Monday, September 14, 2009

Congratulations Cyclebetes 2009!

I have to say this one last time:
  • Thank you to the core team for putting this thing together.
  • Thank you to our many Manitoba sponsors - I-NetLink Wireless, Westman Eval & Rehab, the Murray Auto Group, Tim Horton's, A&L Get Active and countless families, friends and strangers that sponsored the Manitoba cyclists.
  • Thank you to the media in Westman that provided great coverage of our team and the events here at home.
  • Thank you to everyone who followed us and supported us on the road.
And finally, THANK YOU to the beautiful, full-term pregnant love of my life that stayed at home with two kids and ran a household for our family while I was on the road. You are the most amazing woman in the world and I would be so lost without you, sweet girl.

I hadn't yet posted this video on my blog, but it was on Facebook. If you'd like to see the video I put together with some of the wonderful Cyclebetes folks I lived and adventured with for nearly two weeks, check this out:

Crew members from all across the country talk about Accu-Chek Cyclebetes - the biggest bike relay in the world - and encourage viewers to get involved.

This will likely be my last post on here for a while as I tidy up some 2009 loose ends and prep for next's getting close!

Every mile traveled down that highway brought us two miles closer to the cure. Thank you to everyone!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Journey Coming to an End, but Really Just Starting

I got to ride in to Calgary for the last 3okms with some great folks – Jeff, Charlie, Heather and Steve – as I passed my personal goal of 1,000kms for this trip.

The personal goal was nothing, though, in light of what this trip is about.  The people I’ve met here and along the way have shown me again and again that Juvenile Diabetes is a disease that won’t last.  It can’t, not with a group like this fighting against it.

It’s a little surreal right now…taking a few minutes to upload a video while everyone is relaxing…tomorrow we’ll ride out to Bragg Creek and then I’m going home.

It has been such a great trip, and I’ve got so many more memories that I want to make sure I capture, but, for now, what I’d like to do is get down some of the advice that I’ve received over the last two weeks:

Megan: Tell everyone we’re leaving at 7.  Then we can leave on time for 7:30.

Kim: I can. I will.

Willie:  Apparently one cloud can screw you.

Joanne: Ride like you’re wiping off dog poop from the bottom of your shoes.

Megan: Don’t forget the tent.

Barb: Don’t ever ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do.  Do it first, then you can teach them so they can do it next time.

Steve: Ride like a Kenyan.

Willie: Do it if you’re gonna do it.

I know there’s more and I’ll get them in here as soon as I can.  The video’s uploaded now and I’m going to get a last night in with this amazing group of anti-Type-1’ers.

This leg of the journey might be coming to an end, but I know that this group of people will accomplish great things – primarily curing Juvenile Diabetes – and I am so glad I sent that email to the H2V guys last year and got involved.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thank You, Manitoba!

Wow.  That’s the only word I have.

I have been continuously blown away by people I have met on this trip.  I didn’t think that the biggest shock would come from someone I already knew.  More on that in a second…

I have some very big thanks to push out to some people and organizations that made the Manitoba leg of Accu-Chek Cyclebetes so successful.

Krystal from 94.7 Star FM took calls from us all day long as we made our way from Winnipeg to the Wheat City, pumping up the event and directing people to our Facebook group and our website.  People were honking at us from Portage la Prairie all the way into town.

We were met by an amazing group of supporters up on the highway as we rode into Brandon.  They had signs, cheers, and most importantly, my family ;o) It was so great to see my very pregnant wife and my two man cubs.

The Brandon Police Service met us on the Trans-Canada with two vehicles and led us, along with CKLQ/Star FM, all the way through town.  With about 5km left on the Community Ride, my son Beemer joined us and rode like a rock star into the apres-event at the Riverbank Discovery Centre.

When we got there, about 50 people joined us in thanking I-NetLink Wireless, Westman Evaluation and Rehabilitation, Murray Chevrolet Cadillac and A&L Get Active for their support and contributions.

The Brandon Sun had a reporter and photographer there to do some photos and to interview Megan Rose and myself.

