Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Home Again. Home Again.

We made it back to Knoxville just a couple of hours ago. It was certainly a great weekend in Sonoma. I am preparing a full ride summary and hope to have pictures loaded from the event in the next day or two. Below are a couple of photos in the meantime.

The Beginning.

And The End.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

We Made It

Details and pictures to come...

Thanks for everyone's support to help find a cure!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tomorrow is the day

Tomorrow is it. It is what we have worked towards. It is what you, our friends and family, have supported over the last several months. We have raised close to $9,000. Wow! That is far more than our $6,000 goal and you should be proud. I am thankful, unbelievably thankful. Diabetes is a bad thing. A bad, bad thing. Jessica and I are truly appreciative of your support. Your moral and financial support in addition to your thoughts and prayers have helped us make it to Sonoma.

We have met some great people over the last couple of days. We have had a little downtime to collect our thoughts and hydrate. Now, it is time. We are about to eat dinner with the whole team that is riding tomorrow and then try to relax, maybe take a dip in the pool, and get some sleep. 5:30am will come early and 102 miles will get long so we better take it easy while we can!

The temperature when we take off in the morning will be around 55 degrees and the climate will change dramatically during the ride. As we head west from Santa Rosa and hit the coast the temperature should stay moderate but then as we head back towards the hotel on the second half of the ride temperatures are likely going to hit the mid-90s.

Follow us tomorrow and for the remainder of the weekend on Facebook or on Twitter. Our first update after the ride will likely occur through a tweet at http://twitter.com/aashafer.

Hopefully this will be the last time that a "Ride to Cure Diabetes" is needed. Maybe next week, next month, or next year will be when the time for a cure comes. Whenever the cure is found, please know that through your support, you have helped make it happen!

Monday, June 22, 2009

One More Thing....

This sums it all up. This is just proof that it isn't about me, it's about finding a cure for the over 171 million people worldwide with diabetes. Please take a minute to watch the video at the link below from a Dad in Jonesborough, TN.

Click Here

It's Time

Four days, 8 hours, 12 minutes, 34 seconds. Not long now until we start The Ride to Cure Diabetes on Saturday morning in Sonoma County. We are making final preparations before flying out on Thursday morning and are anxiously awaiting what has been a long time coming, 102 miles!

Jessica and I started talking about doing this event long ago but it wasn't until February of this year when we decided to take the plunge. Without the encouragement of Jessica to do this thing....we wouldn't be here today!

As JDRF often says "we're in the business of putting ourselves out of business." Hopefully we have been able to help JDRF meet their goal over the last 5 months as we have trained and fundraised for this important goal of finding a cure to diabetes.

It has not been an easy road as we have certainly encountered it all....rain, snow, extreme hot and extreme cold (sometimes in the same day!), snakes, owls, wild dogs, and cows, just to name a few. If it lives or happens in the wild of East Tennessee, we have probably encountered it.

We fly out on Thursday morning at 7am, connect in Memphis, and then arrive in San Fransisco around noon. We'll pickup our rental car, find a good spot to hit up for lunch, and then head 50 miles north of the city to Santa Rosa. JDRF has events planned for each day of the weekend and I will try to update the blog as often as possible throughout the weekend. I also hope to post a picture or two to help you share in our experience. In addition, I will "tweet" as much as possible and you can follow us on facebook or on Twitter (aashafer).

I can't say it enough....Thank You for supporting our journey! It has been a fun ride but the big one is now upon us. We hope to bring some great memories home and hopefully a cure will not be far behind. I do just want to mention one more time why we are doing what we are doing. When I was diagnosed almost 11 years ago now, I was told by the doctors that it was likely that we would have a cure within 10 years. Obviously a decade has passed since the 23rd day in October, 1998, and we do not have a cure. It's time for progress. We are...The Shafer Ten Year Team.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Done and Done

Well Sunday marked our last training ride, woo hoo! We completed 70 miles in just under 5 hours on Sunday morning/early afternoon and then happily loaded the bikes up in preparation for drop off at The Bike Zoo on Monday morning.

As I said last week, we have come a long way since February 12th when we first registered for the ride. At the time, we had absolutely no idea how trying, time consuming, and rewarding this experience would be. The hard work is over. We have done the training, worn the spandex, held a great event at the Square Room, and raised the important funds for diabetes research (closing in on $9,000!). Now, we just have to ride 102 miles in Sonoma County on June 27th, no problem, right?

We dropped the bikes off at the shop on Monday and they immediately went to work disassembling and boxing the bikes up for shipment. FedEx will pickup both bikes tomorrow and they'll be off....next stop Sonoma!

Jessica and I head out next Thursday, the 25th and will then be ready for a full weekend at the Ride to Cure Diabetes! I will post details about our ride weekend because there are events Thursday through Saturday, culminating in the awards dinner Saturday evening, post ride. We were also excited to receive our ride jerseys on Monday, they look great and I will try to post a photo of the jerseys soon.

We've prepared physically, now it's time to get our minds ready for 102. Please remember us over the next two weeks and any words of encouragement are appreciated. Who knows, maybe this will be the last year of the Ride to Cure Diabetes. Maybe we will help put JDRF out of business. This would be great! We'd have a cure.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Our First Metric Century

Twenty days until "The Ride" and 114 days since we registered and started training, it is certainly hard to believe! Today, Jessica and I competed in the American Diabetes Association's (ADA - "competitor" of JDRF, don't tell anyone) Tour de Cure. This was our first actual cycling event and one that we were looking to for a little motivation and confidence as we move into the last week of training. Fortunately, we had great weather and met some good people on the road as we finished 65 miles and our first metric century (62 mile, 100 k).

The day started with a wake up call at 5:30am, a Panera Bagel, a quick shower to wake up, two glasses of water, and then off we went to register and stretch at the event starting point in Loudon, TN (20 min. west of Knoxville). We certainly did not feel as alone as we do from time to time when it is just the two of us along with some rabid dogs barking and chasing as we ride through rural East Tennessee. These types of rides have been all too common during our training!

The finish line for today's ride was filled with a large group of folks cheering us on. We had a great catered lunch and then even enjoyed a short massage thanks to one of the sponsors of today's event. However, the most humorous point of the day came when Jessica "mooed" at a field of cows as we passed by and then at least a dozen big cows stampeded towards us. Fortunately a barbed wire fence kept them at bay!

We move into this last week of training with excitement and anxiety as the big event is 3 weeks from today. Our bikes ship out on the 18th and we arrive in Sonoma on the 25th. I will try to do a better job of posting entries between now and then. A picture from today's event should be available soon as well.

Final Note of Interest: Thanks to the generous support of friends, family, and even a few strangers, we have successfully raised over $8500 for diabetes research. We try to always remember this number when climbs get long and temps get hot. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Too Long Since Last Time

It has certainly been too long since our last post on the blog! We are still training and plan to post a lengthy summary of recent events and our upcoming final two weeks of training over the weekend. Depending on how the next couple of days go, we may do the Knoxville Tour de Cure (an American Diabetes Association event) on Saturday as a warm up event to our ride which is now only 23 days away!

The heat is making training tough but we are pushing through and are trying to stay hydrated and focused on the goal. Any words of encouragement are being accepted and again, we will post a longer entry this weekend!