Since 2009, bike riders have gathered in Columbus to raise money to fight cancer through a charity ride called Pelotonia. The charity ride was launched in response to dramatic government cutbacks in cancer research, Since inception, Pelotonia has raised over $52 million, all of which goes straight to cancer research (all of the operating costs of the charity are covered by sponsors).
I have lost a number of uncles and aunts to cancer over the years including my Aunt Jean who passed away after two long battles with the disease. After a bit of soul searching I decided to ride in my first Pelotonia last year. Training for the 50 mile ride was arduous as I wasn’t in shape and hadn’t been on a bike for over 5 years but it was worth it if the money I helped raise would prevent someone else from losing a close family member.
Late last month
we brought you the story about how Piranha Games had created a special Mech
in MechWarrior Online
for Sarah Parries. Sarah was the daughter of a fan of the game who passed away from brain cancer earlier this year. The charity event has raised over $96,000 for charity research and is still going strong.
While out on a training ride a few weeks ago I had a moment of inspiration. What if I could somehow honor Sarah during my Peletonia ride by somehow including elements of Sarah’s mech on my bike. While a good idea I thought that the Pelotonia folks might not appreciate giant mech cosplay at their event. Then I noticed all of the custom artwork on the legs of Sarah’s mech and thought that might be the best direction to go.
I reached out to a press contact with the request and I was lucky enough to get digital copies of some of the artwork from the game. I then tweaked and sized the images, sent them to Zazzle for printing, and waited them show up in my mailbox. After that t was a matter of cutting them out (with some help from my patient girlfriend who has much steadier hands than I did) and then apply them to my bike.
Below is the final result and while it lacks many of the amenities of the mech it is based on (my max speed is only about 20mph and I have to make the “pew pew” noises manually). It's not perfect but I hope it’s enough to honor Sarah's memory when I ride this Saturday.
Here are a few links in case you want to show your financial support: