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The Midnight Train from Georgia Is Right on Track

The Midnight Train from Georgia Is Right on Track

It’s about 600 miles from Athens, Georgia to Columbus; A lengthy and somewhat arduous trip through Tennessee, Kentucky and half of Ohio, right?

Not so much – or far – for Noble Jones and the Midnight Train From Georgia. They’re a small, but mighty, motivated – and growing – Peloton full of local connections and reasons to ride, and they can’t wait for their annual trip to Columbus for Pelotonia weekend.

“It’s one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever been part of,” said Noble, an Ohio native.

Noble’s time with Pelotonia first began in 2012, the first year we finished at Kenyon College in Gambier. Noble and his wife, Erin Ciarimboli, worked at Kenyon – and were first-time Lead Volunteers.

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“Nobody at Kenyon had a sense of the scope of Pelotonia,” Noble said.

Until we got there.

“It was so impactful and moving, it blew us away and we knew we wanted to ride,” said Noble, who lost an aunt and cousin to cancer during a difficult six-month period.

Skip ahead, to early 2015, and Noble and Erin are pursuing PhDs in higher education administration at the University of Georgia, and decide it’s time to ride in Pelotonia. Think of them as Pelotonia’s Georgia Division of Grassroots Riding, Recruiting, and of course Fundraising.

Noble worked in the admission office at UGA, with Charlie Carabello “an amazing cyclist and a cancer survivor.” Charlie was in.

Their friend, Henry Oddi, who lost his mom to breast cancer, joined the team. And so did Adrienne Amador. “We worked together at Kenyon and Adrienne has a master’s degree from Ohio State,” Noble said.

This was the start of the Midnight Train From Georgia, and the founding members who rode in 2015. But in spirit of true grassroots recruitment, they needed a few more on board.

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Amy Heath is a Columbus native and cancer survivor who earned her PhD at Ohio State, and is a faculty member at UGA. She saw Erin walking across campus carrying a Pelotonia poster. “Amy chased Erin down and they connected and Amy will ride with us this year,” Noble said. “The arrows on the poster did it.”

The Train is up to eight Riders and one Virtual Rider.

They are active on social media and use it as a tool to spread the message of Pelotonia, explain why they ride and to fundraise. In addition to their Pelotonia profile pages and many posts on Twitter and Facebook, they tell their stories on medium.com.

“We have a team story and we each have individual stories,” Noble explained. “Medium has become our place to share our thoughts and reflections about why we ride and update the people who have donated to us us and the people we believe will donate.”

Noble recently posted a story titled Why I Decided to Cycle 180 Miles and Charlie’s wrote How The Hell Did I Get Cancer?

“It’s so important to share what we’re doing,” Noble said. “When I put up a new post, I call my Mom and ask her to put it on Facebook. Her friends will read it and say, ‘What is Pelotonia and how can I support Noble?’”

Noble was a bit nervous about riding in his first Pelotonia in 2015, worried he may have oversold the experience to his teammates.

“We didn’t want it to fall short of Charlie’s expectations, we didn’t want the experience to let him down,” he said. “I think it’s safe to say it didn’t, and Pelotonia was such a powerful and moving experience and so therapeutic.”

The Midnight Train from Georgia shows no signs of slowing down. Keep your eyes peeled for them during Pelotonia weekend. And if you can’t wait that long (we don’t blame you) follow along on Twitter: @Carabello14@BNobleJones@GeorgiaMidnight, @A_A_Amador311, and @ebciar

Steve Wartenberg ThumnailSteve Wartenberg is a journalist, cyclist and longtime Pelotonia Rider. Steve is one of just a handful who have pedalled every mile of every Pelotonia.  This year he is going above and beyond his fundraising efforts as a High Roller! steve.wartenberg@gmail.com

 

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