The Rider

April 22, 2010

He’s Making a List…

Filed under: Rider Profiles — The Blog @ 6:01 AM



Richard’s father

Cassity’s Dad, father in law, brother in law, and aunt.

Amy’s grandfather and a friend of her family

Rhonda’s mother

Karla’s mother and grandmother

Carl’s grandparents and brother

April’s mom

George’s mother and father

Mike's list provided inspiration when the going got tough - and steep!

These are some of the names on the list Mike Samuelson carried with him during the first Pelotonia ride. He knew some of the people on the list, some are friends and relatives of his friends and relatives. Some of these people are still waging their battle against cancer, others lost their battle, but are far from forgotten – and continue to provide inspiration.

“When I was doing my fund raising last year I started thinking that my family has been relatively cancer free,” Mike said. “But it’s impacted a lot of people and when I asked for donations I asked everyone to tell me your story, so I can be inspired while I’m riding. And that’s how the list started.”

The list grew to more than 30 names – and came in handy at the 60-mile mark of Mike’s 100-mile ride from Columbus to Athens.

This was farther than he had ever ridden – and Mike was riding the 22-year-old, purple Univega Nuovo Sport he received as a high school graduation present. It had been gathering dust in the corner for many years until he started preparing for Pelotonia.

Mike trained with Richard Basile, and the two originally signed up for the 50-mile Pelotonia ride. Shortly before the ride date, they switched to the 100-mile route – and struggled in the Hocking Hills, like so many other riders.

Here's Mike and his training partner, Richard Basile. Can you guess where they work?

“When I got to the 62-mile mark I was done; I was absolutely done, but had to push to the 73-mile mark in Logan for the next rest stop,” Mike said. “What I finally realized was I had ridden the entire distance on water only, and that’s not enough.”

So Mike took a long break and loaded up on food and Gatorade – and pulled out the list. Richard was in better shape and had gone ahead and they made arrangements to meet up in Athens.

“I started thinking about the 32 people I was riding for and that what I was going through was nowhere as hard as what they went through,” Mike said. “I read the list and prayed about the people on it and drank some more Gatorade and kept going.”

There were a few times, up the last few hills, that Mike had to walk, but he kept going.

“I had to finish,” he said – and he did, finally rolling into Athens.

“It was thrilling and very emotional,” said Mike, whose family was in Athens to share the moment with him. “I had been texting a lot of the people (who contributed money and names to his list) from the rest stops and they started texting back saying ‘good job.’”

This year’s list already includes 50-plus names; the names from last year, plus new ones. And it’s still growing.

And speaking of growth, Mike has improved as a rider. He has been putting in the miles and riding with Team Speranza, a group of Peloton riders who meet to train and socialize. It’s led by Dustin Keith.

“It means ‘hope’ in Italian,” Mike said of the team’s name.

Mike grew up in central Ohio and graduated from Ohio University. He works in information technology at Huntington Bank.

“The list is very humbling to me,” he said. “It just made a lot of sense to do and touched a lot of people who donated money.”

10 Things About Mike…

Favorite ride


Dream ride

Coast-to-coast, USA

Current Pelotonia bike

A purple Univega Nuovo Sport

Dream bike

Not sure yet – but it has to be carbon

Favorite movie

Second Hand Lions

Favorite TV show

Seinfeld or The Simpsons

Favorite Book

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Favorite band/singer


Favorite Athlete

Michael Jordan

Favorite post-ride meal

Mom’s lasagna



  1. Heh. I’m loving the helmet hair I sprouted in that picture.

    Great interview, Mike!

    Comment by Richard Basile — April 22, 2010 @ 10:53 AM

  2. Mike – SOOO Proud of you and I can’t wait to ride with you this year! You are going to blow through those miles like they are nothing. Keep Riding!

    Comment by Kris — April 22, 2010 @ 9:33 PM

  3. That is a great story and I’m glad I took time to read it. As we have all been touched by cancer is some way. You and your team are an inspiration. YOU ROCK!

    Comment by Nancy — May 25, 2010 @ 11:16 AM

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