Mission Essential Rides With Ride2Recovery Vets At 2013 Pelotonia
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Mission Essential’s signature charitable event is Pelotonia, the annual bike ride that benefits cancer-fighting research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute. Mission Essential has sponsored a Peloton since 2011, and this year its Peloton included cyclist-veterans from Ride2Recovery (R2R). Mission Essential’s Peloton was comprised of 29 riders, 11 of which were R2R veterans – and two of them also currently undergoing cancer treatment.
The majority of the R2R vets rode the 50 mile course. They are recovering from injuries and PTSD, and cycling is part of their rehabilitation and therapy. Some biked 100 miles from downtown Columbus to the finish line, including Nate DeWalt, a paralyzed Navy veteran, (on hand cycle) and Adam McCann (pushing him), an Army veteran wounded in Iraq. The riders stayed together with the hand cycle, slowing down their individual times but keeping the appropriate Pelotonia spirit of teamwork and service. McCann went on to finish 180 miles with Mission Essential CEO Peter Horvath.
“For what it is worth, it is incredibly hard to climb hills in a hand cycle,” said Horvath, who also sits on the board of the James. “It requires one upright rider to push with one hand on the pole, and up to three additional riders in an echelon pushing on the lower backs of the other riders. It maxes out your quads in seconds.”
Actual elapsed time for the 100 mile ride was under five hours – impressive for most people, but amazing for a hand cycle.
“It’s not that time matters, but these are warfighters and they approach everything with intensity,” Horvath said. “All riders were very proud of their accomplishment, and the Pelotonia ride will be an epic ride story to be shared and many times retold.”
This year, Mission Essential’s Peloton has pledged $100,000, with hopes of raising $150,000. Donations for this year can be made through October here. A gallery of photos from Mission Essential’s Pelotonia 2013 experience is available here. NBC Channel 4 news coverage of our relationship with R2R can be watched here.