When his wife Wendy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, Midwest Culinary Institute adjunct instructor Andrew Vogel needed a way to stay positive amid trying times. “We were pretty gloomy,” says the normally gregarious Vogel. “The expectation in my house had always been that my marathon-running wife would outlive me.” Three years later, the Vogels found their positive outlet, launching a racing team for the eighth-annual Ride Cincinnati, a bike race that raises money for breast cancer research. Vogel hadn’t dusted off the old 10-speed in years, but he understood that pedaling up a hill would be nothing compared the battle his wife faced. “No matter how much this hurts,” he says, “cancer is worse.” The couple enlisted more than 20 local culinary comrades to ride on team Chefs Against Cancer, including Jean-Robert de Cavel; Arik Messerschmidt, executive chef at Jeff Ruby’s Precinct; and Sean Curran from Hyde Park Country Club. Some participants rode as few as eight miles while veteran riders—like Jean-Philippe Solnom of French Crust Café—easily completed the 62.8-mile trek from Sawyer Point to Foster, Kentucky, and back. This year’s ride takes place on June 14, and Vogel has big plans: Namely, conquering the entire course for the first time. ridecincinnati.org/team/chefs
Originally published in the May 2015 issue.