Hake-n-Roll Peloton Formed in Response to Friend’s Illness
Small but dedicated. That’s how Peloton Captain Pete Brown describes the Hake-n-Roll peloton. The seven members, most of whom are first-time Pelotonians, are committed to doing something about the disease that recently turned their close friend’s life upside down.
Brian Hake, 41, was diagnosed with leukemia in January of this year and was subsequently admitted to The James for treatment. After 28 days of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the doctors determined that Hake was in remission. He has since undergone four rounds of consolidation therapy, each one consisting of a week of treatment followed by three weeks of recovery. Hake completed the last round at the end of June, and he plans to ride with his friends in Pelotonia 12.
“It’s been an educational year for all of us, and we have been able to witness firsthand the amazing work they do at the James Cancer Center,” said Brown. “Sooner or later cancer pervades everyone’s life—either through friends, a family member, a colleague, an acquaintance or a neighbor. We ride to keep these people close to our hearts and minds, and to do what we can to be helpful and supportive. Or we ride to remember.”
Brown and Hake are long-time friends. They went to college together and have since worked as professional colleagues. Hake is a graphic artist for Clutch Interactive, and he and his wife, Dayna, have two sons—Xander, 9, and Lincoln, 6. Hake is also an accomplished guitarist, and active in the local music scene as the front man for the band, Kopaz, and as lead guitarist for Van Haken, a Van Halen cover band. Some of his fellow musicians are riding in the peloton.
About midway through the consolidation treatments, Hake started to think about what he could do to make a difference for other people who have been diagnosed with cancer. That’s when Brown suggested that Pelotonia was coming up, and maybe they could form a peloton. “It’s about what we can do to make this not happen to other people,” said Brown. “Brian went from having leukemia to being empowered to try to do something about it.”
Fortunately, Brown’s wife, Jodie, rode in Pelotonia 11, so they were familiar with the event. “It was helpful that my wife had already participated in Pelotonia,” Brown said. “We saw how well the riders are supported and the huge burst of energy that comes with being part of this large group.”
During the last several months, Brown has watched his good friend go from diagnosis to treatment to survivor. He has also witnessed the turmoil that cancer causes. “Pelotonia is a positive way to feel like you are getting some of that control back,” Brown explained. “Brian is universally well-liked, and we are mad that he got cancer. Now we want to do something about it.”
In just a few weeks, the seven members of the Hake-n-Roll peloton—including Brian—will have a chance to act on their emotions by riding in Pelotonia 12. They may be small in number, but they are highly committed to making a difference in the fight against cancer. Brown explained it like this: “Our team is happy to be able to say that we do not ride for Brian this year, but rather with him.”
Written by: Lori Murray