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80-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Trains for Pelotonia

Updated: Monday, July 28 2014, 07:50 PM EDT
80-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Trains for Pelotonia story image
NEWARK (Lu Ann Stoia/Chelsea Spears) -- After seven weeks of radiation and chemo-therapy, Beverly Cote beat throat cancer four years ago. Now, at 80-years-old, Cote is training for Pelotonia.

Cote’s doctor at the James Cancer Hospital asked her to join “Team Buckeye” and their Pelotonia ride, and she never looked back.

Cote is the oldest woman to ride in the charity event. Cote rides an old fashioned Classic Cruiser bicycle, not a 10-speed.

“I just have the plain old bike- my speed, ” Cote said while chuckling. “I do a lot of walking up hills, but it's fun going down.”
Cote said her grandfather rode from New York to San Francisco back in 1897, so she thinks doing 50 miles seems pretty simple.

Cote trains with her two small dogs in baskets on the back of the bike.
“It adds extra weight for me to pump, so when I do the actual ride it makes it feel easier," Cote said.

Pelotonia has about 7,500 riders registered so far for the August 8 and 9 event. They ride for many reasons. Cote said she rides because she knows it was cancer research that saved her life, and now she wants to pay it forward.

Cote said the health benefits of cycling are good, but it also helps her keep her spirits up. Cote’s husband passed away shortly after she finished her cancer treatment.

“You have time to think, look around at the beauty that God has put on this earth. In a car you are going zoom zoom zoom , but on a bicycle you get to see things,” Cote said.

So far Cote has raised about $500 of the $1200 she needs for the ride. Cote is re-purposing jewelry and selling it for donations. Her next display will be at the Jolly Pirate donut shop in Newark on Saturday.

You can donate to Cote or any Pelotonia rider on their website at Cancer Survivor Trains for Pelotonia

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