Coast to Coast: Tanny Crane cycles from LA to Boston to raise money for Pelotonia


At the start of May, just south of Los Angeles in sun-soaked Manhattan Beach, Crane Group CEO Tanny Crane will dip the back tire of her bicycle into the surf of the Pacific Ocean. She plans to spend the ensuing seven weeks cycling across America—all 3,400 miles of it, through 15 states—before arriving at Revere Beach in Boston to dip her front tire into the Atlantic Ocean near the end of June. The high-intensity adventure is not just a bucket-list goal: Crane aims to use the opportunity to fight cancer by raising $100,000 for Columbus nonprofit Pelotonia. Here, we talk with her about the journey ahead. 


What sparked the idea to ride your bike coast to coast? 

Years ago, Dan Schoedinger—the husband of a dear friend of mine, Diane Bennett, who was CEO of Action for Children—completed a bike trip coast to coast, raising money for Action for Children. I watched a slideshow of his trip, was completely mesmerized, and put this on my bucket list. After the slideshow, I shared with Dan how proud I was of him and that someday, I wanted to try this amazing adventure. Dan looked in my eyes and said, “Promise me.” So I did. Four years later, he died. And I’ve had it in my head that I promised him. I have to fulfill that promise. Diane firmly believes Dan is watching, so it’s very, very important to her, too.


Who are you going with? 

I’m going with an organization called Big Dream Bike Tours. There will be 28 people, including me, on this adventure. There are 21 men and seven women. Four of us know each other—one is one of my best friends from Chicago, one is a biking friend in Columbus who I know because our daughters are best friends, and another is a big biking friend from Columbus who is also a half Ironman champion.


Are you actually cycling the whole time, or will you bike part of it and be driven during part of it? 

We’re biking it all—3,400 miles in 49 days. There’s a phrase people have about this—EFM. Every—we’ll say fabulous—mile. Last year, of the 21 people that started, 17 made it. I told my husband that if I make it, I’m going to get a tattoo with that mantra.


What’s your longest ride before this?

My longest ride before this is Pelotonia—200 miles in two days. And now we’ll be averaging 80 to 100 miles a day for 49 days. Isn’t that crazy?

How have you trained?

I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of miles early this Spring on a smart trainer in my basement using an app that takes me through routes in places like Switzerland and Italy. And I’ve trained outside when the weather permits. There’s been interval training and distance training.

Where are you sleeping? 

I’m not carrying a sleeping bag! It’s an organized trip, so we’re staying in hotels like Best Western and Holiday Inn Express. As long as I have a bed to sleep in, I’m good.

What are you packing?

They sent us each two small duffel bags, and together those two duffel bags can only weigh 30 pounds. So it’s just a lot of spandex—a lot of bike shorts, jerseys, and socks.

What are you eating?

I’m working on my nutrition, because it’s hard to keep weight on during this kind of endurance experience. The hotels provide breakfast, so I’ll be eating a lot of eggs and some yogurt in the morning. And we’ll have two support vehicles that will provide Gatorade, drinks, and snacks like bananas, apples, protein bars, and peanut butter sandwiches at the 30-mile and 70-mile marks each day. We’ll have dinner out. Then I hear there’s a lot of ice cream consumption at the end of the day.

What will your schedule be like?

We ride from 7:30 am to 2 or 2:30 pm every day. Eat an early dinner at 5. I’ll write my blog and then be in bed by 8 or 9. It’s a very prescriptive day.

Will you have help for flat tires or potential mechanical issues?

We’ve got to be able to change our own flat tires, but we’ll have those two support vehicles and a mechanical van. We each supply them in advance with parts that are specific to our individual bikes—spokes, an extra tire, all kinds of stuff. I’ve heard there are people in the past whose bikes have broken and they’ve had to actually buy new bikes along the way.

Speaking of the actual bike, you named yours C.J. Why?

I’ve been a huge fan of quarterbacks my whole life. My new bike is C.J. Stroud (named for the former Ohio State and current Houston Texans quarterback). I think he is remarkable—and happened to receive the Offensive Rookie of the Year award this past year. My bike is awesome: It’s a Trek Domane SL7, and I love it. He deserved a really special name!

