Thank You!

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The success of 2014 Pedal the Cause was unparalleled! #teamBPW and the honor wall

And it’s all because of you. Your strength, determination, and tireless fundraising efforts propelled us yet another huge step forward toward our goal: a world without cancer.

This year we have doubled our numbers, both in ridership and in monies raised. We are now on track to fund $1,000,000 of innovative and life-saving cancer research that will stay here in San Diego.

Last year, Pedal the Cause funded five important research grants to our local C3, the collaboration between UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, Sanford-Burnham, and the Salk Institute. Those projects have already turned up new discoveries in drug therapies, new options for personalized treatments that will go into clinical trials this year, and most importantly, new ideas and new questions to ask. It’s right where we want to be.

Bike overhead

Thank you to each and every one of our riders, volunteers, supports, family members, and friends. Your involvement with Pedal the Cause will continue to serve as an inspiration to thousands of individuals and corporations who chose to support you in the fight against cancer.


Riding for Dollars (Or, How To Make Fundraising Fun)

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Team Sanford-Burnham rider Ryon Graf has been cycling for years. He joined Pedal the Cause in 2013 because of his personal connection to cancer. But even for him, fundraising didn’t come easy. “I admit I’ve always felt a little awkward asking people for donations, so for this year I thought about doing some sort of fundraiser.”

Ryon Graf Epic Sciences

Instead of the traditional ask, Ryon came up with a pledge-based event. “I was inspired to do something to honor the stamina of cancer patients and the uphill battle they face, so I decided to do an uphill ‘battle’ and see how many times I could go up Torrey Pines Grade in 5 hours.”

That’s right – Ryon pledged to cycle up and downTorrey Pines as many times as possible, and his colleagues at Epic Science pledged between $1 and $5 dollars for each hill climb. Epic Sciences is an oncology diagnostics company with a written ethos centered on cancer patients. After getting over their initial surprise at the idea, the concept resonated.

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Who Is Riding: Gary Johnston, Team Bike for the Big Guy

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David Johnston was 6’5”, so naturally his nickname was “Big Guy.” But it was his always-positive attitude that his family remembers, especially during David’s short and intense battle with colon cancer.

David and Gary

David and Gary

“Dad was never really bitter. He kept telling us you can’t look back, you have to look forward,” said his son, Gary, captain of Team Bike for the Big Guy.

When David lost his battle in May, his wife Susan and their two boys were surrounded by support from their friends and extended family. They were looking for a way to channel that support and remember David in the spirit of his positive outlook.

As a UCSD student, Gary heard about Pedal and decided to sign up. “I didn’t really know what to expect, but I posted it on Facebook and it was really neat to see how many people want to help and support.”

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Team Duane Morris: Coming Together for a Cause

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Last year, Barbara Murray was a breast cancer patient at Moores Cancer Center and cheered on her husband as he rode the Pedal the Cause two-day course. This year, Barbara is joining Brion on the road as the captain for Team Duane Morris LLP. “I am so proud of the firm’s involvement in Pedal the Cause!”  Not only is Duane Morris a sponsor of Pedal the Cause, but the firm has a team of 12 riders and 11 volunteers so far. The riders have committed to riding 1450 miles and raising $15,000. Duane Morris volunteers will be manning the first aid station on Saturday’s two-day ride.

Team Duane Morris

Together, the Duane Morris riders and volunteers are helping make a big impact on local cancer research. “The entire office is unified behind the cause,” adds Barbara. “Our team consists of partners, special counsel, associates, legal assistants, marketing personnel, records personnel, the office manager, and a few spouses. It’s amazing to see everyone come together.” The firm hosted a reception to raise funds and awareness for the cause.

To help each other train, the team has organized several rides, including taking the train from Solana Beach to San Juan Capistrano and biking the 50 miles back.

It’s not just Barbara’s experience as a Moores Cancer Center patient that is driving the team. Every member has a reason for joining.

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How to fundraise? Just tell your story.

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Thank you for joining Pedal the Cause and for working towards a world without cancer! Event weekend is just seven weeks away, but fundraising is open until October 31st.

While fundraising doesn’t come naturally to everyone, all it takes is telling your story and talking to people about why you are riding. You might be surprised by how many people have been touched by cancer and who are excited to support you.

You joined Pedal for a reason – a strong one, given what you have committed to – and Pedal the Cause Launch Event 2014people you speak with will appreciate that. Whether that reason is because someone close to you was or is battling cancer, or because you wanted a personal challenge while supporting a good cause, talk to people you know and people you meet about your reason for joining Pedal.

As UCSD Triton Commuters team member Lisa Rivera said, “So many people have been affected by cancer and I think they are more than willing to help you out.”

