My husband was diagnosed with pre-diabetes in a routine blood exam despite being a very active and healthy person. This scared us a lot and inspired us to learn more about the disease. During our information search, we learned about the Team Type 1 Foundation, the work they are doing in Rwanda for diabetes, as well as inspiring young athletes with diabetes to be a voice in their communities. We were also inspired by the men’s professional cycling team connected to the Team Type 1 Foundation—Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team. It was immediately clear that I needed to be a part of this organization and do something that makes a difference. It feels great to ride for a reason especially one which supports children who don't have a chance to improve their situation. As a mom of two young, healthy girls, which is a gift in itself, this is my opportunity to give back.
Riding in the Rockies for a week is a huge accomplishment where does this event rank for you as a cyclist?
We fell in love with the Rockies and the whole package that Colorado offers, which is very different from Europe. The Haute Route organization is fantastic because you get to feel like a professional cyclist, race alongside professionals and enjoy the beautiful and epic scenery. Even the food is amazing! This tour through the Rockies is already the highlight of my summer!
For anyone looking into riding the 2018 haute route Colorado what is one tip you would give to them?
I have two tips:
1. Always train like you will race - so practice climbing and descending on unpaved roads. There are many sections of road that can change day-to-day because it is not paved, so be prepared for the unexpected. For me, this meant wider all-season tires (I used new 28s and never flatted once). I would also think about disk breaks if you were uncomfortable during your training but I don’t think this is essential. I didn’t use them. Before heading out on a bumpy ride, always double check your water bottle cages.
2. It is called the Haute Route Rockies for a reason. If you can practice riding at altitude or in chambers that simulate less oxygenated environments, go for it! This is something very difficult to do and not something I did heading into this event. Looking back, I think coming a week earlier would have helped me acclimate to the altitude better or I should have aimed to train in a simulated environment.
3. Train harder and rest longer than you think so that you can enjoy it and always listen to your body so you can keep your health as a top priority!