SOURCE: Type1Rider

Type1Rider

July 05, 2012 11:00 ET

Type1Rider Races the Tour Divide

Tony Cervati Returns to the Place of His Near-Death Experience to Inspire People With Diabetes

BANFF, AB--(Marketwire - Jul 5, 2012) - Today, Tony Cervati, aka Type1Rider, begins his second attempt at the great Tour Divide, a world-renowned, off-road, cross-country mountain bike race, spanning over two thousand miles from Canada to Mexico.

Last year in his first attempt at the Tour Divide, Cervati survived a near death experience when he encountered a grizzly bear. Trying to steer clear of the grizzly, Cervati fell over a ten foot ledge and into a river of class III rapids and 40 degree water. He was carried down river until he was able to climb back to land, where suffering from fractured ribs and hypothermia, he then had to follow the river back through the forest to find his way to his bike to get help. Cervati rode for another seven miles until he found assistance. In addition to battling these natural elements, Cervati was also contending with Type 1 diabetes and the need to constantly manage this chronic disease.

Due to his injuries, Cervati wasn't able to complete the Tour Divide in 2011. He was devastated by the thought that he'd let down his thousands of supporters in the diabetes community who were inspired by his audacity to attempt this most arduous of races. 

"Last year, I thought I had something to prove -- that someone with diabetes can do anything," said Cervati. "When I thought I'd failed at my goal, I was crushed. But I was astounded by the outpouring of support from the diabetes community; strangers who told me they were inspired that I'd even attempted the Tour Divide. I came to realize that the race is just like diabetes. Not every day managing this disease can be a success. But you have to get back on track and persevere. This year in the Tour Divide, I hope to inspire people with diabetes to keep trying, no matter what curveballs come their way."

Tour Divide riders must not only be conditioned to endure weeks of consecutive 16+ hour days in the saddle, they need to bring other skills to the trail like navigational acumen because the route is unmarked. Intervals between service stops are 100+ miles apart, requiring riders to calculate their appropriate food/water supply management. Packed with grizzly bears and mountain lions, riders must also find or create their own shelter each night.

Cervati will be facing all these challenges while also managing his Type 1 diabetes throughout the race, which he does with his OmniPod® insulin pump. "This unique tubeless pump gives me the freedom to focus on achieving my goals," said Cervati.

Cervati will pack everything he needs for the race onto his bike. His "survival kit" includes: insulin and his tubeless pump; simple carbohydrate snacks (jelly beans, rice and beans and small packets of oats) for fast acting glucose balance when needed; water purification system; a charger pack for his satellite phone, iPod, helmet cam and night light; dry change of clothes; spare bike parts; bear repellent; a bivy sack tent for sleeping outdoors.

Cervati, a 43 year-old father of two young children, will be sharing his experiences in real-time via his blog, www.type1rider.org. You can also follow his progress in the race on Twitter with the hashtag #tracktony. Media and press are invited to meet him to hear his story as he makes the journey along the way. He will be visiting diabetes centers along the Tour Divide route, which goes through locations including: Banff, Alberta; Elford, Alberta; Eureka, Montana; Whitefish, Montana; Missoula, Montana; Rawlins, Wyoming; Boulder, Colorado; and Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

About Tour Divide:
The Tour Divide challenge is simple: Race the rooftop of North America by mountain bike; travel self-supported along all 2,745 miles of Adventure Cycling Association's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route; keep moving and be moved; exist well outside one's comfort zone in tackling a cross-continent bikepacking odyssey; finish as fast as possible without cracking. Speed may be substance when it comes to Divide racing, but a flexibile, sang-froid style is the best attack for the Route's multiple personalities. Divide racing format requires no designated rest periods or set distances a racer must travel daily. The clock runs non-stop. She and he who can ride the fastest while making fewer, shorter stops usually hold the course records. With an average time-to-completion of three weeks in the saddle, Tour Divide is the longest -- arguably most challenging -- mountain bike time trial on the planet. It is a challenge for the ultra-fit, but only if ultra-prepared for myriad contingencies of backcountry biking. For more information: http://tourdivide.org/

About Type1Rider:
An organization dedicated to both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic athletes, particularly those who ride and race bicycles. The primary goals of Type1Rider are outreach and advocacy. These strategic goals are supported and voiced by Type1Rider's primary mission: Awareness-Education-Support-Encouragement. Type1Rider was formed early in the morning on May 17th, 2005 by Tony Cervati. He was attending a Diabetes Exercise Sports Association conference, and was motivated by the speakers there to openly post his preparations for his first 24 hour solo mountain bike race. Cervati began posting a daily blog detailing such items as blood glucose levels, exercise time, food intake, pump settings, and insulin usage. The site quickly began to tally a large number of visitors affected by diabetes. The Type1Rider organization has continued to grow rapidly recording thousands of visitors per month, and hundreds of blog entries. Type1Rider uses racing and cycling event participation as a vehicle to convey information and data about daily management, training, riding, techniques, and technologies available in order to improve their health. Exercise and self care is promoted as one of the keys to living a long healthy life with diabetes. For more information: http://type1rider.blogspot.com/

About the OmniPod
The OmniPod Insulin Management System is the world's first tubeless insulin pump. The OmniPod offers people living with insulin-requiring diabetes all the benefits of insulin pump therapy, with freedom and ease. The tubing-free OmniPod insulin pump has just two easy-to-use parts: the discreet, waterproof Pod, which automatically inserts and can be worn on many parts of the body to hold and deliver insulin; and the Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM), a hand-held device that wirelessly programs the Pod, calculates suggested doses and has a built-in blood glucose meter. For more information on the OmniPod insulin pump, please visit: http://www.myomnipod.com.

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