Pedal the Cause is possible because of those conversations you have with people, because of the emails you send, because of your efforts to raise support for local cancer research.

Fundraising ToolkitTo help you get started and keep going, this year we’ve create a Fundraising Toolkit, full of materials to help you talk to people about why you joined Pedal.

Remember, perseverance is key! People are busy and need to be reminded every few weeks about what an amazing event you are participating in and what a great cause this is. You might be surprised at who donates, and it all starts with a simple ask.

Check out some easy and fun ways to meet or exceed your goal after the jump.

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Sanford-Burnham Hosts Pedal the Cause Forum

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Dr. Bob Abraham, PfizerLast week, Sanford-Burnham opened its doors to the Pedal community and hosted our third Forum, focusing on drug development and discovery. The event was a huge success, with dozens of Pedal riders mingling and learning from two major names is science and pharmaceuticals, Sanford-Burnham’s Dr. Garth Powis and Pfizer’s Dr. Bob Abraham.

Read more about the event from the Sanford-Burnham blog below, and check out photos on our Facebook page.

Thanks to everyone who joined us!


SB Forum Dr. PowisFrom Sanford-Burnham’s Beaker: Pedal the Cause San Diego held the third installment of their Forums lecture series at our La Jolla campus Wednesday, July 23. Pedal the Cause Forums are an exciting and understandable TED-like lecture series focused on the future of cancer research, life sciences, health and wellness, and more. Over 40 local biotechnology community members and business leaders from throughout San Diego gathered in Chairmen’s Hall to enjoy delicious canapés and summer cocktails, while mingling with local cancer researchers, Pedal the Cause riders, and Sanford-Burnham supporters.

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Who Is Riding: Lisa Rivera, Team UCSD Triton Commuters

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Lisa and friends

“Cancer has affected me in many ways. I watched many of my close friends struggle with a parent who had cancer, some of who didn’t survive. It was difficult as a young child and at some point I realized just how prevalent cancer has become in our society.”

A rising sophomore at UCSD, Lisa Rivera plans on being a researcher or doctor, inspired in part by her experiences with cancer. Recently her best friend, at only 20 years old, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. “It was terrible to watch her go through surgery and chemo but I am glad to say that just today she announced she is in remission.”

So many people have been affected by cancer and I think they are more than willing to help you out.

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Training for Your Ride


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Training is an important part of Pedal the Cause to make sure you get to the starting line fit, healthy and ready to ride. Especially if you are looking to challenge yourself with a longer course, consistent training is what will get you there.

Training Plans

The Multisports team created training plans specifically for Pedal the Cause riders.
The Multisports team created training plans specifically for Pedal the Cause riders.

To help you get started and stay motivated, every rider has access to training plans created by four of the biggest names in the sport of Ironman. Roch Frey, Paul Huddle, Paula Newby-Fraser and Heather Fuhr have designed these plans specifically for Pedal riders, and they can be access through the online profile.  Paul and Roch are two of the top professional coaches in Ironman triathlon. Paula and Heather are the two most successful Ironman athletes of all time.  So you are in good hands as you train and prepare for the event!

Take a look at the training plans with workout details and find one that’s right for you. All plans offer key points and details to help keep you going. Plus, we have six-week plans starting regularly.

The Training Plans are there to help you be are best prepared as possible, but no matter

Get support for your training with Pedal.
Get support for your training with Pedal.

what, the most important thing is always to RIDE YOUR BIKE! Our Training Plans include workouts both on the bike and strength training. You can tailor them to your experience level and your level of comfort but the theme is still the same: RIDE YOU BIKE! And try to ride it on a hilly route as much as possible. You can very easily train for Pedal the Cause by riding a couple times during the work week and doing a longer ride on the weekends.

If you have any questions as you are training about the programs or tailoring it to your own skill level email our coaches at and they will help you figure out the best way to customize. Remember no question is stupid and they have heard it all!

In addition to the world-class training plans we give all riders, we have training rides that we encourage all riders to come to. This is not the time to be intimidated. We want you to have fun on event weekend and that means being in shape and riding a couple times a week from now until event weekend.


Training Rides

Group training rides are a great way to get comfortable riding your bike.
Group training rides are a great way to get comfortable riding your bike.

Each Training Ride features different course lengths, so you can pick the one that’s best for you. After the ride, mingle with your fellow Pedal-ers over snacks.

Get the full training ride schedule by logging into your rider profile.

We will have distances for every skill level. The different distances are lead by experienced cyclists that know all the roadways and who know how to make everyone feel comfortable on the roads and keep everyone safe.

