Never in my life have I really felt the need to just get up and do something. Of course, I have never quite felt a connection to anyone the way I did to the riders in CO during the Longmont, CO Tour de Cure that I rode in last year (even though I only had moments of conversations with them). Of all the four rides I’ve participated in, I can say with absolute surety that (even though there was that one hill that almost killed me) I most enjoyed my ride in Longmont. I cannot speak enough good stuff about the ride in Longmont, and maybe that’s why I drove up there this past weekend.
Perhaps I should from the beginning. A month or so ago I had received a newsletter from the Colorado Tour de Cure peeps that had mentioned the Expo and how they were looking for riders (especially RED Riders) to come ride on trainers during the expo because we’re the best recruiting team for other people with diabetes. I hadn’t planned on being able to go because it was too close to when I returned home from Orlando. The Denver Diabetes Expo was on Saturday, March 1st and on Thursday (leap day) Feb 29th I came home and pronounced that I was going to Denver. I was just going to do it, it was a 7 hour drive and my bike and I were going. I was going to represent my cause (and meet up with some really cool people that I met last year at the ride or didn’t meet but have been in contact with).
And so I went. I drove up Friday. Got to go to a VIP party Friday night and see important people, like Mari Ruddy, the genius behind the RED Riders. And then Saturday morning I woke up all excited, packed my backpack (did a good job of leaving my primary machine with my spare machine) and off I went to the convention center where I would ride my bike with pride and help recruit riders for the ride this year on August 23rd.
But first I met with Anne and Sara Dirkse of Team Sweet Pea for breakfast (we go way back [almost a year] and I have much to say about them so I won’t dwell on them too long here, they get their own post).
After breakfast we went off to ride, on the trainers, we were rode and rode but got no where fast (but it was still fun). When I came in, Tom asked me if I wanted to ride, and I said sure if he didn’t mind hopping off his trainer (because there were already peeps on all the trainers) he said sure and went straight to work on taking his bike off the trainer and putting mine on. While he did that, I got geared up.
When I got back, Tom had me all set up on the trainer and I was ready to ride. Sara (the Tour de Cure associate director) had a sign made up for me and I got to put it next to my bike and off I went (no where fast).
I hadn’t ridden but 15-20 minutes and I was already sweat’n. I could feel everything in every muscle. Riding at a mile high (even on “flat” ground) wasn’t easy (but I wasn’t going to let anyone know that, it wasn’t important for them to know that the only ride I had done, which happened to be in FL the week prior to this event was the only ride in the last 4 months).
It’s not like I was riding the whole time (my whole 1.25 hrs).
I took breaks:
The most important breaks were to talk to people though. It was cool for them to stop and ask why I was riding. It was cool to hear “well then, you ride for me and my mother” (or a list of other people) when I’d tell them that I ride for me, my family members with diabetes, my friends with diabetes, those I don’t know with diabetes, and those who are yet to be diagnosed with diabetes. It makes me all warm inside to know that instead of whining and complaining that I’m actually doing something to help out and it makes me even warmer inside when I can see how people appreciate what I’m doing and when they can say “you ride for me”. It’s just such a good feeling.
Beverly was my first recruit of the day. She was talking to me and telling me how she needed to ride and so I said “why don’t you sign up, it will give you motivation to get out there and start riding, that way you’ll be ready to ride in August. You can do 12 miles, I have faith in you” and she told me “you know what, you’re right” and she went over and registered and that was cool. At the end of the day she came up to me and thanked me for encouraging her to ride.
My last recruit of the day was Molly (but recruitment started around lunch time when her dad Dan was asking me questions about what I like my target range to be before riding and how I handle my blood sugars while riding). When I met Molly she was on the edge about riding, she wasn’t sure and she had to think about it. Every now and then I’d go over to the Insucozi table and talk to her. On my last trip to the table I told her “you know what Molly, if you’ll ride, I’ll ride with you” and she said ok. She and her dad came over to register at the end of the day.
There was a goal to reach 150 RED Riders by the end of the day and we went over and beyond that.
That was exciting because (and I don’t remember the exact numbers) I know we had over 100 RED Riders during last year’s ride, but we’ve exceeded what we had last year (I believe, I could be wrong).
There is a modpodge of other things that happened, but they either deserve their own post or I’ve already posted about them:
I got my 10 seconds of fame in the news:
I got to meet Joe Eldridge (one of the co-founders of Team Type 1)
I got to spend some time talking with Mari (which if you haven’t caught yet, she’s the brains behind the RED Riders)
Bob, we can’t forget Bob, he’s a really cool guy and fun to hang around (and he played photographer for me as he took some of these photos) and he’s one of the faces of the RED Riders (and Team Sweet Pea traded him for me more on that later, Bob, I had nothing to do with that trade, I promise)