Tour de Cure Offers Bike Event for Women
Women find camaraderie in the new bike fund-raising event
Most people know how to ride a bicycle, but few ever picture themselves riding in a pack of dozens or even hundreds of other riders. Kendra Garcia certainly didn’t. The 35-year-old surgical coordinator from Hanford, Calif., liked riding bikes with her three children (Ava, 7, and 4-year-old twins, Luke and Kale). But those rides typically went just around the block.
When Garcia heard about Tour de Cure®, the American Diabetes Association’s bike ride to Stop Diabetes, she wasn’t sure it was for her. Then Garcia heard about the Women’s Series, a Tour de Cure event just for women. And that spoke to her.
Garcia, who was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her first pregnancy before being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, was looking for a way to get more support with her diabetes management. And her sister-in-law, Tera Garcia, was also coping with a new diabetes diagnosis. Their friends wanted to support them—and also enjoy a ladies’ weekend away from husbands and kids. The Women’s Series offers rides of different lengths as well as a hotel weekend, women’s expo, and other relaxing and enjoyable experiences.
That enjoyment carried through the entire 8-mile ride, part of the inaugural Tour de Cure Women’s Series in 2013. Kendra Garcia says the ride was perfect for beginners and women looking for some fellowship in and out of the saddle. “It’s just a beautiful bike ride,” she says. “No one’s pushing you or leaving you behind. We were all riding together. If we saw people falling behind, we would slow down. There was no pressure whatsoever to feel like you had to keep up with anybody. It was definitely a neat experience, and not a race at all.”
Now in its second year, the Women’s Series will be held September 13 in Santa Barbara, Calif., and October 26 in the Livermore Valley wine country region of California. Like other Tour de Cure events, multiple rides of varying lengths are available for participants of all skill levels. The Women’s Series also celebrates Red Riders—those cyclists who ride with diabetes. Proceeds from the ride benefit the ADA’s mission to Stop Diabetes®. And the series is a great way to learn more about diabetes and be inspired by the people around you. The Women’s Series has the bonus of pampering touches, from a catered breakfast to other special perks when riders roll across the finish line.
“It’s the first major women-only fund-raising cycling event,” says Nicole Preston, the Association’s director of Tour de Cure. “We want to attract more women to cycling, because it is a great exercise throughout the year. What makes it special is the sisterhood-camaraderie aspect of riding with so many other women.”
Garcia and her team are already signed up for a 2014 event. As a Red Rider, she’s able to use the ride to explain diabetes to people who otherwise wouldn’t learn about it. And she’s also able to meet other women with diabetes along the way. “I love this event because it brings so much attention and money toward something that’s very important to me,” she says. “It was a beautiful weekend. It’s just an incredible event.”
For more information about the Women’s Series and to sign up, visit diabetes.org/womenstour.