COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The 2023 Pelotonia Ride Weekend will celebrate its 15th year by unveiling a new event to take place one week prior to its annual weekend.
Since 2008, more than one million people in the United States have been diagnosed with cancer that are still living today thanks to the ride that has changed the landscape of cancer treatment.
The new race, called Gravel Day, will kick off the festivities on September 30 to begin a week of fundraising for cancer research.
According to a release, the inaugural Gravel Day for gravel riding cyclers will offer a new way for cyclists to participate in Pelotonia and will feature “picturesque landscapes and unpaved roads for a breathtaking ride.”
“Dirt roads, you know Ohio doesn’t have oceans or mountains, but we’ve got lots of dirt roads,” said President Joe Apgar. “So, we’re going to take advantage of that and do what I think will be a really, really fun, adventurous ride.”
This year’s routes will also return to communities from previous rides, including Pickerington, last featured in the race in 2019. The 100-mile route will be “re-imagined with multiple opportunities for riders to choose the level of challenge they take on in the moment.”
Last year’s schedule included six options on Saturday, ranging from 20 to 102 miles, while Sunday offered a loop course and three day-two routes from Saturday which totaled 164-to-200-miles. The Sunday August 6th loop will be a new route entirely.
Route details and fundraising requirements for Ride Weekend and Gravel Day will be made available before registration, which opens March 1.
“I always tell people, if you’re a little apprehensive, come volunteer. Check it out, sort of get the vibe of the weekend and I think you’ll be hooked,” Apgar encourages. “If you want to get on a bike…borrow a bike, ride the 25, train a little bit, it’s approachable. We have an incredible network of trails in Columbus.”
The announced schedule is as follows:
- Sept. 30: Gravel Day
- Aug. 4: Opening Ceremony
- Aug. 5-6: Ride Weekend
- Aug. 6: Sunday loop
Pelotonia has raised more than $258 million for the community’s One Goal initiative to advance cancer research. For more information, visit pelotonia.org.