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Cycling to help stop diabetes

(BPT) - The American Diabetes Association is challenging bicycle riders to be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes(R) by participating in the annual Tour de Cure(R), a cycling event to raise funds to help fight diabetes. Tour de Cure is a fun way to get out with your family, friends or co-workers and has routes designed for all riders - from 5-mile family rides to 100-mile century rides. It is a ride, not a race, so participants are encouraged to go at their own pace.

If you have diabetes, you can join the Red Riders. This special program recognizes riders who have diabetes the day of the ride with a red jersey. During the Tour, participants call out "Go Red Rider" to encourage and celebrate the Red Riders who are fighting to manage their diabetes and live a healthier life. 

"The Red Rider program is a great way for those with diabetes to gather the strength, courage and motivation to live well all the other days of the year when we aren't riding in Tour de Cure," says Mari Ruddy, founder of the Red Rider program. Ruddy has lived with diabetes for more than 31 years and is the director of TeamWILD Athletics: We Inspire Life with Diabetes, which provides eTraining programs and a fitness training camp for people with diabetes looking to use endurance walking, running, triathlons and cycling to improve their health.

Ruddy, describes the Tour de Cure as a celebration of health and wellness. "The Red Rider program gives us an opportunity to celebrate the hard work, dedication and teamwork it takes to manage this challenging and complex disease,” says Ruddy. “When we give a participant a red jersey that reads, 'I ride with diabetes,' it puts a face to the disease that says, ’This is what diabetes looks like: We get on our bikes and we Stop Diabetes.’” Ruddy will be riding in the Las Vegas, Twin Cities, Chicago and Michigan Tours in 2013.

Cycling is great exercise, but it is important to make certain your biking equipment is ready before hitting the road. Be sure to check brakes, grease the chain and make certain helmets still fit properly. Take a short ride around the neighborhood to ensure everything works and that the tires are sufficiently filled with air. If it’s been a couple of years since the bike was purchased or cleaned, it might be a good idea to take it to a bike shop to have all the gears and brakes inspected.

More than 65,000 cyclists are expected to participate in the Tour de Cure at sites throughout the country in 2013. All funds raised at the Tour de Cure events will go to support the American Diabetes Association's mission - to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

Join Tour de Cure to benefit your health and to support the fight to stop diabetes. To register as an individual rider, a Red Rider, start a team, or learn more, visit www.diabetes.org/tour or call 888-DIABETES.

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