Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Safe, Sound, and Smiling

JDRF, staff, coaches, the medical team, volunteers, and riders have a saying that they want to see everyone back after a ride event "Safe, Sound, and Smiling." The last thing that any of them want to see is a rider who pushed themselves past their own limits and therefore requires medical attention by the paramedics or doctors on site. In weather like we experienced Saturday in Death Valley, dehydration is far too common. If it is not caught early, it can result in IVs, heat stroke, and even death. Friday's safety meeting was no joke. They really hit home the fact that we all needed to be drinking water and electrolytes as fast as we could. The truth of the matter is that in the "dry heat" there really is no way to drink more electrolytes as fast as you lose them. Point being...it was hot, real hot, and hydration was by far the most important part of the weekend.

Here are a few stats from the 2010 Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley:
- 104 miles
- 109 degrees (some reports said it was upwards of 117)
- 350 riders
- $1,300,000 ++ for research to help find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research
- 3 dozen (at least) - the number of water bottles that Jessica and I consumed in 4 days

Jessica and I were once again reminded that our fight for a cure for diabetes is one that we are not alone in. The whole process of the Ride to Cure Diabetes showed us that we do have loving friends, family, co-workers, and in some cases, total strangers, who are with us in this fight! From fundraising, to training, to the actual ride weekend...we are all in this together.

For those of you who donated your money, thoughts, and prayers; as promised I rode all 104 miles with a list in my jersey pocket with each of your names. One of the first things that I told Jessica after the ride is that when it got hot (real damn hot), lonely, and downright difficult on Saturday, I pulled that list out of my back jersey pocket and just read the names. I cannot really explain how seeing each of your names made me feel when I was in the middle of absolutely nowhere amongst my coyote friends (yes, we really did ride past a coyote watching the ride from the side of the road) in Death Valley National Park. Thank you for your support once again this year. As I tweeted on Saturday, I sure hope we find a cure soon because I do not want to have to go back there and ride again.

During the ride, during one of the lonely and hot times, I did make a video so that each of you could get a glimpse into life in the desert. I hope you enjoy the video and I look forward to seeing each of you soon. It is all about the journey and the Ride to find the cure!