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Get In A Little Hill Training Before Pelotonia

Get In A Little Hill Training Before Pelotonia

Andy Scheurer discovered something important during Pelotonia 09, which was his first-ever century ride. And his discovery came a little after the 50-mile mark, which is where the real climbing begins.

“I was feeling pretty good up to that point,” Andy said. “And then we hit Starner Road and I said, ‘what’s this? I’d never seen a hill like this.’”

Here's the Starner Hill climb - and it's steeper than it looks in this photo!

The lesson was: while it’s great to ride a lot of miles in preparation for Pelotonia, which is what Andy did, it’s even better to include some hill climbing in all these miles.

Andy and his fellow Team Speranza riders are hosting a Ride For Hope fundraising ride on Saturday, July 30 that will include climbs up and down the hills of Hocking Hills. It won’t include the Starner Hill climb that is part of Pelotonia, but will include the nearby – and wonderfully named – climb up Snorting Ridge.

I have done both, and Starner and Snorting Ridge are pretty much the same climb, so doing this ride is a great way for first-time 102- and 180-mile Pelotonia riders to prepare for what lies ahead, and for veterans to get in a little hill work less than a month before the big weekend.

“And it’s just such beautiful riding down there,” Andy said.

The ride begins and ends at Cyclist Connection in Canal Winchester, and will include a rest stop. Check out the flier below for more details.

Pelotonia has become a special event for Andy, who was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his kidney when he was in third grade. His kidney was eventually removed.

Andy (L) and Dustin started Team Speranza after Pelotonia 09

“I think because it happened when I was so young, it’s almost like you don’t want it to affect you or to be different from the other kids or be treated like a cancer patient.”

Andy rode a lot as a kid, and rode a mountain bike all through college at Michigan State and in the years after graduation.

In 2008, he bought his first road bike.

“At the time, I think the longest ride I’d ever done was eight or 10 miles around the neighborhood.”

Soon after, he reconnected with old friend Dustin Keith “and we started riding together.”

The determined duo rode Pelotonia 09 together – and started Team Speranza (the Italian word for hope) the next year. The team has grown over the past two years and holds a lot of group training rides and fundraisers, with an emphasis on safety, fun and introducing new riders to cycling and Pelotonia. Dustin and Andy and a few other Team Speranza members have even entered a few races.

Andy said he’s hoping for a turnout of about 200 or more riders at the Ride For Hope next Saturday.

“The idea came from a couple of the guys on the team,” he said. “They wanted to do a team fundraiser and said we’re a cycling group and have a good connection with Cyclist Connection and could host a ride.”

Team Speranza is also hosting a wine tasting fundraiser on July 29. Click here for more details.

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