Columbus' tech community is popular on Pelotonia's roster

Cynthia Bent Findlay
For Columbus CEO
Mark Harris with a team of bikers.

In the annual summer run-up to August’s Pelotonia cycling event, you can find a sizeable percentage of the Columbus tech community out on the road on two wheels.

Mark Harris, CTO of Aware, is one. He bike-commuted to work in Seattle, and upon moving back to Columbus saw signs for the first Pelotonia. He’s since ridden in all 13 years of the event.

Tech riders aren’t the only industry group–Pelotonia’s roster reflects a who’s who in Columbus law firms, too, for example.

But there are at least 15 teams representing the tech community, with 323 riders on those teams. Root Insurance, Alliance Data, Accenture, Bold Penguin, Genentech–they’re all out there. And many teams from other firms are composed of area tech workers–often CTOs on down.

That’s the case for Harris’ team—he rides for the Simply Community peloton. “I think it’s a combination of things,” Harris says. “For one, everyone has your Garmin, Strava can report metrics on speed and heart rate, elevation, some people even have power meters in the pedals to measure force. It’s a bunch of geeky tech stuff that sort of appeals to a group of us.”

For another, as Covail’s Ben Blanquera says, “Cycling is the new golf.” Blanquera participates in a couple of fundraiser rides, including Pelotonia and the Pan Ohio Hope Ride, on a mostly tech team called Vaco/T-Cetra.

“It’s especially great for those of us trying to stay fit, see the countryside and discover some hidden gem restaurants,” Blanquera says.

Cynthia Bent Findlay is a freelance writer.