Tour de Cure Minnesota 2024, Event Recap

I love riding my bike. No two ways about it. Being on my bike is the purest form of joy and delight I can imagine. I’ve written a few blogs about the deep contentment I feel when I’m pedaling in perfect circles coasting on the pavement past the beautiful green trees and the pure blue sky. Perhaps you can relate. 

On June 1st, I rode my bike 33 miles, 22 of which were on the official Tour de Cure Minnesota route of the charity ride for the American Diabetes Association. I rode my bike to and from Boom Island where the ride started and finished in Minneapolis. I do love a day where I don’t drive my car at all. I like doing my best to minimize my carbon footprint. 

This was the longest I’d ridden my bike since getting my third cancer diagnosis, which happened in October 2023. Turns out my athletic focus was on running and strength training, with a once a week session in the pool. 

Navigating my energy shortage

The rest of my energy, as it is now limited due to the aromatase inhibitor, letrozole, that I take to prevent the cancer from growing, goes to daily living and new cancer navigation. Cancer navigation takes A LOT of energy. The emotional roller coaster, the scheduling of the seemingly endless scans and medical appointments, attempting to clean up my already clean eating and sleeping – in short, it takes lots of energy. 

In short, not much energy left for riding my beloved bike. I knew I missed it, but I didn’t realize just how much until I got the bike down from the rack in my living room, pumped up the tires, greased the chain, checked the brakes and got on it on Saturday morning. 

Bike magic and loving support

Those first miles along the Mississippi River were pure magic. Wind blowing in my hair, the crisp morning air, pedaling in perfect circles, my smile a mile wide. 

I thought about each of the 34 people who sponsored this Tour de Cure. I had another big set of scans and an oncology visit in May, so I was behind in getting out my request for donations. I wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to raise. And then, with doing a Facebook Fundraiser and sending out an email and posting it on my Facebook and Instagram pages, within less than a week, I became a Champion!! In fact, I raised the most that I’ve raised in a few years: $2,562.00!!

HUGE THANK YOU to my many generous donors!!

Here are their first names: Linda S, Linda B, LeAnne, Christy, Katie, Katy, Anne, Regina, Schyler, Karin, Tim, Susan, Marilyn, Brenda, Lily Ann, Rich, Marco, Steve, Sean, Colleen, Francesca, Tanya, Mike, Sheila, Jeffery, Rebecca, Paula, Elizabeth, Marcy, Siri, Chery and Jeanine. 

I felt you all with me as I pedaled those Tour de Cure miles with Tammy, Paul, William and all the others out there on the course. I thought about your kindness and your generosity. You took a few minutes and contributed some of your hard earned cash to this cause. I appreciate you all SO very much. The American Diabetes Association does good work for those of us living with diabetes.  

Thinking while riding

I thought about my dad who essentially died of diabetes complications after living for 49 years with type 1. I thought about my brother who also has type 1 diabetes. I sent loving kindness to the countless people I’ve met over the years since starting the Red Rider Recognition program in 2007 who courageously live with the incurable disease of diabetes. 

Once you get diabetes, you pretty much have it the rest of your live long days. With type 2, some people can change their lifestyle and go into remission, but that might not last. Those with type 1, we’ve got it until a cure is found or we die. Sobering thought as I was out there pedaling and enjoying the ultra green trees and sparkling water of the river reflecting the brilliant blue sky. 

Now that I’m living with two incurable diseases: diabetes AND metastatic breast cancer, I think about my mortality quite a bit. Thankfully, since I tend to have an upbeat perspective, my continuous near dance with the lady in black is rarely seeped in despair. Instead, I sense her presence and then I breathe into what brings me joy and connection. 

Joy and connection

During the bike ride, I laughed quite a bit as I pedaled. Tammy and I know how to laugh and enjoy our time on the bike. We’ve been riding together for many years. We both notice the beautiful scenery and we call attention to the birds and the flowers as we pedal on by. We both enjoy chatting it up with fellow Tour de Cure riders. We both call out, “Go Red Rider!” to those wearing the Red Rider jersey that calls attention to the courage it takes to show up and ride your bike for health and wellness.

At the end of the ride, we ate some tasty food and socialized some more. My brother and his family were there as they had all ridden the 5-mile route. My nieces, Georgia and Kiki, both raised a lot of money. Always good to see them and celebrate living life well. 

I am happy to report that during the bike ride, my blood sugars stayed in range. As they did the day before the bike ride, on my 15 mile run session that I did to train for the upcoming half marathon. You better believe, I put on a fresh pump of fresh insulin the day before the run! I rarely make the same mistake twice!

On to the next event

Now that it’s summer, I’ve made a point of riding my bike to and from my Thursday track workout. I also am riding to and from therapy, which I attend three times a month. Plus a group of us bike, swim (in the lake) and run, it’s triathlon season!, every Sunday morning. My butt and back are gaining strength as I ride more! 

And then, on June 22nd, I will do another Grandma’s Half Marathon up in Duluth, Minnesota. Always fun to have a next event. That keeps a smile on my face and joy in my heart!

Assuming the lady in black has granted me more time, I will keep riding and running and writing! I will do the Minnesota Tour de Cure in 2025!

Thanks for reading. Tell me what events you have this month!! Connections bring joy to us all!

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6 thoughts on “Tour de Cure Minnesota 2024, Event Recap”

  1. Love reading about your passion for biking. So glad it went well for you, Tammy, and your family. Thanks for all you do to help educate people about diabetes.

    • I do indeed love biking! It always surprises me when I get back on the bike how happy it makes me!! Very reliable source of happiness. I love you dear Linda, the walks all day on her treadmill Queen!!!

  2. Mari:
    Your energizing posts, great attitude and upbeat spirit continue to inspire me. I thought of you several times on 6/1, said at least one little prayer for you. I was not able to participate due to a family event-couldn’t even do the running group long run that day. I hope you’ve recovered so you can have a fantastic Grandma’s Half. I will think of you and say little prayer(s) that day as well for you.

    • Thank you again Colleen for all your support and for your enthusiasm!!! There will be more Tour de Cure rides and fingers crossed we can ride together next year! And thanks for thinking of me and sending up a little prayer!! That means the world! See you out on the run!

  3. Good for you getting back on the bike. I too love to hit the bike for some long miles. I have recently done some gravel riding on a 300,000 acre wildlife refuge about 50 minutes drive from home. It is so much fun to see bears, otters, alligators, and waterfowl while riding those gravel roads. With summer here, tourists get tired of the beach and discovered this piece of paradise during COVID when most of the beach attractions were closed. That has increased traffic at the refuge considerably, as cars are allowed on some roads. Add in clout chasers trying to get video of a red wolf to post to TicTok, and the refuge has had to close some areas to all people and some to any stopping at all. But, all in all, worth going down there every once in a while.

    Great job on the fundraising too. ADA is not my favorite diabetes charity (I prefer the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation), but they do carry alot of weight in the diabetes world. I missed the Tour de Cure in my area as I had other obligations that weekend. I just bought a bike trainer so I can be more consistent in the winter. As of now, my goal is the 100 miler in under 6 hour of riding time. Even with a solid training season, I don’t think I can do it by myself. Given that our “local” Tour is in another state nearly 2 hours away, it is not easy to find a group to ride with in advance. We will see. I can easily do the 100K by myself, but I have never ridden 100 miles in one day.

    • Cabe,
      You inspire me!!!! Way to get out there. I’ve done a few 100 mile bike rides and for sure one needs to train for that sort of distance. I usually had people I trained with and like you now have, I rode my trainer for HOURS inside in the winter!!! I believe in you!!!!

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