Tour De Cure Takes Diabetes Fight To The Roads Of Niagara County 2009: Not 17

Tour de Cure takes diabetes fight to the roads of Niagara County

Not many people wait until age 17 to learn to ride a bike, yet Ruthann Brown did.
The teenager with bad balance finally asked her older sister to teach her to ride&mdash but only after midnight, when people in their West Seneca neighborhood would be less likely to see them. “I was so determined, I learned to ride right away,” said Brown, now age 52. “My sister Katie is actually nine years older than I am. She taught me how to ride, and now it’s come full circle because I’m doing this for her.” Riding in the Tour de Cure has become a tradition for Brown, as it has for hundreds of bicyclists who on June 6 will converge in Niagara County for one of the first charity rides of the season, the Tour de Cure. The ride, which launches from Niagara County Community College, benefits the American Diabetes Association. The ride&mdashsix distances are offered&mdashunfolds in a vibrant farming community, where vineyards and apple orchards line winding country roads. The 25-mile wine ride takes country roads. The 25-mile wine ride takes riders through a handful of vineyards, coaxing them to the finish line where a series of samplings wait. At the one mile-mark &mdash along Route 429&mdashthey’ll see Toronto’s skyline (if it’s a clear day). Brown, who works at Fisher- Price, started riding the 16-mile course in 2006, dedicating the ride each year since to her sister, Katie Smith, who is now battling the disease. This year, the 19th riding of the Tour de Cure, Smith has decided to jump on the saddle, participating in the six-mile Family Fun Ride. “Six miles is nothing to some people, but to me it’s a lot,” said Smith. “My mom had died from diabetes complications when she was 64 years old, and I had just turned 60. I want to do everything I can to stay healthy. “Every year I have an eye exam. Every year I go to the foot doctor,” Smith added. “I stay in touch with my primary doctor every three months. Someday I will be on diabetic medication, but for now I’m trying so hard to do it with my diet. I feel as though my pancreas must be working a little bit, anyway.”
Many cyclists who enter will use this ride to gauge their road readiness for summer.

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