The Tour de Cure is a cycling event put of by the American Diabetes Association to help raise funds and awareness.
“The American Diabetes Association is the nation’s leading 501(C)3 nonprofit charity fighting against diabetes and its deadly consequences.
Nearly 26 million children and adults in this country are diagnosed with diabetes, so the mission we have is an urgent one. Everything we do forms the underpinning for that mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.”
I heard about this tour through my co-worker. His wife works for Bio-Rad and the companies employees always get together and raise funds for this great cause. He mentioned it to me and asked if I wanted to join the Bio-Rad Team and cycle. I had only been cycling for a couple of months and most of it had been short rides and training for the Mexico Rosarito-Ensenada Bike ride in May. But I was committee at becoming a better cyclist and I knew doing these tours would force me to do longer rides. I registered for the 62 mile ride and started the fund raising process. I had never even cycled more the 40 miles when I registered.
The start line was located at the Queen Marry parking lot in Long Beach, CA. My wonderful wife and daughter dropped me off that morning and headed back home as they would meet me at the finish line 5 hours later. I meet up with Bang and Hussein (my co-workers) and we made our way to the Bio-Rad Team booth to meet up with the rest of the 62 mile riders. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. I must of looked like a rookie because they quickly asked if I had ever done a ride like this before. They assured us that it wasn’t that tough and it would be a fun ride, whatever lie they told me didn’t mater Me and my Amazon beginner Road Bike were ready for the challenge.
The ride was amazing and I did better then I expected. In the first 5 miles or so I was hit with my first challenge, cycling over the Vincent Thomas Bridge witch links San Pedro and Long Beach/Los Angeles. That was a tough climb being that is was my first real climb in cycling for me. When we got to San Pedro for the first check station I was told that our route was going to go through Palos Verdes witch if you know the area is a bunch of hills. I pushed forward on the Tour de Cure trying to keep up with the more experienced riders. When I was trying to focus my mind away from my legs I watched how the other riders switched gears during the different road conditions.
In Palos Verdes the road became for curvy and hills were coming up more often. One hill in particular was tough, a two mile up hill at about 8 degrees. Im proud to say that I cycled all the way up that hill with out rest. I inched my way up and put my head down not focusing on the top but just to be able to pedal once more, I knew eventually I would reach the top. That was my first experience conquering a hill and I fell in love with the reward. What goes up must come down, and down I went at an incredible fast speed.
It was a wonderful experience and a great first tour for me. I’ll see you in 2014 Tour de Cure.