Local team raises more than $100K in Padres Pedal the Cause

Cyclists gathered for Padres Pedal the Cause in March.
(Ellen Osinski)

A 48-member cyclist team called Cancer Curators raised $111,000 on March 18 for the 10th Padres Pedal the Cause, an annual bike ride that supports collaborative cancer research in San Diego County.

“I was thrilled,” said Ellen Osinski, who lives in Del Mar and served as team captain. “I was very proud to be able to do that. My mom right now is suffering from bone cancer, so it had a lot of meaning to me to participate in this, but to take it from $35,000 to $111,000 was such a feeling of giving back and doing something really good. Especially for cancer, which touches everybody at some point.”

Her team ranked fifth in top fundraising teams for this year’s Padres Pedal the Cause, which starts downtown at Petco Park and has multiple routes that bicyclists of all skill levels can ride. The event, hosted by local nonprofit Curebound, provides a rare occasion for cyclists to ride across the Coronado Bridge without cars. There’s also a 5K walk/run, a “kids challenge,” virtual experience and other components to the event.

More than 3,000 participants in Padres Pedal the Cause raised $2.62 million at this year’s event. Pedal the Cause donates all of its donations from the public to cancer research funding, according to its website. Some of the organizations that have used the money for cancer research projects and clinical trials are Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute.

Osinski added that team members met before the ride at Buonasera New York Pizzeria on Carmel Valley Road in Del Mar, which donated 20% of its proceeds to their fundraising haul.

“I enjoyed it so much, that’s why I was so enthusiastic to do it again this year,” Osinski said. “It’s just such a fun event. It’s a win-win.”

The founders of Pedal the Cause, Rancho Santa Fe residents Bill and Amy Koman, started the day-long fundraiser in St. Louis in 2009. Bill is a two-time lymphoma survivor. When his real estate business expanded west, they started holding events in San Diego.

In a previous interview with the Del Mar Times, Bill Koman reflected on how Pedal the Cause has grown over the years.

“It was more friends and family,” Bill Koman said. “Now we’re seeing a lot of survivors, a lot of major corporations, a lot of companies.”

Registration is open for another Pedal the Cause ride in Chesterfield, Missouri, this fall.

“With 14 years of momentum, we are looking forward to an extraordinary year of community building, creating impact and breaking records,” David Drier, executive director of Pedal the Cause, said in a statement. “We all have a reason to fight for a world without cancer and with so many ways to get involved in Pedal the Cause, there is truly something for everyone. Through the research we are funding at our best-in-class facilities here in St. Louis, we can see the real impact of our dollars in our community and around the world. A world without cancer has never been more in reach.”

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