Wednesday 30 March 2011

Delivering on a Promise. Cure Diabetes.

Last summer I, along with 9 other cyclists, had the great pleasure of representing the province of British Columbia in Cyclebetes' 2nd annual cross-Canada relay. As a team, we pedalled almost 1000kms over 5 days. The experience was one that I will never forget and has led me to register to repeat the journey again this summer. What is Cyclebetes and where did it come from? It all stemmed from one man's promise to his daughter. Cure diabetes.
BC Team at the end of our journey in Victoria, BC

(The rest of this blog is taken directly from Cyclebetes' website)

Vancouver businessman Kyle Balagno promised his daughter Taylor he would do everything in his power to help find a cure for her juvenile (type one) diabetes before her 18th birthday. He had 6 years.

"I must have been in a state of pure panic when I first uttered those words to my daughter after she had been diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. If not panic then my love for her must have left me momentarily dazed. How could a guy like me really cure a disease, let alone do it within a 15-year period?

If that wasn't crazy enough, mentioning it to my friends in passing was my next biggest error. One casual comment about my promise and I am thrown so far out of my comfort zone that my head was now actually spinning. Others knew of my dreams for a cure, my wishes for a family life void of pumps and injections, and now I was going to be held accountable to a promise I knew I had stated but wasn't sure I had really made a commitment to."

Kyle Balagno
Founding Rider Team H2V
Father committed to finding a cure.

That commitment spawned Team H2V, a 5 man team who cycled across Canada at break neck speed in September 2007. They made the epic ride in just 8 days, set a Guiness World Record and raised $800,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and millions of media hits.

Where five men once set a standard now thousands will follow. Where five ordinary men proved the extraordinary was possible, new champions conquer their own personal goals; For themselves. For teams. For those with juvenile diabetes.Cyclebetes is a festival of cycling events designed to bring a country, cyclist and the type 1 community together in celebration of what is possible.

"Being involved in events my whole life we knew we had something that could capture the imagination of the masses if we made it about their experience. The spin-a-thon and the relays will allow people to tell their story. It will allow them to deliver on their own promises. Promises that they may have made to themselves. Get fit, help a friend, do something different, become involved in a community and possibly be a part of finding a cure for one of the world's largest diseases. Cyclebetes is about young people being a part of the solution and leading. It is about standing up and removing the ordinary in favor of the extraordinary. Cyclebetes is about making a difference personally and in your community."

Willie Cromack
Team H2V Rider
Cyclebetes CEO/Founder

In 2009, the organization established the cross Canada relay. This ride was similar to the original H2V ride but with a twist...the relay was completed on a tandem bicycle! Each Province had a team of 10 riders, 5 adults and 5 youth with Type 1 Diabetes. The ride on the tandem was a challenge but they all lived up to it and in so doing, managed to raise awareness and funds for diabetes research. This ride was repeated in 2010 and will be repeated again in 2011.

For more information, visit, or follow on Twitter at @cyclebetes, and on facebook at 

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