By: Alexandra C. Infanzon
The North Carolina Tour de Cure, hosted by the American Diabetes Association, is in reality much more than your usual bike ride on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
It is my, the community’s, families’, and friends’ opportunity to come together and ride with the common hope that one day there will be a cure for diabetes.
I was very excited on the night before the rides, so excited that I could not fall asleep. The butterflies in my stomach were a sign that I was just hours away from meeting the members of my Team - Team Red, beginning my 10-mile ride with my mother, and joining the hundreds of other cyclists who made a commitment and dedicated their resources to ride in the incredible hills of NC.
When I arrived on Saturday, before sunrise, I immediately detected the overwhelming feeling of excitement. I parked under a tree and headed to the registration table. I noticed the tents were labeled with signs, including registration, VIP, breakfast, and Red Rider packet pick up. In this Tour ride, I registered for the ride that started Sunday as a Red Rider and Team Red Captain, so this day in particular I was volunteering for the riders that were cycling from Cary to Aberdeen in either the 80-mile or the 100-mile route on Team Red. To my surprise there were over 400 cyclists ready at the start line from over 75 different teams!
To send off the riders, there was a call for all Red Riders to walk to the start of the line and show them they are why we ride, a safety announcement provided by Cycling SpokenHere bike shop, and the National Anthem sung by Lauren Walsh - “Miss Clayton’s Outstanding Teen” 2015. A few minutes after the speeches, Allison Barry, the Tour Manager, counted up to send them off by saying: “ONE!...TWO!...THREE!”. Everyone had a look of determination, focus, and excitement. It’s inspiring!
On Sunday morning I headed to the event again for my ride. At the event I prepared myself with plenty of food and water, took pictures at the VIP tent with members of my Team, including my mother, and checked my bike at the bike safety checkup station. My father, sister, and boyfriend were also at the ride to send us off. At 9:30am sharp we stood in line and waved off to start our ride. The ride was fun and challenging with hills that tested your cycling strengths and capability. Training was a must to finish this ride. When my mother and I finally finished the ride we felt a sense of accomplishment, one that comes from unforgettable personal fulfillment.
In the event’s summary overall, the top three fundraising teams included, Team Cheetah, Team Cisco, and Team Red. The top three fundraising individuals were Tom Droege, Diane Huis, and Christopher Doles. I thank each and every one for supporting this fight and joining the nationwide fight against diabetes.