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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Death Valley Summary

Dear family and friends – all those who have supported me in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes this year and in the past:

It’s hard to believe that another Death Valley ride has come and gone.  Twelve of us from central Indiana ventured west for an awesome weekend in the desert, riding our bikes to raise money for a great cause — to find a cure for diabetes and turn Type 1 into Type None.

Leaving Indy in the early morning hours of last Thursday, we were fortunate to get an early and direct flight to Vegas which put us into Death Valley at about noon.

With most of the day to ourselves, a small group of us decided find our bikes and attempt a 25 mile, 5500+ foot climb to the grandest vista in Death Valley — Dante’s View. 

We felt pretty strong at the start…

The climb was steady and gradual for the first 20 miles and then got very steep, with the toughest section in the last 1/4 mile. We rented a van in Vegas and two of our team drove it as our SAG vehicle (Support and Gear) — carrying water, gatorade and various spare parts — for the ride to the summit.

I needed all the support I could get — it was the hardest climb I’ve ever done...

At the top, looking a little more tired than at the start after 3 - 4 hours of climbing, we were able to enjoy one of the best views in Death Valley

The ride down was an awesome 25 miles of bliss, coasting very fast nearly all the way back to the start.

Friday started with an early breakfast and then the usual safety talks.  The park has a new permitting process and we were the first group to have an event under the new rules.  While hydration was still important, with temps “only” in the 80s and 90s, the focus of the talk was on riding single file, staying out of the way of the other park guests, and making sure we were off the road at the rest stops.

After the safety talk, we donned our riding gear and headed out for a short tune-up ride.  This was the first chance for the team to ride together…

 ...and we even spotted Santa on his bike!

After the ride, we grabbed some lunch and then spent the rest of the day driving the 100-mile course we would ride on Saturday.  It also gave us a chance to enjoy the scenery and wildlife in the park…

These two were several miles apart, so the roadrunner lived to see another day.

The official ride on Saturday was awesome as always… and though the road seemed to stretch on forever, I managed to make the seven-mile climb, turnaround at the summit, and complete the full 100 miles.

Thank you for sharing in my ride again this year; I truly appreciate your generous support of JDRF.  I may have been the one pedaling over the miles, but I carried your thoughts, prayers and support with me on each mile, and I would not have made it without you.  Thank you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Death Valley Bound!

The Cure Chaser team is leaving on a jet plane tomorrow morning for our 2014 Death Valley Odyssey.

Doesn't seem like it's been 2 years but with the government shutdown last year it has been 2 years since the Cure Chasers traveled to Death Valley to ride in support of JDRF.

We have the lucky 13 going this year and it is a sold out show since January (If you want to do this epic ride with us in 2015 better start making your plans now so that you can be ready for sign up in January!)

We are leaving at 7 am tomorrow morning and will be in Las Vegas at 8:05 am their time with a direct flight on SouthWest Airlines - BAGS FLY FREE!

I don't know that I believe this but says that themperatures at Furnace Creek are supposed to be in the low 90s,,, seems like they say that every year and they end up well into the 100s, guess we will just have to see when we get there.

This years crew includes returning DV veterans Coach Sam Scahill, Kevin Garner, Gary Martindale, Joel Russell, Ryan Noel, Rick Davis and of course myself!
In addition we have the following brave first timers joining us for 2014 Tom Berlier, Julie Davis, Amy Vandewielle, Laura Villanyl and Brian Wulff. (Plus our team photographer for this is event will be Nancy Wulff)

If you have a chance to reach out to these brave souls on Facebook with words of encouragement, I am sure that they would appreciate your support!

Some of us are planning a little trip on Thursday to the top of Dante's View (but I will tell you all about that when we get back - should be an epic side story!) We are all very excited!

Friday we will do our official ride tune up ride, likely to Golden Canyon. Then have a day filled with meetings about what to expect on the ride, riding with Type 1 diabetes and other interesting Death Valley Ride related subjects!

Friday JDRF will put on a great spread with accolades going out to the top fund raisers and limited mayhem in preparation for the early start on Saturday.  Our Cure Chaser team will meet for our traditional why we ride reflection pre ride meeting!  These are always great sessions!

Saturday morning before daylight, we will all gather at the start finish line at the Furnace Creek ranch and get ready for a long hot day in the saddle. The course is 103 miles to the top of Jubilee pass (a Category 2 seven mile long ascent) and back.

So tomorrow begins our 2014 adventure, be sure to check back and see all the exciting details and pictures!  I am sure that we will all have stories to tell on Monday!



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.