The Rider

July 15, 2010

Odds and Ends, Olympians and More Michigan Stuff

Filed under: Steve's Stuff — The Blog @ 6:01 AM

This seems to be Michigan week on The Rider. Sorry.

Yesterday, I wrote about Eric Wunderlich, Pelotonia’s director of rider recruitment – and a University of Michigan graduate. I know I’m supposed to write “the school up north” and never write the actual name of the school or state, but I’m from Philadelphia and the only team I hate is the Dallas Cowboys.

Tune in tomorrow to learn the story behind this photo of Lance Armstrong and one of our Pelotonia families, and the Michigan connection

Tomorrow, read about an amazing and inspirational family of dentists from Michigan.

After this, I promise: no more stories about Michigan men and women. Unless, of course, there’s a really interesting Pelotonia-related story about someone from Wolverineland.


Speaking of Eric … he’s one of two Olympians riding in Pelotonia this year. That I know of. Are there any more of you out there? If so, let me know.

Our other Olympian?

Rick Nash, who represented “the country up north” and is now the proud owner of a gold medal. As I’m sure you’ll agree, Pelotonia rider and Blue Jacket star R.J. Umberger should have been on the U.S. team – but that’s a different story.

Rick, if you’re reading this, would you mind bringing your gold medal to the opening ceremonies on Aug. 20 – so everyone can see it, touch it, try it on and get their picture taken with it? It’s probably not a good idea to ride with it on, although, if I had one, that’s what I’d do.


One more Eric-related item: He said the average Pelotonia rider raises about $2,000 – and, of course, every penny goes toward cancer research at Ohio State.

So, we’re at about 3,200 riders right now … which equals $6.4 million. When we get to 4,000 riders … that’s $8 million.

Can we get to 5,000 riders - and $10 million for cancer research?

If we can get to the 5,000-rider mark, which will be difficult, but is possible, that’s $10 million. Ten million bucks! In only our second year of existence. That would be am amazing accomplishment.


Speaking of money … How’s your fundraising going?

I’m a little more than halfway there. In speaking to many of our riders, I’ve noticed the fundraising events are heating up and everyone I talk to is hosting some sort of event. There are wine tastings, pasta dinners, patio parties, yard sales and events at restaurants in which a percentage of your bill is donated to Pelotonia. Riders are offering socks, shirts and stuffed animals as incentives.

And then there’s Darrin Via, who has gone old school when it comes to fundraising for Pelotonia.

Here’s how he does it: “I created flyers and went door to door.  I had not gone door to door since I was a Boy Scout.  But this was much easier.  I did not have to take money on the spot, and I am not the one benefiting from their generosity as in most fundraisers.  I gave a brief introduction to say who I was and what I was doing.  Then I gave them a flier and left them to read it and decide.  At the bottom it gave them directions on how to support my ride.  Sure enough donations came trickling back in.  The fliers were also easy to take around the office and hand out to people I am friends with.


One last thing…

A piece of paper with information on it is a flier … not flyer.

A Flyer is someone who plays for the Philadelphia ice hockey team. Or the University of Dayton.

I don’t mean to pick on Darrin, who hedged his bets by writing it both ways in his e-mail to me. It’s a common mistake that even veteran newspaper reporters often make. I’m probably more aware of it because, as I keep saying, I’m from Philly – and former Philadelphia newspaper reporters get this drilled into our heads by copy editors. I wonder if Dayton grads are equally as touchy on this subject?



  1. What I can say. I am a numbers guy. Spelling has eluded me… and obviously spell check did not help on this one. But thanks Steve for leaving my typo in the post 🙂 I would like to point out flier is spelled correctly more times than it is spelled incorrectly. That is a passing grade.

    The Flyers did make a good playoff run this year. Hossa almost got to watch another team lift the cup.

    Comment by Darrin — July 16, 2010 @ 7:13 AM

  2. I thought the same thing – I’m from south Jersey, and was going to go around correcting everyone that it’s “flier” not “flyer.” Before I did, I looked up the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, and found this:

    Main Entry: fli·er
    Variant(s): also fly·er \ˈflī(-ə)r\
    Function: noun
    Date: 15th century
    1 : one that flies; specifically : airman
    2 : a reckless or speculative venture —usually used in the phrase take a flier
    3 : usually flyer : an advertising circular

    The third one convinced me that either is acceptable…

    Comment by Mike — July 19, 2010 @ 1:58 PM

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