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Thursday, June 2, 2011

New rule bars kid riders from Pelotonia [Dispatch]


Thursday, June 2, 2011  03:10 AM

Sam Ferrell, 11, of Upper Arlington, helped to raise more than $4,000 for last year's tour, even taking Pelotonia donations in lieu of birthday gifts.
ERIC ALBRECHT | DISPATCH
Sam Ferrell, 11, of Upper Arlington, helped to raise more than $4,000 for last year's tour, even taking Pelotonia donations in lieu of birthday gifts.
Sam Ferrell considers himself to be as skilled and safe a rider as the grownups, especially riding alongside his father. And he has trained and sacrificed to raise thousands of dollars for cancer research.
But the 11-year-old has been told by Pelotonia officials that he's not welcome to again participate in its Columbus-to-Athens bicycle tour.
Riders now must be at least 14, and those younger than 16 will have to stop in Groveport (23 miles) or the halfway point in Amanda (43 miles).
The change in the event's third year is intended to balance safety with a growing adult participation and relatively few younger riders, organizers say.
"Our ride has expanded so much faster than we expected ... and the under-15 (segment) is such a small percentage," said Jessica Kinman, Pelotonia spokeswoman. "Of course it's safety ... it's just adjusting and doing things the best we can."
Fewer than 50 riders in previous rides were younger than 14, she said.

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