I got a phone call from a guy (who’s name escapes me) from the ADA headquarters in Longmont, CO to talk to me about the Tour de Cure. This is the usual, “hey you’re a team captain” call. (At least I think that’s what it is. I mean, that’s what I think it is, I did get the same type of call from a guy in CA about a week before that ride.) I told him that my team had fallen apart and that I was riding solo. He said he was sorry and I said that’s ok, “is it ok if I switch to the RED riders?” He said sure, are you a diabetic and I told him the story: I’m a diabetic I was diagnosed when I was 11. I decided this year that I was going to be proactive about having diabetes and trying to get rid of it and thus I was going to ride in a Tour de Cure in every state. He said that was cool, that he’d get me switched to the RED Riders and that he’d see me at the ride.
I have to take a moment to explain the RED Riders to you, it’s monumental to me. I saw the team when I registered and thought that it was way cool, but I also thought I had a team so I registered with my own team. I digress, back to the RED Riders we go.
Mari Ruddy came up with the idea of RED riders, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a better idea when it comes to battling diabetes, I don’t know her personally, I’ve never met her, she’s in CO and I’m here in NM, I’ve not talked to her, but I’m on her team, because she’s onto something BIG!!! and I want to be part of it.
This is what Mari had to say about it on her TdC page:
“I decided to walk my talk, or rather in the case of the Tour de Cure, to ride my talk. This year I’m on the organizing committee and my area is diabetic rider recognition!!! Plus, I want to have the BIGGEST family and friends team… so come one, come all, join the Red Riders…
What does Red Riders mean? Well…
Or, like superheros, together we are wearing our red capes as we sail on our bikes to celebrate the courage it takes to live every day as an athlete or person with diabetes.
And, well, I just like the color red, and as luck would have it, it’s the diabetes “color” much like pink is the breast cancer color. ”
Just as Mari decided to “ride” her talk in the case of the Tour de Cure, I’m following suit. I’m following suit, because yeah, I can ride to help fund the the search for a cure to my disease, but people don’t know when I’m riding that I actually have what we’re all riding for.
Mari told us “If you are a person surviving diabetes, I implore you to ride this year and do everything you can to declare your status, so others on the course and in the wider community have the opportunity to celebrate and be inspired by you… This year, and from here on out, we must be visible and proud. You did not ask for your membership into the diabetic fellowship, but here you are and how you activate your membership is up to you. I ask you to get on your bike and ride strong and sure. The ride itself is the affirmation of your courage and perseverance.“
I’m riding and I will show that I can ride with diabetes and be strong and live life to the fullest. That’s what riding means to me, that meaning is strengthened as I ride as a RED Rider on August 25th in the Longmont, CO Tour de Cure.