Wednesday, June 17, 2015

ADA Tour de Cure, 6/7/2015

By Dennis Pedersen

My 9th year in this fund-raising ride; wow, that is amazing to me! And I'm always amazed that, somehow, I manage to accomplish so much in the fight against diabetes thanks to all of the generous donors, many of whom have donated to the American Diabetes Association every year I've ridden! My 2015 Tour de Cure ride was awesome, and as successful and gratifying as my previous 8 rides!

While my own results in the 2014 Tour were very good ($1,140.00!), the overall HP team results last year were not. The HP team raised $9,795.72 in 2014, which is great, but still far short of our record of $32,626.74 (in 2012)!

So, for 2015 I was determined to make big changes, following last year's disappointing team results. I was able to recruit Frerk "Malte" Feller, our VP for the HP online store, to head up the team as Captain, along with Bill Kacmarsky who continued in his second year as co-Captain. This strategy worked well, as it not only brought in people who had never joined the team, but also gave us better access to other high-level HP executives and their influence. The 2015 HP team signed up 52 riders who raised $23,546.50! While not a record, it is closer, and a huge improvement from 2014!

Champions training ride, San Felipe Rd in San Jose's hills,
with a cool hawk feather I found.
For 2015, once again, Bill and I achieved official "Champion" status, since we raised over $1,000 (I raised $1,127.00, Bill raised $2,756.00!), so we were invited to attend a special Champions Celebration, on May 29th, at beautiful Silver Creek Valley Country Club. For the dedicated cyclists they again organized an optional pre-dinner training ride, up San Felipe Road, into the hills east of San Jose. Last year 4-time US Pro National Champion "Fast" Freddie Rodriguez led the ride, but this year he was scheduled to race at the huge "Philly Week," so he couldn't attend, and even though a busy workday forced me to ride solo since I had to start late, I still had a nice ride. I also got to meet new HP team member Tim Lin, who also raised over $1,000. Not present were Gayle Boesch, David Willis, and Gary Borchardt, also Champions. Congratulations!

Click here to donate!

Pescadero rest station.
On the morning of the big Tour de Cure ride I woke up at 4:00 am, finished the last-minute prep and car-loading, and drove off into the dark, gray morning. I knew that if our weather in Santa Cruz was gray and chilly, the same would likely hold true in Pescadero during the coastal leg of our 120k route (about 74 miles). I keep telling myself I will try a shorter route some year, but so far I've always done the longer route; it is more rewarding, and perhaps inspires greater support from donors... and it's the prettiest route.

The weather was nice at the 6:30 am start, again at HP's world headquarters in Palo Alto, and the light clouds there were starting to clear a bit. It turned out Fast Freddie had cancelled his Philly Week plans and was thus able to join us for the ride again, for his 3rd year. I rode with him for a while, along Alameda de las Pulgas, Alpine Rd and Portola Rd, until I got a flat tire on the Kings Mtn Rd climb. The "SAG" car arrived shortly after that, just as I was finishing up the repair... very welcome, as they also had a floor pump which is much nicer than the small pocket pumps!

After refueling at the Skyline rest station, I rode alone along Skyline Blvd, with the sun now shining over the valley, and dropped down HWY 84 at speed, glad I had my warm vest as it was chilly at times, and still gray and slightly misty when I arrived in Pescadero. There, at the rest station, I was able to catch a glimpse of Malte, riding with Neville Davey (a nice HP guy), as they set off for the next leg, up Stage Rd and HWY 1.

Chewing, Tunitas Creek Rd.
After a short break I set off after them on Stage Rd behind Fast Freddie. I finally caught Malte and Neville for good at the "Bike Hut" rest stop at the base of Tunitas Creek Rd. Neville took a few photos and we set off for the big climb up Tunitas back to Skyline.

The Tunitas climb is always difficult, but the weather was pleasant; not nearly as hot as last year. I set a nice tempo and got to Skyline ahead of the others.

Descending Kings Mtn for our return to HP, I again flatted... seems Kings Mtn has it in for me! Miraculously, I managed to not crash, and the SAG wagon again arrived just as I was almost finishing the repair, again helping with their nice floor pump! The remainder of the ride was nice, and I finished at about 12:30 pm, after riding 78.3 miles, with 7,921 feet of climbing (per Strava). Burned 2,823 calories too! (Strava overstates calories.)

The highly-valued post-ride lunch and party was fun, and the nice weather helped. I got some good food, we took a nice, though not complete, team photo (finally; we've missed that the last few years!), and I took off, knowing I had once again managed to do a little to give back.

15 of our 52 riders.

Interested in seeing what the ADA really does with the money we raise? Go to the ADA site and click on "Research & Practice" in the top menu, there's a ton of links you can go through. Some highlights:
And, of course, running the above website, running fund-raisers (like Tour de Cure, plus others), plus printing books, flyers and such that newly diagnosed diabetics get from doctors and clinics, hosting screenings in local communities, Stop Diabetes @ Work programs, and more.

Thanks, see you next year!

Neville, Malte, Fast Freddie, me, and "John" at the Skyline rest station.

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