April 18, 2017 Marks the 100 Day Countdown to the Pan Ohio Hope Ride! Over the course of the 100 days leading up to the 2017 POHR Ride we will be spotlighting our Inaugural Riders/Volunteers that have pioneered the way for the Pan Ohio Hope Ride. These stories were collected for the 10th anniversary in 2016 and we wanted to spotlight them again!
Inaugural Riders/Volunteer Spotlights:
Dodi Bachtel - POHR Inaugural Rider 2007-2016
Why did you
originally join the POHR?
I was doing spinning classes only until my co-worker, Trish
Archer, who was very much involved with the ACS, told me about the ride that
Kathleen Bond was organizing and she thought it would be a good idea if I would
ride. At that time, I didn’t even have a bike let alone try to ride 328 miles.
So I talked another spinner, Christine Guthrie, into doing the ride as well. So
we bought road bikes and four months later did our first POHR.
Why have you
continued to support the POHR?
I think it is an amazing cause. When I first started the
ride ten years ago I was fortunate not to have been affected personally by this
horrible disease. It was heartbreaking to hear other’s stories about how cancer
had affected them and their families. It was encouraging to hear stories of
survivor’s and to even have them involved in the ride. But sadly over the years
of riding, my family has had members who have survived and others who have not.
What is your favorite
memory of POHR?
There have been so many great memories over the years. I
have been thankful to have been able to ride with amazing friends that have
really supported me at times when I thought I couldn’t ride another mile. I
have been lucky to have one of my daughters involved as a volunteer. I look
forward to meeting new riders and of course I love being able to see Jim Bond
out on his bike. What an encouragement for all of us to keep riding.
Who do you ride for?
Every year I try to ride in honor or in memory of someone.
But this year the ride will have special meaning to me. I will be riding in
memory of my brother, Donald, who passed away in January 2016.
What is the biggest
piece of advice for riders preparing to Ride?
For me it is saddle time! You need to put the miles in to
get ready. It doesn’t have to be century rides but as many miles as you can to
What is your biggest
piece of advice for riders preparing to fundraise?
Tell everyone you know what you are doing. Ask everyone you
know. Check with local organizations to see if they sponsor any events that
you to raise money for your cause. This year Christine and I were
involved with our local Harley-Davidson store. They were great to work with and
donated to every charity that was involved. So just ASK!
How would you rate
your overall experience with this ride compared to other organized rides?
This ride is by far the most organized and supported ride I
have done. Where else can you be provided with the options of gluten-free and
vegetarian meals? That is going well above what is expected. But that’s the
POHR. They truly appreciate each and every one that rides and wants to make it
a great experience. We have certainly come a long way since our inaugural ride
ten years ago.
What is your favorite
part of the ride?
I can tell you it is not day three. LOL. I love riding with
old friends and making new ones alone the way. I am still friends with the few
that still ride from ten years ago. It is great catching up with them and
riding a few miles or so together. It is always a great photo stop at the train
station for a group picture. I think I have a picture from that train for every
year that we have taken the Kokosing Gap trail.
What was your
funniest moment on our ride?
There have been so many great times and moments on this
ride. But without embarrassing a fellow rider and dear friend I would have to
say that it involved a few drinks at the Rusty Bag of Nails and a dumpster. And
of course a local on his bike that started the whole thing.
Do you have anything
else that you would like to share?
Just give this ride a try. It is truly amazing. Don’t let
the miles overwhelm you. Kathleen bond is so wonderful to work with. She is
always there to help or give you an encouraging word or a lift up county road
six. And Dennis Hoffer will ride with you at any time. He knows every mile,
hill, and turn of this ride. It’s crazy but he always knows if we are going to
have a head wind or a tail wind on any given day. (How does he do that?) He has
put so many miles on his bike that it would blow your mind. He has been
everywhere riding. Paul Purdy is a god-send. If there is anything you need or
want he will make it happen. If you have questions he has the answer- no matter
how many times you need to ask “How do I print the form for offline
donations?”. All the volunteers- they are always there to cheer you on or
welcome you when you finally get to the end each and every day. And where would
we be without the guys from Bike Source. They are there to change a flat tire,
air up your tires, or if you forgot a biking item that you need-don’t worry you
can be certain they have it on their trucks. It can be a challenging ride, but
not even a drop in a bucket compared to what cancer patients have to go
through. So just have fun, enjoy each and every mile. It is beautiful
countryside. Take your time and enjoy it. This is not a race it is a ride-one
that you are so appreciated for by everyone for doing it. You can be certain
that all your hard work and efforts are going to be put to good use. And that
is why I ride!
