I realize it's about time for the official 2012 JDRF rides to begin. Next week, JDRF begins its annual ride series in Burlington, VT. And while the rides start next week, people all across the country have been working hard all year raising funds for research, spending hours on their bikes in training, and spreading the word that to find a cure is our one mission. To celebrate and to honor those touched by Type 1 Diabetes, riders, coaches and program leaders will gather next week in Vermont. And, that's just the beginning. From now until mid-November they will gather in LaCrosse, WI; Lake Tahoe, UT; Death Valley, CA; and Tucson, AZ to find a cure. No effort is too big; no step toward a cure too small.
So today, I write to give a shout out to my friends, my teammates, (and JDRF friends across the country I haven't yet met) who are preparing to get their bike face on and ride to the cure. Unfortunately, I will not be riding this year. But, I'll have "bike face by proxy"... by watching, training with, and cheering on everyone else who can ride for a cure.
And so, this post is dedicated to a very particular brand of bike face, JDRF bike face.
Carmen, West Michigan Team, Death Valley, 2007
It's a face that says, "No amount of heat or wind will make me turn my back on a cure."
Me and Kristina, West Michigan Team training ride for Killington, VT, 2009
A face that says, "We love this; we hate diabetes."
Derek, Kirsten, and Dane Dykstra, West Michigan Team, Training for Death Valley, 2011
Faces that say, "Type 1 Diabetes can eat our dust!"
Cathy "Kaat" Tahy, tune up ride to Zabriske Point, Death Valley, 2010
A face that says, "I am proud to know the JDRF families. Y'all continue to impress me every day with your bravery, your heart, your strength. I ride stronger every day because of you."
Linda Thompson-Poeder, West Michigan Team, training in any way she can,
mountain biking in Michigan (date unknown)
A face that says, "I would brave the mud and cold and wind and rain and snow and dust storms and heat and rain and snow and dust and heat and ice and sun and cold and..... anything for a cure!"
Mike Clark, National JDRF Head Coach and Coach of the West Michigan Team,
Death Valley, CA, 2007
A face that says, "I'm not stopping until we find a cure. And maybe not even then. 'Nuff said."
Ride on, Team. Wear your JDRF bike face with pride.