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More than a Bike Ride, an Event that Can Jump Start a Healthy Lifestyle
Published on May 20, 2013Email To Friend    Print Version

Erica Bibeau
shelly_riding_betty___Copy.jpgShelly Harvey, of Eden Prairie, Minn. says, “riding in the ADA Tour de Cure was quite literally a life-changing experience for me.  And I am not exaggerating in the least - it has changed my life!

At the time, Shelly was obese and hadn’t ridden a bike in 20 years. She didn’t even own a decent bike.  She shared with us, "I signed up after feeling a tad coerced by the extremely effective team captain at my company.  I felt it was my duty as an employee who leads volunteerism for our organization to participate.  But I was afraid.  Could I ride a bike?  Even seven miles? But I signed up, signed my husband up and we said, with the addition of our two year old son in a bike carrier, we were doing this as a family.” 

Shelly's story is like many other Tour de Cure riders as she continues to share her experience. “I had been looking for a way to get involved in stopping diabetes and losing weight and this event just seemed to be calling my name.  So, I bought a new bike – a kind of fun, funky one I named Betty – and I started riding.”

Shelly and her family completed their First Tour de Cure ride this last June.  “There were riders of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities. I felt comfortable says Shelly and I realized I could do this!  Even the more avid cyclists in spandex were so friendly and positive, cheering me on. I also felt like we were doing right by our son, exposing him early to fitness and fundraising for such an important cause.  It was seriously one of the most amazing days of my life.”

Shelly discovered that her active lifestyle didn’t end once she crossed the Tour de Cure finish line last year, it was actually just beginning.  She said, “I left feeling so energized and was finally ready to tackle my issue with obesity.  I knew I was at risk for diabetes, heart disease and who knows what else due to my weight and lack of physical activity. 

The event had such an impact on Shelly the very next day she signed up to do the Iron Girl Duathlon (a run-two, bike 22 and run another two miles) event later that fall.  “I trained hard and completed it,” said Shelly.  “My family was so proud of me and I couldn’t believe the difference this physical activity made in my life.  I’m no longer obese and I have so much more energy.  As a result, I’m forever grateful to the Tour de Cure for jump starting my journey to health. Now I can ride a bike again and enjoy myself while doing so.” Shelly urges others to get involved with the Tour de Cure, no matter where they are the fitness journey.

Regardless if you are riding your first mile or your thousandth, the Tour de Cure has a route for you.  Join Shelly, her family and many others on June 1, 2013, at Minnehaha Falls, in South Minneapolis.  Choose a route that fits your level, from the Tour's 7, 18, 27, 45, 62, or 100 mile - fully supported ride option. Then, after your celebratory ride enjoy a fabulous party at the finish with lunch, music, massages, Schell’s beer garden, kid’s activities, and more.  Register for the Tour de Cure today and ride with Shelly on June 1st.  



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