Jim Bond Jr. - POHR Inaugural Rider 2007- 2017
Why did you join the
1. After learning of my mom's plans to launch this ride, I wholeheartedly
encouraged her to chase down this dream. I couldn't back out once it was a
2. An obsession for discovering new adventures -- especially
those tied to causes that help so many.
3. I ride bikes all the time but had never done any
long-distance cycling so I wanted to challenge myself
Why have you
continued to support POHR:
1. The riders, volunteers, supporters inspire me. The "POHR Family" is powerful.
2. Knowing that each pedal stroke directly helps those
fighting cancer via programs like Hope Lodge thanks to the amazing fundraising
efforts of all the riders.
3. Getting to meet cancer survivors and those riding in
honor of loved ones lost and hearing their stories
What is your favorite
memory of POHR:
Too many to count but here's a few....
- Missing a well-marked turn on the route in 2011
and being chased down by a random POHR'er on day 4 who basically sprinted 2
miles to catch me and ride w/ me back to the route. He bombed down a massive hill to get me
knowing he'd have to climb it again. A
testament to the selfless types of individuals this ride tends to attract. (*Yes, I wish I could remember his
- Being hugged by a tearful mom at a kickoff
dinner who thanked me for "saving our family." She then explained that until learning about
Hope Lodge she was out of options as they couldn't spend $1k/wk on hotels to be
there for their 22-yr old daughter's treatment at the Cleveland Clinic. They started making 3+ hr drives nightly
back home until someone told them about HL.
(postscript: I hope she kicked cancer's butt!!)
- Watching my dad (23 yr cancer survivor) cross
the finish line every year.
- The appearance of PAN OHIO YETI on the 2014
- 2012: Assembling my bike outside baggage claim
at CLE airport and riding 20 miles to Hope Lodge for kickoff dinner.
- The look on Tom Bonda's face after most of my
stories. (see above)
- Riding with the guy who was pulling 40 lbs. of
weight on a carriage attached to his mountain bike all four days. ANIMAL !!
- Learning about unexplained/extraterrestrial
late-night radio chatter with the shortwave radio crew at Springfield Buffalo
- Seeing my mom in her SAG vehicle appear
seemingly out of nowhere at just about every big intersection/rest
stop/roadside turn-off. She clones
herself somehow during POHR!
Miss Ohio belting out the national
anthem prior to the start line in 2009. (check youtube)
- Stopping to have my bike washed by a Dublin HS
girls volleyball team fundraiser at a random gas station and stirring all kinds
of interest from their parents and random passers-by around POHR.
Who do you ride for?
The survivors, cancer fighters and supporters and all those who
lost their battles.
Advice for Riders:
Find a bike seat that you really really like
Let everyone know NOW about your plans and make it clear WHY you're
participating. Have a personal story
about why this so meaningful to YOU.
Awareness of American Cancer Society is high but programs
like Hope Lodge
What sets POHR apart:
Camaraderie on this one is unmatched. I rode RAGBRAI last year for the first time
and ran into a Pennsylvania Hope Ride participant who was ecstatic to meet a
fellow ACS rider. We shared stories and
Favorite part of the
The ride out of Wooster through Amish country on day 2.
Funniest moment on the ride:
Watching Tom Decker run around in a faux-fur grizzly bear
Rider: Dennis Hoffer
POHR Founding Co-Chair & 2007 - 2017 Rider
Why do you ride?
The ride has become a part of my DNA. Seeing the camaraderie,
chemistry and results of the ride make me proud.
I ride in hopes that others will not have to experience the
devastating feeling you get when you hear that you or a loved one have
cancer. That feeling of anger and
hopelessness that comes over you when you hear the " C" word.
Favorite POHR Memory:
Looking back on the different routes and the number of riders who have become
friends. My proudest achievement is that
Jim Bond was able to get the fourth cancer treatment due to his participation
in Pan Ohio. There are so many riders
who were never riders before Pan Ohio. This ride has made a decided impact on
those riders beyond just riding a bike and becoming more fit.
Not forgetting the impact of the donations to ACS. Also look at the people who now know about
Hope Lodge that never knew about these facilities before Pan Ohio Hope
Ride. The impact of Pan Ohio Hope Ride
is extending way beyond my imagination when Kathleen and I started talking
about doing the Hope Lodge to Hope Lodge ride.
