By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor
MOUNT VERNON - When Pelotonia, the annual cycling movement that has raised more than $130 million for cancer research, rolls through Knox County this weekend local law enforcement will be ready. 2,300 cyclists are scheduled to raise funds by riding from New Albany to Gambier on Saturday and 715 for the return trip on Sunday. Those numbers are up from last year.
Pelotonia overall will involve nearly 8,000 riders and 280 pelotons, or groups. Riders can choose to ride 25, 45, 100 or 150 miles during the two day event.
Knox County Sheriff's Office Captain Jay Sheffer says 24 officers from KCSO, MVPD, DPD, and FPD will join with troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol to maintain safety along the Knox County route Saturday and Sunday. Those officers are serving voluntarily and will be paid by Pelotonia. Motorists may encounter stopped traffic to make way for cyclists. Message boards will be in place to give a heads up and intersections will be marked as well.
In Knox County, the route will include Vance, Range Line, Sycamore, Feasel, Murray, Martinsburg, Fry, Hopewell, Glen, Bogardus, Porter, and Laymon Roads, the Kokosing Gap Trail and Duff Street.
Pelotonia riders in 2016 - File photo
Sheffer says regular patrols will be maintained throughout the county during the two days.
Captain Sheffer advises motorists who may be travelling the route to, "Be aware, share the road, and be patient."
The event raises funds for The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). The 2017 Pelotonia Idea Grants Program projects range from evaluating targeted therapies for thyroid cancer and immunotherapy treatment approaches in breast cancer, acute myeloid leukemia and brain tumors to laboratory research aimed at understanding cancer stem cell differentiation in ovarian cancer.