Pelotonia is an annual central Ohio charity bicycle tour that raises money to support cancer research at Ohio State University’s James Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute. Here are five answers to some frequent questions about the grassroots movement.

What is a peloton? Derived from the French word for platoon and generally defined as the primary group of cyclists in a race, pelotons are Pelotonia’s fundraising teams that are organized by businesses, communities, academic or social organizations or simply like-minded individuals. One of the benefits of a peloton is that riders who exceed the minimum fundraising amounts may share additional funds with teammates.

Where does the money go? Pelotonia has raised more than $184 million since the first ride in 2009; this year’s fundraising commitments totaled more than $10.1 million as of July 25. All the money raised goes toward some form of research at Ohio State and is broken down into four basic “buckets.” The buckets are for a fellowship program, idea grants, senior-scientist grants and statewide initiatives.

What about operating costs? Funding partners cover the annual operating costs for Pelotonia, so all money raised by riders and virtual riders – those who make a minimum $100 fundraising commitment without riding or volunteering – is directed to Ohio State, according to Emily Smith, communications manager for Pelotonia.

What is Pulll? Pelotonia’s free Pulll activity-tracking app was launched in May 2018. Users are able to track such activities as cycling, running and walking on the app, which is installed on a smartphone or mobile device, to unlock caches of sponsor-donated money to be directed toward cancer research at Ohio State. The money comes from a number of companies and organizations from which Pelotonia has secured charity commitments.

Why do people ride? Everyone has their reasons. ThisWeek is trying to tell as many of those stories as possible; you can read them at ThisWeekNEWS.com/Pelotonia.

– Neil Thompson

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