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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tour de Cure!

This past weekend I had one of the most amazing experiences! I participated in the Tour de Cure bike ride, raising money for the American Diabetes Association. My amazing friends and family donated to support my ride, and in all I've raised $1,398.44 for the fight against diabetes!! (And, my fundraising site is open for another month if you'd like to donate, you can find it here. ;-) ) I'll share more about my ride, but first, a card - a big THANK YOU for all who donated! I am so humbled by everyone's generosity!

I inked up this fabulous Roll With It set from Avery Elle, which I found at i {heart} papers. I stamped the bicycle on Sticky Back Canvas - fun! The bows are Hemptique cord, also found at IHP.

Speaking of i {heart} papers - Kate, the owner, is such an amazing person! She heard about my bike ride, and decided not only to make a personal donation, but then followed it up with a company donation - she held a sale during NSD and donated a percentage of all sales that weekend to my ride. I still can't believe she did that - I am so thankful!

I used the colors from the current Play Date Cafe Challenge - which I thought was rather fitting because they are also pretty much Avery Elle's colors! :-)

As for the ride itself - let's just say I'm not the most athletic person in the world. But you all know how much I *love* bikes - and I do love riding my own bike - but I don't do it nearly enough. I mostly just watch other people riding bikes...! But there was a poster at my gym for Tour de Cure, and every time I walked past it, it called out to me. "Do it! Do it!" So one day I decided to go for it. I signed up. I was terrified. I hadn't been out on my bike much. I had never done a big group ride. I am scared of riding out on roads with cars. But the minimum distance was 14 miles and I thought I could  handle that. Hopefully...! And then I realized there was a $200 fundraising minimum to be able to ride. I didn't think I would meet it. Boy was I wrong about that!! There are so many generous people in my life. I am just floored by how much I raised! But I know why - it's because diabetes just touches so many lives. So many people have family, friends, loved ones living with that rotten disease. Or are living with it themselves. It's a cause worth supporting!

The night before the race I was a ball of nerves. Rain was in the forecast. I had gotten up to 20 miles in training, but would I be able to handle the hills? I had only trained on a mega-flat trail. Ugh!!

On the way to the ride, it was absolutely pouring at my house. Thunder, lightning. All of it.

But the race was ~45 minutes away, and when I got there it was overcast but not raining! Here I am lined up at the start of the 28 mile ride. I had been planning to ride 14 miles, but I just felt like I needed to go the extra mile after everyone was so generous with the donations. Or the extra 14 miles as the case may be. :-) So I went for it. Can you tell how nervous I was at this point?

Once I got out on the road - I loved it!! I truly LOVED it. Everyone was so nice along the way. People riding with diabetes had special red bib numbers, every time I saw one I yelled "Go Red Rider" - how awesome is that? When hills were hard, anyone going by me would be encouraging - "just a little bit more, you're almost there". Nice men on motorcycles would drive by to make sure I wasn't having cardiac arrest, LOL. And there were rest stops. I had no problem taking a moment at them to drink some gatorade and eat a banana!!

At the rest stops were signs showing where we were at. I took the ride in small chunks... only 4.8 miles until the next rest stop... I can do that...

They even put a sign up on the road just for me! So sweet!! :-) I cracked myself up over this sign, but it also shows the gorgeous Georgia roads we were riding along. A few of the roads had "Georgia Scenic Byway" signs posted. Not a bad place to ride a bike!!

Right when I arrived at the third rest area, Mother Nature decided to turn ugly. An absolute downpour began, with strong winds, lightning, thunder...! All of us who were there huddled under an overhang and waited it out. Officials came by and said the National Weather Service advised them to close the route down, and they were arranging transportation to get everyone back. But at this point, I didn't want to stop riding!!  There were ~10 more miles to the finish, and I wanted to complete all 28! Once the storm had (mostly) passed over us, many of us got back on our bikes and continued on.

So, I did it!!! I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty proud of myself. It's the farthest I've ever gone on a bike, and it was certainly NOT flat. And I raised a good chunk of money for ADA. In honor of my mom, and my mother-in-law, and my uncles, and my friends, and friends' family members. Far too many people living with diabetes!

Thanks for stopping by and listening to my story. :-)

Stamps: Roll With It from Avery Elle
Paper: Hero Arts (Pool, Tide), October Afternoon (Modern Homemaker), Ranger (Sticky Back Canvas)

Ink: Hero Arts (Punch Chalk Ink), Ranger (Aquamarine Archival)

Other: My Favorite Things Die-namics (Blueprints 1), Hemptique hemp cord, machine stitching


  1. You did an awesome job Libby! yeah you!

  2. Yay for going 28! And yes, I would have tried to finish, too. Beautiful roads make it even more enjoyable, rain or not. :)

  3. Woo hoo, congrats, Libby! You rock!

  4. Congrats on the ride and the great fund raising! Love the card too!

  5. Libby it was great reading your story - well done on your effort!!

  6. Gutsy Lady! Be proud of that accomplishment! And thank you for raising serious money. I hope to meet you at the Champions Dinner.

    This was my 14th Tour de Cure and I've enjoyed them all. I was between mile 35 and 45 when the skies opened up. Only shelter was trees...not good. Rode to the 45 mile rest stop just as the sky was clearing. Worst rain I've ridden in since an MS ride about 10 years ago!

    It was fun!


I always enjoy your comments - thanks so much for taking the time to leave one!


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