This Red Rider story comes to us from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Red Riders are Tour de Cure® participants who live with diabetes.
Thanks for helping us Stop Diabetes®, Kimberly! You are the reason we ride!
I joined the Tour De Cure for the first time as a Red Rider on May 18, 2013, in Easton, Md. I arrived that morning so excited my stomach was in knots. I really didn’t know what to expect. I had never ridden in an event like this before and I didn’t know anyone there. There were so many people preparing to ride and all I could see was the sea of Red Rider jerseys mounted on bicycles of all sorts.
I approached the white tent labeled “registration” and eagerly handed the very welcoming ladies my donation. I entered as a single Red Rider. You cannot imagine the pride I felt to wear my Red Rider jersey and join the crowd that was preparing for the 10-mile stretch. I had a huge smile on my face and was nearly in tears because I was about to do something so wonderful.
I quickly went through my checklist in my mind: “water bottle – check, protein and sugar snacks – check, sunglasses – check.” The music began to play. Bystanders were cheering as loud as they could, handheld noise makers clanging in full force. A woman on the PA system announced the next group to begin. I quickly gathered my bicycle and joined the group near this huge Tour De Cure starting line.
It was then that my heart really began to sing. There were friends and families supporting one another, adults on recumbent bikes, children on bicycles with training wheels, riders with handicaps on special bicycles made just for them—you name it. And they were ALL there for the same reason: riding to help find a cure for diabetes.
As I rode through the beautiful back roads of Easton, I could see the people riding in the distance for many miles. As I pedaled I kept thinking, “This has to be the coolest thing I have ever done.” My absolute favorite part of the ride was when you pass a fellow Red Rider and you say the words “GO RED RIDER!” I still tear up just thinking about it.
Halfway through the ride we came to a beautiful farm that had delicious and healthy snacks and refreshments. Everyone was so friendly; striking up a conversation with a fellow rider was a joy to behold. As I came to the last stretch of the ride, I noticed that there was a young man in a vehicle taking photos. I happily waved as he passed by.
Then the most amazing thing took place: I could see the Tour De Cure finish line and hear the music and the people cheering. The closer we came to the finish line, the louder the sound became. The overwhelming sense of pride that came over me as I finished was just amazing. I can still hear the ROAR of the crowd as if it were yesterday.
I met so many lovely people that day, enjoyed a nice lunch, watched great entertainment and learned a lot from the vendors that attended the event. I want to thank the American Diabetes Association and the people of Easton for truly making dreams come true.
I am looking forward to riding again!