Lori Bollinger is one of our riders for the JDRF and she will be participating in the ride this weekend on July 25 – 28 in Burlington, VT. For more information on more upcoming rides you can visit ride.jdrf.org or visit us on www.facebook.com/JDRFRidetoCureDiabetes or www.twitter.com/JDRF_RIDE. Here is Lori’s personal story for getting involved in the ride, why she got involved and what she gets out of it.
Our daughter Brooke, was diagnosed with T1D two years ago at the age of 11. She started out with injections and then “graduated” to the pump. She has been using that for almost a year and a half now. It’s a struggle to keep her blood sugar under control, and it’s something that we are constantly working on.
(As a side note – my grandmother also had T1D. She died of complications from it in 1969, before I was born.)
As soon as Brooke was diagnosed, I got online and found the JDRF website, and saw that there was a Walk, and that the closest one to our diagnosis date at that time was in Hershey. We participated in that one in 2011 and had a great time.
Then last summer, on a whim, my daughter asked me to go for a bike ride with her. I didn’t even own a bike. My husband was the cyclist in the family, not me. I got on my ten-year-old son’s mountain bike and rode around with her. I hadn’t been on a bike in 20-25 years! It actually made me happy and reminded me of when I was a kid. So that’s where the cycling actually started!
After that, I began biking more so I bought a Hybrid (in between a road bike and mountain bike). My husband lost his job last August under pretty crappy circumstances (he’s fine now), and we were looking for something to do to raise our morale. We biked from our house to my mother’s house 53 miles away. That was my first “long” ride.
I found out about the JDRF Ride to Cure immediately after that and I have been thinking of it for almost a year now. I had been riding my Hybrid with this Ride in mind for a while, and I started getting ready for it while there was still snow on the ground. I guess I have built up my mileage since then. Then, in April, just three months ago, I got fitted for my own road bike and I learned how to ride it (clipped in shoes and all).
It’s always challenging for me and I am not super fast, but I always get it done! It’s funny – living in State College with the University – there are so many awesome athletes here, and I am used to them whizzing past me on rides like I’m standing still.
For me, it’s not about how fast I am, it’s about the challenge and the accomplishment. And now I get to do it for a good cause too!