Monday, June 15, 2009

a great day for a bike ride

Back in March, I made the decision to (1) learn to ride a bike, (2) raise at least $2,000 for the American Diabetes Association, and (3) ride in Tour de Cure.

Yesterday, I rode in Tour de Cure, having learned to ride a bike, and raising, to date, $3,281, out of Team Training Wheels' total of $6,528—and counting!

I frankly can't quite believe that I did it, although there were plenty of people to witness the event—a special shoutout to teammate Dan, who rode with me the entire way, providing needed guidance and the rest of his water, and distracting me with tales of his biking youth (and even a bit of gossip).

We were lucky with weather that was even better than the forecast had promised (and even though I forgot to actually apply the sunscreen I'd brought, I didn't get a burn). And yes, it took me a while, with many stops along the way (I still get freaked out when there are too many people on the trail!), but it felt wonderful. My blood sugar did just what I wanted it to, I only fell once, and I got to coast in at the end to the cheers of family and friends.

The funniest part? At the beginning, as we were about to set out, my shoelace got caught in the gears and had to be extricated by friends (who then retied both shoes so that the loops were smaller). Could I be dorkier??

The saddest part? When Dan's 4-year-old daughter said "Sara, I want a shirt like yours!" Since I was wearing the Red Rider jersey (for people with diabetes), I told her, "Sweetheart, I know, but I don't ever want you to have one."

The best part?
There were many: hearing Linda and other ADA folk cheering as I set out at the start; going over little hills that helped me understand the childhood fun of cycling; hanging out in the shade with Dan along the way (ask us about diesel trains!) and listening to him sing "Erie Canal"; being greeted by my daughter, Edith, as she ran into my arms at the end of the ride. Also, the nap after we got home.

More shoutouts: All the Team Training Wheels gang, including those who rode (Coach Jon, Alison, Abe, Chris K, Chris S, Lois, Jacqui, Dayle, and Dan) and those who couldn't (for good reasons!) but raised big money anyway (Nanja, Mary Pat, Eric), plus TTW affiliates Kim, Rachel, SuperWill, the scooters (Nava and Edith), and Baby Tater (who won't remember her first Tour, but still...)

New e-pals Bob and Mike. (Bob is about to ride across the country in RAAM. Good lord.)

UberVolunteer Jeremy; co-shopper (and general enabler) Jim B; t-shirt maven (and NOLA expert) Francie; Tour Guru Nicole; Kate the Great; Reston resident Nora, who showed me the ropes; Carolyn, who egged me on, as always; Campaign Manager Katie; marketing director Heschel; Bekah the muse; major donors Richard, Big Mike, Chan, and Jim S; and National Capital Tour de Cure bosses Alan and Cassandra.

Andrew, who's been telling me to get on a bike for years...

... Cousin Laura, who has the best braids ever (I think I will never be able to thank you enough, lovely Laura)...

... and my husband, Kevin, who realized I was serious about this when I got the fancy padded shorts. All good pursuits demand new clothing!

Thank you all so much for following me on this wacky trip. I will post photos if we get any.... Otherwise, I will just put in one last pitch: Please contribute here if you haven't already done so. People with diabetes need your help. If this post tells you anything, it says that we can't do it alone.

And if you're in the area, come out for a ride!

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