A bike ride on Sept. 17 might be a lot of fun, and it would certainly be good for you. It also would be an easy way to raise money for the Cancer Support Center through the annual Pedal for Prostate ride.
For Homewood resident Keith Kebschull, who started Pedal for Prostate three years ago, the ride is a way to take part in one of his life’s passions – cycling – while raising awareness about an all-too-common disease and providing support for its victims.
Pedal for Prostate offers three family-friendly options. A 5-mile ride takes participants through parks in Homewood. A 15-mile version goes through parks in Homewood, Flossmoor and Olympia Fields. A 25-mile ride takes cyclists on a longer course through the area.
All the rides kick off at 10 a.m. at the Aurelio’s parking lot, 18162 Harwood Ave. in Homewood.
Kebschull’s personal story is a key factor behind Pedal for Prostate. In March, 2010, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Kebschull was 45.
“I was lucky to receive an early diagnosis,” he said. He also considers himself fortunate to have an outstanding doctor and good health insurance. Six months after the diagnosis, his prostate was removed during a robotic surgery procedure. He has been cancer-free ever since.
But the illness gave him a new perspective on life. The following spring, Kebschull announced to his wife and son that he wanted to do a century bike ride – they are generally 100 miles – as part of what he saw as a second chance following prostate surgery.
He trained throughout the summer and in October 2011, made his ride between Homewood and the family’s second home in Eau Claire, Mich. It took him nearly eight hours to cover the distance, exactly 101.23 miles.
“After my century ride, I wanted to commit to something even bigger than a personal ride,” he said.
Kebschull began planning for a fundraiser that would benefit the Cancer Support Center (CSC), which is headquartered in Homewood and has provided free services for cancer patients and their families since 1992. The first Pedal for Prostate took place in 2014.
Prostate cancer affects one in six men in the United States, Kebschull said. Early detection is an important, simple means of combating the disease, he said.
The first two Pedal for Prostate events raised $11,000 for the CSC. This year’s goal is $7,500. Kebschull is hoping that 75 riders sign up for this year’s event.
Kebschull said a number of businesses in the Homewood-Flossmoor area have signed on as sponsors of the event. Individual riders can register for $25. Teams of five cyclists can sign up for $100. Participants will receive snacks along the ride, water stops and an event T-shirt, They will also receive an event bag that includes information about prostate cancer and promotional items from sponsors.