A Look Back at our 2022 Ride Season and Amelia Island

With 2022 not far behind us, we’re highlighting what an amazing end to our season our team had as we head into the launch of 2023 Ride on January 18th. Our Kansas and Missouri Ride team accomplished so much on and off the course in 2022 and we couldn’t be more proud of their efforts. Each and every one of them played a part in reaching fundraising goals, spreading awareness, and making an impact in the fight to end type one diabetes. With riders representing our chapter in almost all 5 destination locations, and a number of individuals participating in the MyRide, our team made an incredible impact this year. Not only did they help raise critical funds for T1D research and therapies, they also created lasting memories and connections with those in our community.

Throughout the season we saw our team come together to support each other’s fundraising events, participate in group rides, Zoom meet-ups, and much more. The most impactful connections were made at the destination Rides, where team members from all over, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas got to meet and ride together.

This past season ended the last weekend of December in Amelia Island, the largest gathering of Breakthrough T1D riders of the year and a crowd favorite destination. From our chapter, 11 riders were in attendance, along with 10 members of Jean Kuczka’s family. Our beloved Jean was tragically killed in a school shooting defending her students back in October of 2022. Jean was a long time Breakthrough T1D supporter and friend, who had a passion for cycling and spreading awareness about type one diabetes. This Ride was special for our whole community, as it would of been Jean’s 16th Ride. Jean’s fundraising page she started for her Ride saw a tremendous amount of support from all over the country, raising over $44,000 in her honor. We were so honored to have her family ride in Florida with our team and spend the weekend with us.

With 21 riders participating in the Amelia Island course on December 3rd with over 400 other riders, there was lots of highlights throughout the weekend. Riders got to experience morning yoga, a research update, team dinners, awards, and connect with like-minded riders around the country. On the morning of Ride, teams line-up to ride whatever distance they set their mind to or the full 100 miles. Eleven of our riders took the ultimate challenge of completing the full century (100 miles) across the gorgeous Amelia Island course. Not only did our team excel on the course in Amelia Island, they also played a part in our Breakthrough T1D getting 9th place on the Top Chapter Fundraising leaderboard. It truly was an amazing weekend full of memories and achievements. If you’d like to see more pictures, checkout our Facebook page, where pictures from Ride weekend are available.

If this kind of experience sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, mark your calendars! Our 2023 Ride to Cure Diabetes registration launch is on January 18th at 11 a.m CST. There are 5 destination Rides to choose from, and as always, the MyRide is an option for those who like to ride independently throughout the season. This year, the popular Burlington, Vermont location was brought back, along with Grand Rapids, La Crosse, Death Valley, and Amelia Island. As always, our team is open to cyclists of all skill levels and we have our coaches, Lisa and Tommy to help you every step of the way.

If you have questions about Ride or want to join our team, please reach out to Rachael Wernsman at rwernsman@BreakthroughT1D.org or 314-708-6056.