We have had people come to these events with mountain bikes and tennis shoes on and been able to complete the ride and feel happy and confident while riding. This is really an event for everyone no matter their skill level. You wont feel like it is too slow if you are an experienced rider and you wont feel like you are going to be dropped if you are a newbie.

Plus, you can schedule your own training rides with fellow riders through LinkedIn.


Happy Father’s Day

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Our riders are a diverse group, from world champion cyclists to total beginners; from researchers to lawyer; from kids to grandparents. In honor of Father’s Day, we are highlighting a few of the amazing dads who are part of the Pedal community.

Nathan Chappell is a UC San Diego team and works in the Health Sciences Development department. “Being a fundraising professional is an extremely rewarding career.” It’s even more personal for Nathan and his family, “My wife and I had just started dating when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer just before college. And two years ago, we lost her father to throat cancer.”

Nathan heard about Pedal through work, and decided to make it a family affair. Nathan

Nathan Chappell, Team Health Sciences Hotties and HeroesNathan Chappell, Team Health Sciences Hotties and Heroes

and his son, Toby, are both signed up for the 10-mile ride. “Talking to Toby about fundraising and planning activities together has been a great bonding experience for us and a good growth experience for him.”

Even at just 15 years old, Toby is aware of the danger cancer poses. “He knows his mother is a cancer survivor, and we all still feel the loss of his grandfather. Toby also had a classmate pass away from brain cancer.”

The father-son team is planning joint fundraising activities and training rides. Pedal the Cause is also opening up conversations about philanthropy in general. “Most meaningful part is being able to engage my son and help him with that altruistic feeling of helping others, and showing him my world.”

Nathan and his family will celebrate Father’s Day by spending time together, and maybe even a bike ride.

Team Chodorow has also made Pedal the Cause a family event. The family was shocked when dad Ingram was diagnosed with lung cancer in April 2013. Ingram decided to be treated at Moores, and his sons were there every step of the way. “I was impressed with how much interest they took in the medicine. They spent a log of time reading and learning to try to get an understanding. They were always coming with me to my doctor visits and to help me through the process.”

Chodorow FamilyThe Chodorow brothers also signed up for Pedal the Cause, and poured their energies into training and fundraising. Said Brett, “I trained pretty hard for it; and I loved the ride, it was really challenging. Climbing to Julian was scary for me, but my dad and everyone who is battling cancer can show up for treatment, the ride is the least I can do.”

The whole family was there for Event Weekend, with Ingram and mom Ellen cheering their boys on. Remembers Ellen, “We were at every single aid station last year. We were there in Julian and in the mesa when they came up the hill. It was very emotional for us.”

Added Ingram, “Everyone came together – the riders, volunteers, researchers. It was one big committed family, and it gave us all a tremendous lift.”

Ingram’s treatment at Moores has gone very well, and he’s achieved all of the goals he set

Brett and Ingram Chodorow and Brett's three children

Brett and Ingram Chodorow and Brett’s three children

when he was first diagnosed, including seeing the birth of two more grand kids. “I need more goals now!” said Ingram.

Goal one: Celebrating his birthday and Father’s Day this weekend with three generations of Chodorows.

Goal two: Cheering Team Chodorow on for Pedal the Cause 2014.

Your Work – Five Research Projects Funded by the 2013 Event


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Getting on a bike for the first time can be intimidating. Riding farther than you ever have before can be scary. Asking someone to donate can feel uncomfortable.

Helping to change the way we fight cancer is unforgettable.

Oaklands at the finish lineToday, every moment that you put in pays off. Today, we announced the five research projects that will be funded by your efforts, totally more than $400,000.

Today, we say thank you to everyone who participated in the inaugural Pedal the Cause. You are an integral part of funding collaborative, translational research here in San Diego that could soon be saving lives.

“I am certain that we can make progress toward new treatments for this devastating disease”

The projects were reviewed and approved by an esteemed panel of doctors and scientists on the C3 Grant Review and Approval Committee, chaired by Tony Hunter, Director of Salk Institute Cancer Center. The criteria on which they were evaluated was thorough and rigorous, with an emphasis on collaborative, translational research. Each grant recipient has the potential to make a huge difference in cancer treatment.

At the announcement event, Pedal the Cause executive director Patrick Connor reminded everyone that these grants are why we ride: “We founded Pedal to help fund transformative research with the potential for rapid impact on the way cancer is treated. Each of our five grantees will explore novel approaches to fighting cancer that could make a big difference for patients here in San Diego and around the world.”

Read more about each grant after the jump, and download the one-sheets for more details here.

Today, you made a difference.

Tell your donors what they helped accomplish.

Join us for Pedal the Cause 2014 and keep making your mark in the fight against cancer.

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