August 24th, 2011 by Judd Ballard
This past Saturday was my first Pelotonia experience. Originally planning to show up on a 15 year-old Huffy, I clearly had no idea what I was getting myself into. I think it is safe to say I was a little out of my element, and as the big day approached, my biggest concern was not knowing how to change a tire. Forget the fact I hadn’t ridden a bike (outside of Urban Active or Lifestyle Fitness) in ~10 years. I trained, attended opening night (which my wife jokingly compared to the opening ceremony of the Olympics) and met my fundraising goal but nothing prepared me for the experience and the feeling I had when I crossed the finish line.
Once I figured out the bike situation, everything about Pelotonia turned out to be “downhill” … The jerseys (i.e., Donatos, “Powered by Pepperoni”), the camaraderie, the fancy (eh, expensive) bikes, the enthusiasm of everyone participating; people were even delighted to respond and contribute to my fundraising requests.
The sense of accomplishment was felt on many levels. Riding a distance I never imagined I could do and raising money for a cause so great, not to mention participating in an event so cool and new. Ten years from now when the number of riders has grown from nearly 5,000 to twice that, I can say I was there in the adolescent years.