ride" in Pelotonia, Schick said.
"It also gives (children) a better appreciation of why Pelotonia exists in the first place. It expands the size and scope of what Team Bexley can do. It helps us raise more money for the James."
Pedal for Pancakes attracted 100 participants in its first year and 150 in 2018, with about 150 expected again this year, Gockstetter said.
"One of our goals was to keep our donation suggestion low for Pedal for Pancakes participants. We've kept it at $25 a rider. That includes all-you-can eat pancakes," she said.
Local schools, organizations and businesses provide sponsorships.
Last year's event generated about $8,000, and all proceeds help Team Bexley Pelotonia's 100 members supplement their fundraising efforts while raising awareness about cancer research, Gockstetter said.
"People and neighbors are placed along the route to cheer on everyone," she said. "It's a fun morning."
For registration and additional information, visit Pelotonia.org/pedal4pancakes.