Will you have days off to rest and sightsee?

We have five days off. My husband is meeting me in a few spots like Flagstaff and Santa Fe, as are some friends. My daughter is meeting me at one stop. A few friends are joining us for shorter day-rides along the way, which is awesome. I have a friend in Palm Springs—where we spend one night—so we’re having dinner with him while we’re there. He told me he made reservations at one of his favorite restaurants. I said, “That’s great. We’ll be wearing shorts and flipflops—that’s as fancy as we’re going to be.”

What places are you most excited to see?

I’m excited for every day. I’m really excited and terrified about crossing the Mojave Desert. That’s a 115-mile day, so it’s going to be intense. I’m looking forward to biking up through the canyons of Arizona—Red Rock, Sedona. We’re going to have 4,500 feet of elevation in one day. That will be beautiful. And I’ve never been in the panhandle of Texas, so that will be interesting. We’ve got one day in Oklahoma, where I’ve never been. Then six days going diagonally through Kansas, including Liberal, KS, home of the Wizard of Oz. We’re going to go through 15 states, so I’m really thrilled to be able to see the beauty of every state. We’ll see Springfield, Illinois—the birthplace of Lincoln. And we’ll go through Hudson Valley, New York, and then traverse through the Green and White Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire. That will be tough, but I’m sure it will be gorgeous. I think the only way to manage every day is to just look upon each day as an adventure. 

What else are you looking forward to?

The camaraderie. People say they’ll be different groups depending on pace. It’s just like Pelotonia: I’ve made so many friends riding in Pelotonia, when someone cycles up and makes conversation. So that will be extraordinary. I’m also trying to schedule massages for every day off. And apparently in some of the towns, people rally up and clap you through the town, which is so fun! 

How often are you checking into work?

I’m not going to be checking my email at all. I’ve never been gone this long, of course. But we’ve got such an incredible team, and I fully trust them. It will be seven weeks of self-exploration—a time for self-reflection. I’ve told my executive team to watch out when I’m back. I’m going to have a lot of time to think! (laughing) 

You’re keeping a blog. How can people follow along?

You can follow at I’m going to write every night. It will be quick, but I’ll show pictures, how many miles we biked, elevation, sites we saw along the way. It’s a diary for me, so I’ll always have it. And it will keep my family up to date on where I am. 

In doing this, you’re aiming to raise $100,000 for Pelotonia, a cycling fundraiser based in Columbus, to help fund cancer research. Why are you so passionate about the organization and cause?

I have ridden in Pelotonia for all 15 years. There’s nothing more inspiring than riding alongside someone who is a survivor or who has a loved one who is. And then there are people along the side of the road with signs saying things like, “You saved my wife’s life.” You get to hear story after story of people who have fought these battles. All I can think about is that my pain going up a giant hill is nothing compared to what these amazing individuals have gone through. We all have a story. My dad died of lung cancer at age 70, which is way too young, so I always ride for him. And then every year I add someone else, too. Pelotonia is so simple in its goal: We’re going to end cancer. It’s so powerful. And Pelotonia is making a huge difference.

Pelotonia is making incredible progress in the fight against cancer with the money that you and thousands of others have helped raise. What impresses you about what they’ve achieved?

There’s now a Pelotonia Institute at Ohio State—an actual physical building where research is happening. And they’re making a difference with immunotherapy, with trials that are going on. They’re actually reducing cancer through research, trials, providing grants, and funding scholars. It’s about leaning into one goal. Pelotonia is providing me jerseys for this cross-country adventure, because I want people to ask about it. Hopefully in the Mojave Desert and Kansas and Illinois, we can have remarkable conversations about all that Pelotonia is doing. I’ve never done anything as audacious as riding 80 to 100 miles a day over a long period of time. But it’s back to what I said before—it’s nothing compared to what people fighting cancer are going through. Hopefully this can raise some dollars to help eradicate it.

How can people donate to join the fight?

Visit my Pelotonia donation page. Every dollar matters. And I’m so grateful for each one.