Thursday, December 31, 2020

Good bye and good riddance

Tom and Mary not riding with the team
I haven't written much on this blog this year. It's difficult to write about training for a destination ride where there is almost no training and no ride. The entire JDRF ride season was cancelled because of the pandemic. While the national staff tried to do virtual events, it just wasn't the same. After raising money to cure type 1 diabetes, one of the biggest parts of the ride is getting to be with dedicated people from across the country. We couldn't do that in 2020. I missed riding with my team mates here in Michigan. I missed seeing Aly and Tara and Lindsay from the national office. I missed Jerry from Jersey, Ian from North Carolina, and Moira and Brock and that guy who dresses up like a pickle. I missed the goosebumps at the starting line and the cheers and beers at the finish line. I missed hiking in a new area on the Friday before the ride and the hall party on Saturday night after the ride. I missed all of it and I am hopeful that 2021 will bring it all back - bigger and better.

Even though the ride was cancelled we still did the fundraising, and that's the most important part. Tom raised $5,225 and Mary raised $2,020. Every one of those dollars will go toward helping find a cure for type 1 diabetes. See you next year and i promise to write more often.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Not a JDRF Ride

We are not happy to not be riding in a JDRF event today.
Today was supposed to be the first ride of the 2020 JDRF ride season. That ride was supposed to be right here in Grand Rapids. But because of the pandemic the entire JDRF ride program was cancelled. It's been disappointing not to be able to get together with our team mates all spring and summer to train and hang out. But today it's even more poignant. Before the plug was pulled on the season, the Grand Rapids ride was on pace to be the largest JDRF ride ever. That would have been quite a feather in the Michigan team's cap. We've been doing this since 2005 in rides across the country. Death Valley. Lake Tahoe. Nashville. Florida. Colorado. And many more. To kick off the 2020 season with a huge ride in our hometown would have been awesome.

We should have been toeing the line with hundreds of cyclists in the blue JDRF jerseys this morning. We should have met up with old friends and gotten motivated at the group dinner last night. Tonight we should be having the celebration dinner and giving out awards. And having the after-the-festivities hall party. Lots of shoulds, that have all been pushed back to next year.

Now here's the important point. The ride was cancelled, but Type 1 diabetes was not cancelled. We still need to raise funds to help find a cure for this disease. If you have donated to our ride in the past we thank you. Even though we are not riding this year we would ask you to still consider a donation. The need is as great as ever and your support is crucial.

Thank you.

365 days until the next JDRF ride.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Ride Location Update

As I mentioned in the last post this is going to be a very strange ride season because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Since then the JDRF national office has decided to cancel all of this year's rides. That means no ride in Grand Rapids this July. While we are saddened by this news we understand that the safety of the riders comes first. JDRF is currently developing a virtual ride program for this year. Here's what we know:
No JDRF in-person events until July 1 at the earliest, which means no training rides for those of us in west Michigan.
There will probably be some kind of Michigan team event later in the summer or early fall, if conditions allow.
While the rides are cancelled the need for fundraising continues.

At one of our team Zoom get togethers recently it was mentioned that, while the rides are cancelled, diabetes has NOT been cancelled. The disease is still out there and affecting our loved ones every day. So while we won't be participating in a destination ride this year, we will keep fundraising, because we need to have a world without diabetes.

If you have donated to our rides in the past we ask you to do so again this year. Please click on this link to donate to Mary. Tom has already reached his fundraising goal so our efforts are to get Mary to $2,000 of donations. Only $1,900 to go.

Thanks for your support over the years and we look forward to whatever this ride season brings.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Riding During Quarantine

This has started off as the strangest ride season in recent memory. Michigan has been on lockdown because the Coronavirus crisis for the past month. That means no team training rides or even getting together for a ride with a couple of other people. I've been solo riding, which is fine, but that's not as much fun as riding with friends.

As of now the Grand Rapids JDRF ride in July is still on the schedule. However, as the crisis develops the ride may get pushed into the fall or cancelled completely. There is no way of knowing, but the national ride folks are on top of the situation and keeping us informed.

Plus, we've had pretty typical April weather in Michigan. Sunny and 60 degrees one day, followed by temperatures in the 30's with snow the next. That definitely impacts the amount of riding I do. Hopefully the whether will even out soon and the virus will abate so that we can start putting in some serious miles.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

2020 Ride Season has begun

16 years ago I was on the board of the West Michigan chapter of JDRF. Our Executive Director walked into a board meeting one day and said "I'm riding in Death Valley this year. Who's riding with me?" And with that the West Michigan (now Michigan) Team was born.

Mary and Tom at the start of the 2019 JDRF Ride in Saratoga Springs
Since 2005, our team has raised over $2,500,000 for type 1 diabetes research. This year we are very excited because the Ride to Cure Diabetes is coming to Grand Rapids. On July 25 over 700 riders decked out in JDRF blue will pedal through some of the most beautiful parts of West Michigan as we raise funds to find a cure for T1D.

Our son Jake was diagnosed with T1D 22 years ago when he was only six years old. We have seen great strides in the treatment of disease, thanks in no small part to the efforts of JDRF. But there still is no cure and that's why we keep riding.