Charlotte’s third annual Tour de Cure will roll through South Charlotte next month with expectations for record-breaking fundraising.
Tour de Cure is a national event that raises money for the American Diabetes Association. The event was founded in 1991, and in the past 25 years, rides have raised more than $250 million for education, advocacy and research.
“We’re all looking for a cure for diabetes, but we’re trying to make the day-to-day life of everyone living with diabetes a little bit easier and a little better,” said Rolly Sauls, event coordinator for the Charlotte Tour de Cure.
The Charlotte race will be April 30 and will include 10-, 24-, 43- and 63-mile rides. People of all ages are invited. Past riders have ranged in age from 7 to 85, Sauls said.
The 10-mile ride goes around Ballantyne Corporate Park, while the two longer rides are more challenging courses that take riders outside of Charlotte.
Organizers hope to raise $170,000 and have 300 riders in Charlotte this year, Sauls said. The ride, which starts in Ballantyne Corporate Park, has been moved from Sunday to Saturday this year.
Joey Arnold, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes eight years ago, will be riding in Charlotte’s Tour de Cure for the third time. He will wear a red jersey indicating that he is a “Red Rider,” or someone living with diabetes.
Arnold, 47, said he had played sports in his youth, but had become less active as an adult. He took a “hard look at exercise” after his diagnosis and made it a vital part of his treatment.
When he heard the Tour de Cure was coming to Charlotte, he said he knew he wanted to be involved.
“I wanted to be part of advocacy in my community,” he said.
He bought a road bike, and the first Charlotte Tour de Cure was his first organized ride. He said he has since “fallen in love with the road” and has become a regular cyclist.
Arnold has raised more than $1,000 each time he has ridden, making him one of the Charlotte ride’s Champions to Stop Diabetes. Arnold said he does most of his fundraising through social media.
He also now serves on the event’s organizing committee.
The ride is open to teams and unaffiliated individuals, who are invited to join “Team Red.” Many teams are comprised of employees from the same company and friends and family members.
Check-ins for the rides begin 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. depending on the length of the ride, and the ride begins an hour later. All are invited to a festival after the ride in Ballantyne Corporate Park, which features lunch, fun and entertainment.
“We encourage riders and family members to stick around afterward and just enjoy the afternoon,” Sauls said.
Marty Minchin is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about Charlotte’s Tour de Cure, including opportunities for riding, volunteering and sponsoring the ride, visit diabetes.org/charlottetourdecure.