The History of the Twin Cities Tour de Cure

Hey all! My name is Brad Masson and I’m a member of the marketing committee for the YPLC. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be promoting a series of posts highlighting the Tour de Cure, the spirit and cause of the ride itself, and the amazing individuals who make the Tour what it is. I’m honored to be writing about a great cause, and as such I hope you enjoy reading this and what’s further to come!

10474891_600567413375240_3341306739644391807_nThe Tour de Cure is a staple of the American Diabetes Association’s efforts to promote awareness of diabetes. Being relatively new to the YPLC and ADA as well as being close to our own Tour de Cure date, I set out on a task to find and research the Tour de Cure, its origins and its impact on our community.

The first Tour de Cure was held in the Napa Valley area of California in 1991, and soon thereafter Tours began to sprout up all across the nation. The Tour de Cure was first introduced to Minnesota in Rochester, and in 1993 the Twin Cities area started their own Tour de Cure which along with Rochester’s continues to this day. The first Twin Cities Tour was planned by just 10 members and saw 280 riders and 150 volunteers show up to the Lake Phalen area to brave dismal rainy conditions. Over the years, the Twin Cities Tour has continued to grow, moving from Lake Phalen to Minnehaha Falls and introducing new routes to ride along the way. This year we expect to see 2000 riders and 500 volunteers participate. With the increase in size comes an increase in donations. In 2010, $330 thousand dollars was raised to contribute to help find a cure, and in 2014, that amount had been raised to $910 thousand dollars. This year, we are on track to cross $1 million in total donations!

One of the highlights of the Tour de Cure is that of the Red Riders. The origins of the Red Riders can be traced to Denver, Colorado from a single question. Attending and riding in her local Tour de Cure, Mari Ruddy simply asked how can one tell which riders have diabetes? In 2007, Ruddy along with friends Sandria Barrett and Marcey Robinson founded and introduced the Red Riders for the Denver Tour de Cure, and the idea spread outwards to other Tours as well. Wearing their signature red jerseys, they can be found throughout every Tour’s course and help to signify one’s courage to control and overcome diabetes.

As we approach May 30th, I’m looking forward to being a part of something much bigger than myself. I give my best regards to the riders and their training, and I hope to see you all out there, whether it’s riding or volunteering, and may we continue to grow on this history for years to come.

You can visit the YPLC’s Tour page here as well as the Twin Cities Tour de Cure page here

Brad Masson, YPLC Marketing Committee

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