Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Hour 4 A Cure - Tickets on Sale

The Happy Hour 4 A Cure is finalized and tickets are on sale now. Get your tickets by clicking here!

We are excited to be partnering with The Square Room in downtown Knoxville's Market Square to make this event a reality. The date has been changed to Thursday, April 30th for a number of reasons. Mostly, however, we hope to be able to attract a large number of walk ups attendees that night before, during, and after Knoxville's Sundown in the City event. Sundown happens every Thursday in Knoxville from April-June directly on Market Square, only feet from The Square Room!

The evening will start with an acoustic act from 5:30pm-7:00pm followed by the Sundown concert that week by Big Head Todd & The Monsters with Joan Jones. Sundown's concert will be followed by our headliner that night at 9:30pm. Our main stage act will be announced on Saturday, April 11th but I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $10 at the door. Wristbands will be given to all attendees allowing you to come and go from the Square Room to Sundown throughout the evening. Great food and drinks will be available from Cafe 4. Sign up today, tell a friend, and support diabetes research and our Ride to Cure Diabetes team at the Happy Hour 4 A Cure on Thursday, April 30th!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Let Me Upgrade 'Ya

Jessica and I upgraded our bikes on Saturday to new and improved pedals. It is common practice that cycling enthusiasts and experienced riders (which we are not, yet) use what are called "clipless pedals" on their bikes. These types of pedals come with shoes that you wear that actually "clip" together, essentially forcing our foot to stay with the pedal at all times.

This equipment allows your legs to both push the pedal, just as you can with athletic shoes and regular pedals, but this also allows you to pull the pedal. Basically, we should be able to improve our speed but more than that we can improve our riding efficiency. Hopefully, this will give our legs more muscles to use and provide us with a little more endurance training. How's that for a technical explanation of cycling from a non-technical new cyclist?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

Finally! Yesterday was a beautiful day in the Knoxville area and fortunately I was able to carve out a good 40 minutes to ride in the early evening hours.

As you can tell from the photo at left, much of the weather in Germany last week was not necessarily conducive to long, sustained rides. I tried to ride one day but you can see what happened to the bike. Danka schoen.

Today marks the 92 days before the ride in Sonoma. I feel like we have made great progress in terms of being comfortable on the bike, shifting gears, finding a cadence, etc. However, we still need to work on getting those longer rides in. This weekend, we may tackle our longest ride yet, a 24 mile journey. Jessica was able to track down a fantastic guide to Knoxville bike routes. For those interested, The Bike Zoo carries the book, Bicycling Routes by Elle Colquitt and Jon Livengood. The book has rides that range from 20-65 miles.

Although it is not yet reflected on our JDRF Donations page due to some offline donations, we are around the halfway point towards our fundraising goal. Thank you to all who have donated to date! It has been overwhelming to see such great support from our friends and family. A special thank you to those who have shared their personal stories on how diabetes has affected their life. These stories, among too many others, are the reason that we are training for June 27th in the first place. Let's beat this thing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Global Biking

Our training has been slowed this week with a trip to visit Jessica's sister in Germany. Her and her almost-1-year-old son, Nathan, are living about an hour east of Frankfurt. Christina's husband is in the military and is currently deployed so we thought we would pop in for a quick visit to keep them company.

Germany is certainly an interesting place. Among other things, we have noticed that the country is very bike friendly. Bike paths are abundant in quite random areas. In fact, random doors even apparently lead to paths directly adjacent to the infamous "autobahn."

I was able to get a very short ride in earlier this week in their village of Oerlanbach but that is about it in the way of cycling this week. I will post pictures of that ride later but until then, please keep checking the blog. Next week, our longer rides begin and postings will be more regular at that time. Thanks for your support as we continue the fight to train for 105 miles and find a cure for diabetes, or zuckerkrankheit, in German.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bad Sugar

In a recent letter that was sent to many of our friends and family, I mentioned a statistic that if diabetes is not cured by the year 2025, 380 million people will be diagnosed with the disease worldwide! This number is certainly astounding. However, the good news is that we have 16 years to see that we never get to that point. Diabetes is already an epidemic but 380 million would most certainly prove disastrous.

I had the opportunity today to speak at a film presentation on campus called Unnatural Causes (as part of the Diabetes Advocacy Board). The film is split up into many segments and is being shown this semester on campus at UT. The segment shown today was called Bad Sugar (click to see clips). While the film focused mainly on type 2 diabetes, it looked into the daily lives of a Native American community in Arizona. The community has one of the highest instances of diabetes diagnoses in the world.

My comments after the film touched on some of the statistics that we all hear, $218 billion is spent in diabetes health care annually in the US alone, yada yada yada. The biggest thing that I wanted to emphasize is that we all have the ability to make a difference. We can all impact this cause and we can all do our part, no matter how big or small, to help ensure that this thing is truly cured in 10 years or less! Again, when I was diagnosed I was told 10 years...give it 10 years and we'll have a cure. Today's film was just one example about how communities near and far are affected by diabetes and its complications. It is time that we all step up and make a difference.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happy Hour 4 a Cure

Last week we mentioned that a big announcement would be coming up soon. Well, it's here...

April 27th, The Square Room, downtown Knoxville, mark it on your calendars! That evening, from 5:30-8:30pm we will be hosting the Happy Hour 4 a Cure in partnership with The Square Room and a special musical guest.

The purpose of this event is help fulfill one of our goal's in participating in the Ride to Cure Diabetes. We want our friends, family, and the entire community to be more aware of the need for diabetes research. Throughout the evening and in between musical sets we will be interjecting short facts and stories about diabetes, the ride, and our team.

Tickets will be available for purchase online very soon and at that time we will be posting an announcement on this site as well. Tickets will be $10 in advance and $12 at the door. What's more, parking is free in downtown parking garages in the evening! Proceeds will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation through The Shafer Ten Year Team.

Please begin to tell your friends, coworkers, neighbors, cousins, bosses, mechanics, whoever! We want to see a great turnout on Monday, April 27th having a good time and supporting a great cause. We can do this! We can cure diabetes, one mile at a time.

Quick Training Update: This afternoon, we completed our longest ride so far, 16.25 miles. It was a 90 minute ride on Knoxville's Greenway; a beautiful afternoon to be in saddle!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Diabetes Affects Everything

Most people think of diabetes, or "the sugars," as some in the south so affectionately call the disease, as a condition that prevents anyone from eating sugar. Fortunately, that is not the case! Diabetics can eat sugar! In fact, diabetics can eat just about anything, in moderation that is.

Moderation is key for any diabetic's daily routine. Whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or happy hour drinks, diabetics can eat anything, anytime, as long as moderation is observed.

Not only does diabetes affect one's eating habits, it can also affect mood, physical activity, and work, just to name a few items. However, one activity that can greatly affect blood sugar control is the bi-annual time change. This Sunday in the early morning hours everyone will turn their clocks forward one hour. For diabetics, this means taking care of a few other responsibilities as well. Click here to see a list of tips for diabetics as we spring forward!