Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy and JDRF Maryland (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) are teaming up once again to host the Tour de Talbot of 2012. The Tour de Talbot will feature a century (100 miles), a metric century (60 miles), and a 20 mile ride. All rides are supported, with food and drink at rest stops included in registration. There will be 30 volunteers from Saints Peter and Paul High School spread through-out the course cheering the riders on and manning rest stops. The century and 60 mile ride will kick-off at 7:30 am; the family ride will follow at 9:30 am. All rides will start and finish at the Talbot Country Club, culminating in an outdoor barbeque celebration.
The inspiration for the ride? McKenna Mann, a 16-year-old student at Sts. Peter and Paul High School, and a resident of Easton, who has type 1 (or “juvenile”) diabetes. McKenna was stricken with the disease in May of 2005 and raised more than $10,000 by participating in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (“JDRF”) Walk to Cure Diabetes in 2006, before her tenth birthday.
“It was so exciting that people I didn’t even know were willing to support me and my cause,” says McKenna. “It made me feel great.”
And so began what has become a family’s quest to help find a cure; inspired by that experience, her father, Ken Mann, wanted to do more. He organized a team of five riders in October of 2007 and participated in JDRF’s Ride To Cure, pedaling 105 miles in Death Valley, California, and raising over $25,000.
In 2008, Mann and a few other local riders took on the mountains of Asheville, NC and raised approximately $40,000 by completing JDRF’s century ride there. Brad Callahan and Jim Campbell were two friends that participated in both rides.
Callahan, a long time friend of the Manns, came up with a new idea in 2010. “I really enjoyed the rides in Asheville and Death Valley, but thought it would be great if we could do something locally and involve our families and more people that can’t commit to the travel time required for the JDRF rides.” Callahan’s company, Travel Advantage Network, is this year’s main sponsor, contributing $5,000 to the Tour de Talbot.
Campbell, a local realtor, was the route planner for the cycling route maps promoted by Talbot County. Campbell says, “In Talbot County, you can offer a relatively easy, flat course, that many more riders can enjoy, and still have a beautiful course.”
Tim Junkin, the Executive Director of Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC), based in Easton, was a participant on one of the rides. As often happens on these rides, a new friendship was born; Junkin and Mann spoke at a post ride party hosted by McKenna’s mother, and Ken’s wife, Leslie Mann. They got to know each other, and in 2011, MRC merged its Tour de Trappe fundraiser into the Tour de Talbot, and together, the group raised about $50,000 to help fund research for a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications, and to support the MRC’s mission of the restoration and protection of the waterways that comprise the Choptank River watershed, Eastern Bay, and the Miles and Wye Rivers.
According to Junkin, “Clean waterways and children’s health are inextricably linked. Putting our two organizations together in this cause just made great sense.”
This year’s Tour de Talbot is shaping up to be our best one ever. Combined with the delightful weather this week, well over 200 riders, and scenic routes, it is a ride not to be missed. ALL ONLINE REGISTRATION WILL END PROMPTLY AT 3 PM ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14. REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AT THE CHECK-IN TABLE SATURDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 15, BETWEEN 6:30 AND 10 AM. CASH OR CHECKS ONLY, PLEASE. NO CREDIT CARDS ON THE EVENT DAY.
For any information please email or call Natalie Costanzo: email@example.com or 443-385-0511.
What: Century (100), 65, and 20 mile bike rides, followed by food and celebration
Where: Starts and ends at Talbot Country Club, Easton, MD
When: Saturday, September 15, 2012
In photo above: McKenna Mann