Thirteen years and counting.....join us as we share our journey toward a cure for type 1 diabetes!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Another Blue Tuesday!

Lining up for another Great Blue Tuesday Hill Ride

 What does Blue Tuesday mean for the Cure Chaser Cycling team?

Why it's a chance to put on our costumes and sport our blueness in support of efforts to find a cure for Diabetes. This idea of Blue Tuesday as a show of support is a culmination of a number of separate efforts aimed at the Diabetic community.

First The Big Blue Test.  This effort started in 2009 as a creative way to encourage people with diabetes to stay active. It has grown into a global campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of exercise for people with diabetes and supports diabetes charities in the process. To learn more about the Big Blue Test, watch the video on this page
Cherise Shockley Founder of DSMA
Mike Hoskins - The Diabetic's Corner Booth
Second I met Cherise Shockley at an adult diabetic meetup that Michael Hoskins (Diabetic's Corner Booth Blogger and all around great D peep) put together. Cherise founded the Blue Fridays Initiative in November 2010 to spread the word about World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month.  You wear blue all day to represent. Find out more and how you can get in on the conversation with DSMA by clicking here!
Third the JDRF ride team had adopted blue as the color for their jersey in 2010, so Blue Tuesday gave us just one more reason to wear the team colors.

Blue Tuesday had actually started in the 2009 season, we just didn't call it that, but a number of people from our team started getting together and riding essentially this same ride every week out of SouthWestWay park to prepare for the challenges that we knew we would face at virtually any JDRF destination ride, but most important the Cat 2 climb to Jubilee Pass in Death Valley.  The first year it was usually a small group, in fact I can remember a number of evenings when it was just Gary Martindale and myself.  Our Coach at the time Alex Hoogestraat was sick a lot and having a hard time making rides, turns out she was pregnant and that sickness turned out to be Henry Hoogestraat!

Another happy group at the top of
Observatory Hill
We had been doing this a few weeks and I remember 1 day Gary asking, "Do you want to go all the way to the top of Observatory?"
My reply was, "What's Observatory?  You mean there are more hills our this way?" Up to this point we had been riding straight out Mann Rd, climbed a few small hills with the big one being Centenary, rode to the library in Brooklyn and headed back to SWW Park. a little over 22 miles round trip with just over 1000' of climbing.  So that Day changed things, I said, "Let's do it!" and we were off.
We added about 3 miles and a couple of hundred feet of climbing to the ride and Tuesdays became even more challenging!
Gary and I continued this challenging ride and invited other members of our team. Soon we had Tony Gabriel and Sam Scahill with us on a regular basis along with others on the  newly formed Indiana Cure Chaser team riding in support of JDRF.
Cure Chaser Tony Gabriel
Leads the Climb up Cat 5 Climb
In 2010 this ride began to grow in popularity and we Started Calling it "Blue Tuesday" wearing our now Blue JDRF jerseys and inviting other riders to join  us and sport their blue!  I believe that by the end of 2011 we were hosting 10 -12 riders on a regular basis with our big ride maxing out at 17!

So for the next year we changed the route a bit to get off of Mann rd at Ralston (our first opportunity after SWW Park to go right and leave the main road)

Today we are running in the area of 30 riders every week and growing. This year we formed the Cure Chaser ride team officially becoming a registered USA Cycling team and expanding our vision of what the team is about. (more on that later)

The Ride is now supported by up to 3 USA Cycling Certified Coaches every week with more to come in 2015.  We represent for diabetics everywhere by wearing the blue every single Tuesday.  People who ride this ride are encouraged to wear their blue and be a part of our effort every single Tuesday, whether that Blue is a Cure Chasers Jersey, JDRF or just whatever blue they already own!

Cure Chaser Coach Sam Scahill
and; the team at the Top on Blue Tuesday
The ride itself is for people who want to improve their fitness, health, well being and/or hill climbing ability and is geared to accommodate various levels of riders to achieve all of this. (Road Bikes strongly recommended)   We also build in a lot of camaraderie and support for people just starting out or accomplished riders who choose to join us for this great weekly ride. 

This may be the only weekly repeating ride in the country that has a regular SAG with The Brooklyn Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) providing ice cold water, food and restroom facilities at the middle of the ride.  Thanks you guys!  We love you and you rock!

Cure Chaser Team at Mount Mitchell
Starting line (Spartanburg, SC)

We now use this ride as an opportunity to do 4 things
  1. First and foremost, help people to improve their fitness and overall health through cycling. We split into groups after we get on the road with an assigned leader in every group to help keep things organized and to assist with flat tires, mechanicals, encouragement and coach technique when desired. The back group (newbies to hill climbing) is often given a time limit so the distance is really time based and this allows us to finish at near the same time, keep the ride difficulty with in reach for most people plus build a sense of accomplishment and confidence in new riders.
  2. Second is almost as important as these 2 things work hand in hand.  We work to build a sense of Team.  When people feel like they are a part of something and we demonstrate that we truly care about them, they are much more likely to stick with it.  It is amazing to me how many people we have had at this ride this year. If everyone came on the same Tuesday at this time we would likely be pushing 80 riders at once. (everyone can not make it every week due to work and family commitments, but we have about 80 riders that are steady attendees)
  3. This next aspect is part of how we intend to change the world,,,, at least as far as cycling on the road goes.  We teach and demonstrate proper group riding etiquette, Traffic/Road Safety, Traffic Law and Ambassador ship to the community.  We feel that by using peer example, we can inspire social justification for changing the way that cyclists and motorists interact in a positive way using the existing infrastructure simply with education and leading by example.
  4. Use this ride as a platform for entry into our Cure Chaser team environment, recruitment for the greater/higher cost destination ride teams by providing a low/no cost entry point and then providing a support network to help riders reach their goals, whether that is climb all this hills on Blue Tuesday without walking or doing a 105 mile destination ride in Death Valley, CA by supporting them in all aspects of their goal from training to fund raising.
If you have a desire to do this ride but feel like you need a less demanding entry point we offer a couple of those as well. (Share these with your friends if you know someone who could benefit from better health and just needs some support to make it happen.

We have a meetup group that currently has over 700 members and offers riders of all levels opportunity to participate and become proficient at cycling whether their objective is to be able to ride 15 miles, learn to ride in a group or do an epic 100 mile ride.  It's free thanks to Performance Bicycle of Greenwood Blue Tuesday will move indoors for the winter in November and we will be doing 3 rides per week at this great bike shop!

You can join our meetup group at Indianapolis-Beginner-Cycling-Meetup-Group/ it's free!

We will soon be doing pre-registration for the 2015 ride season for the Cure Chaser team, if you are interested in learning more complete the form at this link and we will be happy to contact you.
(besides great coaching, camaraderie and ride opportunities, Cure Chasers get some other great benefits) Click here to join and learn more!
 That's it for today, stay tuned for some more great ride reports!


Indiana Cure Chasers 2010

Indiana Cure Chasers 2010
Death Valley October 2010

For more information about JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes...

Contact the Indianapolis office at 317-469-9604

Go to Indiana Cure Chasers website OR JDRF website.