Cyclists from all over the country joined together in Saratoga Springs, NY on September 15th for the Ride to Cure Diabetes. This inspiring adventure raised a record-breaking $2.7 million to fund research to cure type 1 diabetes (T1D), including $204,015 from the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Chapter team! Our growing number of ride participants from DC, Maryland, and Virginia made a huge difference!
Ben & Connie Etheridge, of Sykesville, MD, won the Promise jersey for their dedication to JDRF over many years. Ben came second this year in total participant fundraising at $75,001. We’re so grateful to have the Etheridges on our team!
The northeast route out of Saratoga Springs offered a scenic backdrop for the riders, who were surrounded by a community of fellow T1D teammates, friends, and family. Even with the support of amazing coaches, taking the plunge as a first-time rider can be tough. Among them was Mimi Taylor, who along with her husband had been volunteering at Ride events for years after their son Justin was diagnosed with T1D. The hardest part for Mimi was committing to the Ride. In addition to training to meet their personal cycling goal, riders also work hard to reach their personal fundraising goal. Mimi used this goal to help push her through the Ride. She said, “I didn’t put pressure on myself to ride 100 miles, but instead decided to fundraise and ride to the best of my ability, while having fun.” Although Mimi was an inexperienced rider, she felt supported and encouraged by the chapter coach and others along the course. So much so that she confidently feels she is now very much a “JDRF Rider.”
GCP Team Coach and veteran Rider, James Grosser, was joined again this year by his 16-year-old son Eli who successfully completed his second Ride for the Cure, riding over 113 miles! James said, “He left me behind after a little more than one mile. He rode to mile 40 and then decided to turn around and ride back to spend some time with his ‘old man.’ We rode most of the rest of the day together.” In just a few short years, James hopes his youngest son Jonah, who has T1D, will be able to join his dad and brother. Beyond James’ experience coaching and riding with family, one of the most rewarding experiences he’s had as a coach is meeting someone who thinks they could never ride 100 miles; then having the opportunity to teach that person how to overcome their doubt. James explains, “Our training program will help anyone willing to put in some time and effort to achieve his or her goal on the bike, whether that is riding 100 miles, or just learning to be comfortable on a road bike. Plus, riding 100 miles is way more fun and much easier than running a marathon!”
Alan Rosenthal successfully completed his sixth JDRF Ride this year at Saratoga Springs, meeting his 100-mile goal each time! One of the most memorable experiences for this veteran rider was being joined by both his wife Karen and his daughter Lindsay. Surrounded by great friends, family, and coaches, Alan took pride in watching Lindsay tough it out and complete 100 miles. One of the most rewarding things about participating in the ride for Alan was doing something that will make a difference for his son Jason and others with T1D. An added bonus is that he loves cycling and has made some great friendships along the way. Alan’s advice for others considering riding: “Just do it. Don’t worry about whether you can ride 100 miles. Your donors won’t care what your mileage is…[Team GCP] is a great group of people to train with and get to know. So, please join us.”