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The Healthy Living Magazine

An Athlete With Type 1 Finds Solace in Cycling

By Benjamin Page , ,

Ryan Fix at a past Tour de Cure event

Ryan Fix was always an active guy, taking part in a range of sports, including volleyball, basketball, and weight lifting. Diabetes was the furthest thing from his mind. But in 2010, at age 33, his doctor delivered a surprise diagnosis of type 1. “He could have said I had malaria and I would have accepted it better,” says Fix, a senior project manager at eBay.

After getting the news, Fix went into a kind of denial. “I thought I could almost reverse it if I put my body into extreme workout mode,” he says, though he’s long since realized he can’t undo his type 1 diabetes.

He enjoyed mountain biking, but that involved driving to remote trails outside his hometown of San Jose, California, making it too difficult for a day-to-day activity. Road biking, however, seemed like the perfect alternative.

After a quick Internet search, Fix discovered Team Red, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) cycling community. “I decided to try a road ride with them and got hooked,” he says. These early rides introduced him to other cyclists with diabetes, people he could relate to. “They pushed me to my limits during that initial stage of cycling.” Just six months after his type 1 diagnosis, Fix took part in his first Tour de Cure®.

The event brings cyclists together to help raise money for diabetes research and education. (Though Step Out® Walk to Stop Diabetes® is the ADA’s signature walk, most Tour events include a component for runners and walkers.) Anyone can register for one of the 47 Tour de Cure events held across the country and then recruit friends and family to donate or join them on the ride. Participants with diabetes, known as Red Riders, are given special jerseys to wear during the event.

This year will mark Fix’s fifth Tour de Cure. While he appreciates the camaraderie of riding with others who have diabetes and understand its challenges, he secretly loves when he passes a cyclist without diabetes. “You pass somebody, and they might look at your jersey and think, ‘Oh my gosh, I just got passed by a person with diabetes,’ ” Fix says. “That’s the best part for me—to show that a person with type 1 diabetes is no different than anybody else out there riding.”

Last year, Fix tackled a 100-mile route through the mountains near Silicon Valley. Now he has a new cycling goal. “I try to ensure that I meet 1,000 miles per year,” he says. “For me, it’s about consistency.” While he can’t reverse his type 1, that consistency has a side benefit: He’s better able to meet his blood glucose goals.

Learn More

Find a Tour de Cure event near you or start your own team.

All you need to know about Step Out.

Find a Step Out and Tour de Cure Event Near You

ALASKA
Anchorage, June 2 Tour de Cure

ARKANSAS
Bentonville, Aug. 3 Tour de Cure

CALIFORNIA
Los Altos Hills, June 23 Tour de Cure
Los Angeles, Oct. 6 Tour de Cure
Riverside, TBD Tour de Cure
Rohnert Park, June 30 Tour de Cure

COLORADO
Parker, Sept. 7 Tour de Cure

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington, Sept. 21 Step Out

FLORIDA
Fort Lauderdale, Oct. 19 Tour de Cure
Jacksonville, Oct. 12 Tour de Cure

GEORGIA
Atlanta, April 27 Tour de Cure

ILLINOIS
Aurora, June 2 Tour de Cure
Chicago, Sept. 21 Step Out

INDIANA
Indianapolis, Aug. 10 Tour de Cure

KANSAS
Wichita, July 20 Tour de Cure

KENTUCKY
Lexington, June 1 Tour de Cure

LOUISIANA
New Orleans, Oct. 26 Tour de Cure

MAINE
Kennebunk, June 9 Tour de Cure

MARYLAND
Baltimore, June 2 Tour de Cure
Baltimore, Oct. 6 Step Out

MASSACHUSETTS
Bedford, July 13 Tour de Cure
Boston, May 19 Tour de Cure
Boston, Oct. 20 Step Out

MICHIGAN
Detroit, Sept. 8 Tour de Cure

MINNESOTA
Minneapolis, June 1 Tour de Cure

MISSOURI
Kansas City, Oct. 5 Step Out
St. Louis, June 8 Tour de Cure

NEW JERSEY
Princeton, June 23 Tour de Cure

NEW YORK
Ballston Spa, June 9 Tour de Cure
New York City, Sept. 22 Step Out
Niagara Falls, June 1 Tour de Cure
Rochester, June 8 Tour de Cure
Syracuse, July 21 Tour de Cure

NORTH CAROLINA
Charlotte, Sept. 14 Tour de Cure

OHIO
Cincinnati, Aug. 24 Tour de Cure
Cleveland, Sept. 14 Tour de Cure

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa, June 1 Tour de Cure

OREGON
Portland, July 27 Tour de Cure

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia, June 15 Tour de Cure
Philadelphia, Nov. 2 Step Out
Pittsburgh, Sept. 14 Tour de Cure

RHODE ISLAND
Kingston, Sept. 29 Tour de Cure

TEXAS
Dallas/Fort Worth, June 22 Tour de Cure
Houston, Sept. 21 Tour de Cure
Lubbock, Sept. 14 Step Out

VIRGINIA
Reston, June 2 Tour de Cure
Richmond, Oct. 12 Step Out
Suffolk, April 27 Tour de Cure

WASHINGTON
Seattle, May 4 Tour de Cure

WISCONSIN
Madison, July 27 Tour de Cure
Milwaukee, July 13 Tour de Cure

 

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