Riding with Diabetes
Red Riders are children and adults who personally live with any type of diabetes - type 1, type 2, gestational - you're all part of our community. If you are a Red Rider, YOU are the reason we ride and raise funds through the Tour de Cure. Red Riders are the heroes of Tour!
If you have diabetes and register for the St.Louis Tour…
YOU are automatically a RED RIDER!
YOU are the reason we ride!
YOU are not alone!
YOU are going to feel so special on the day of the event as everyone cheers specifically for YOU!
The Tour de Cure recognizes riders with diabetes as the HEROES OF THE DAY during the event. With hundreds of riders who may share a similar story, and hundreds more to support you, being a Red Rider can help with your first mile or your millionth—in your fight to live a healthier life. Riding your bike is a great way to stay in shape!
All you need to do to be recognized as a Red Rider is register for the Tour de Cure as a Red Rider (on the first page of the registration screen). Just click the REGISTER button at the top of the screen to get started. You will receive special recognition at the Tour, and you'll be so glad you decided to ride! GO RED RIDER!
This is My Story!
Diabetes has been front and center in my immediate family since 1993. Without known family history, my brother Matt was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of that year at the age of 16. My diagnosis came 10 years later on March 20, 2003
My diagnosis story:
I had not been feeling well for a few weeks prior to my diagnosis. I was sick to my stomach, exhausted, extremely thirsty and hungry, plus I was using the restroom constantly. Initially, my doctor dismissed my symptoms as a stomach virus. On the evening of March 20, 2013 my brother and I were both having dinner at my mother’s house. I described my symptoms to them. They looked at each other and Matt insisted on using an old meter, just to check. The meter read 495 mg/dL. I couldn’t believe it. There was no way that this could be correct, it must be an error. So, we did it again—545 mg/dL. Fears were confirmed in my doctor’s office the next morning. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 30. I was in disbelief. I thought you couldn’t develop what was once known as “juvenile” diabetes as an adult. Just like that, my life as I knew it had completely changed. I am very fortunate that family members recognized my symptoms before anything serious happened. Since my diagnosis, I have met many others diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in adulthood.
Tour de Cure and Cycling:
Shortly before my diagnosis I had committed to riding the 2003 St. Louis Tour de Cure as well as another charity cycling event, a two day event covering 150 miles later in the summer. As a beginning cyclist, I knew it would be a challenge before diabetes entered the picture, but now I had to deal with balancing blood sugar levels, insulin, and food with my exercise! How would I do this??? My endocrinologist at the time advised against any long rides. It was a challenge, but I did it. During the first year of cycling, I did the short Tour de Cure Route (20 miles) and completed most of the two-day cycling event later that summer. Since that first year, I’ve logged thousands of miles. Sometimes balancing blood sugar, food, and insulin is a challenge—I’d be lying if I said it is always easy. Insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors make a world of difference when it comes to activity. I find cycling to be one of the very best forms of exercise in keeping my HbA1C in acceptable range. I’m not the fastest rider out there, but I enjoy my time out there (except for the really big hills).
2017 will be my 15th Tour de Cure. My brother Matt participated in Tour de Cure for the first time in 2016, and he will be riding again this year. Not only do I ride, I participate on the planning committee for the St. Louis Tour de Cure event. Tour de Cure is my favorite cycling event of the year for so many reasons. The fact that Tour de Cure helps raise funds for the American Diabetes Association is an obvious one.
Since the start of the Red Rider Program Tour de Cure has become a true celebration for those of us living with diabetes. I love the camaraderie between Red Riders along the route. I love hearing “Go Red Rider” from other riders along the way. Being a Red Rider shows everyone around us that having diabetes doesn’t stop us from being active and healthy. Being a Red Rider means that we not alone in our fight to manage this disease every day of our lives. Many dear friendships have started for me with Tour de Cure – if not for diabetes, I would have never met these people. Rather than feeling sorry for ourselves because we live with a chronic, difficult to manage, and very expensive disease, being a Red Rider shows everyone we meet along the way that we are doing something to take charge of our diabetes by being as healthy and active as we can until there is a cure