Advice to new Riders:
You should ride as frequently as you can even if they are short
rides of one hour or about 20 miles.
Then do two or three longer 50 to 60 mile rides before Pan Ohio. If your total mileage before the ride in July
equals or exceeds the 328 mile distance for the ride, you will be ready. Also regular spin classes are an excellent
way to build stamina and strength. But
nothing beats actually getting out and riding to prepare you for Pan Ohio.
Advice on Fundraising:
The most powerful word in the English language only has three letters. ASK!
What sets POHR apart?
This ride has a charisma and chemistry (feeling,) like no other
ride in which I have participated. Our
riders are treated the best. Our volunteers go over the top to see that the
riders are taken care of properly.
Everyone truly cares about the other riders and I do not know how that
came about but it is awesome. No matter
how challenging the ride can be, everyone knows that having cancer is more
Favorite Part of the Ride:
The group ride into the end of the ride on the final day. I have seen cancer survivors break down and
cry on seeing the finish line. There is
a sense of euphoria and accomplishment that is immense every year. That makes me very proud to be a part of this
Most interesting memory of
In recruiting, I told a potential rider that even a blind rider could
make the ride. Immediately I was challenged on that point and I swore that it
had happened. The potential rider told
me that it was not possible and I said bet me. The result was that the rider
had to ride or make a donation if I won.
That donation was called out when Chuck Coleman who was blind rode a
tandem with his daughter, Catie, in the navigation seat in 2010!
I have a framed jersey from year one that was signed by almost every rider that
first year. Everyone signed it at the
end of day three at Antioch College in Yellow Springs that first year.
Rider: Alan Weinstein
POHR Participant 2007 - 2016
The decision to sign up for my tenth Pan Ohio Hope Ride was an easy one. (Yep, that’s right, it will be my tenth year riding. I’ve covered thousands of miles and am still using the same bike!)
Once again, I’m riding the full four days – 300+ miles – in memory of my children’s grandmothers, who were such a special part of their lives, and in honor of my niece, Maya, a childhood cancer survivor and an amazing young woman.
In 2006, I lost my mother, Faith Weinstein, to pancreatic cancer. She was in her early sixties, living a full and loving life. Then, in 2008, my cousin Maya, who was only two, was diagnosed with kidney cancer. She went into remission, but in January 2015, she was diagnosed with an unrelated cancer, Ewing sarcoma, which is affecting her pancreas and surrounding organs. Despite being faced with a difficult diagnosis, Maya, now 11, has remained upbeat, optimistic, and extremely focused. This year, she’ll be honored as the Lemonade Stand Host of the Year for raising over $250,000 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.Foundation.
Ten years ago, faced with such losses and challenges, I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I wanted to do something to fight back and support families with similar experiences. The Pan Ohio Hope Ride has provided me with the perfect vehicle – literally – to do just that.
I have always been an enthusiastic recreational cyclist. When I read about the American Cancer Society’s first Pan Ohio Hope Ride, I knew it was for me. While that first year was quite a personal challenge, the ride was extremely well organized and the volunteer support was overwhelming. I knew I would need to join the event each and every year.
I challenged myself to raise more funds and start training to complete the Second Annual (and every other annual!) Pan Ohio Hope Ride. I worked hard enduring an injured elbow, sore legs and butt, grit and bugs on my teeth and body, flat tires, rain, cold, wet socks and shoes, sweltering heat, and near encounters with cars, trucks, deer, snakes, and even other bikers. I regret none of these experiences. I have met the most wonderful people over the past nine years, seen the sun rise many times while climbing aboard my bike on chilly mornings, watched the mist waft across the corn fields in the early morning hours, and felt the wind as I raced down a steep hill in hopes of gaining an advantage for the next climb.
I have raised over $35,000 to help the Society save lives from cancer and hope to add to my total this year. I feel privileged to a be part of this ride, and look forward to being among such a diverse and wonderful group of people, many of whom are dedicating their ride to family members touched by cancer. Pictures of loved one adorn bikes and jerseys, as a constant reminder of why we are riding.
Each year, we start as individual riders, but the joy of this event is that we end as a unified force of cyclists pedaling to make the road smoother for cancer patients and their families. With determination, sacrifice, and commitment, together we are making a difference. I look forward to having you by my side, as we ride across the state for the American Cancer Society.
Questions? Contact Scott Darbyshire firstname.lastname@example.org(888) 227-6446 ext 4219or view Online Help