Afterwards, we retreated to my brother’s house where he and my very dear Mother had made us a rockin’ supper for all the riders.  It was sooooo good to be able to sit down as a team and have supper at a respectable time!  …plus, the grub was amazing and everyone had a wonderful time.

So about this wow thing…

Jannessa rode as my stoker through the province.  This girl has a ton of stuff in her.  Seriously.  At age 14, she not only lives with Juvenile Diabetes, but has also overcome a myriad of health troubles and not only survives, but downright pushes through whatever life throws at her.  It was so great to get some time on the road to get to know her better, and even better for her to spend some time with a lot of Type 1’s who are living with the disease and fighting to get to the end of this thing.  She is brave, confident and is going to make a difference.  I was privileged to ride with her, and amazed that she rode for over 100kms in less than 24 hours.

What a great place to call home, but I didn’t get to stay.  Tonight we made it into Moosomin and  tomorrow we’re on to Swift Current.  The next day, Brooks, then finally Calgary the day after.  I’ll be saying my good-byes and driving home after that…

…I can’t believe this adventure is almost over…

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Some Pics from the Road


It’s been so great getting to know so many people along the route so far.  One of those is photographer Carey Tarr, a Type 1 Diabetic that is following the crew along the way and rockin’ out some great photos.  Here’s a shot she got of me while driving past Kerry and I on the tandem…Carey was hanging out the side of the van!  Carey…thanks so much for letting me post this!

I finally got a chance to put some video online as well tonight.  KOA Rocks!  Free wifi?  Hu-zah!

These are the video highlights for Day 6 from the Biggest Bike Relay in the world. Cyclebetes is all about finding a cure for Juvenile Diabetes, with the hope of helping millions of children around the world, including over 200,000 Canadians!

Monday, August 31, 2009

All Uphill

I’m losing perspective: all roads that aren’t dramatically downhill are starting to look like big climbs.  Yoy.

Another night shift for RV2 and we’re totally rockin’ it. We’re still averaging 25km/hr even with these nasty up-hills.  The Sault area is nasty on a bike, but so much more amazing on a bike because you can take in the scenery.

We had a pit stop in Wawa for the RV change where we found out that the other team totally knocked down a high speed of 71.8 on the tandem.  Way cool…but way making Kerry and I want to destroy it!

We paced ourselves on a bunch of ascents and easy downs until, around 11pm, Kerry and I found our hill.  We got into top gear and were totally blasting the descent.  There was one big dip left in the road and we found another gear, pumping our legs as hard as we could, lungs burning, heart racing…and then we blew a pedal with 150 meters to go on the hill.  So disappointing!

There was a bit of panic going on…not too sure what order things happened in because we were going too fast to look down and figure out what was going on.  It was too dark.  I caught 69.8 km/hr on the bike computer, but we’d lost a little bit already.  We certainly didn’t bust through the 71.8, but we had at least 70km/hr, if not 71!

The threads on the crank were completely stripped.  The pedal was still clipped in on my shoe…pretty crazy.  It was a shaky moment, but luckily I was in the drops and Kerry is a real steady rider.  I didn’t need to move my hands to reach the breaks, so we just had to shake off a wobble and slow down.

We’ll get it tomorrow, Kerry, tomorrow. ;o)

Got into camp and Canadian Olympic rower Chris Jarvis had made the most amazing campfire-cooked banana bread with walnuts and chocolate chips.  Dude actually cooked it on the campfire in foil.  Made the batter from scratch.  Epic.

Really hoping to get some internet access soon…have some video we NEED to get up here and lots of pictures.

I’m also thinking of my beautiful wife, who is officially going to celebrate her birthday without her husband.  Love you baby…tomorrow we’ll be in Thunder Bay and I’m hoping Rogers has their act together for cell phone reception…

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Big Night of Riding – And LOTS of Rain

We rode all through the night last night into Mississauga and had one heck of a ride.

As we took the RV to start the all-nighter – Willie, Kim, Mark, Joanne, Jen and I – we looked up into the most amazing clear sky…crazy awesome stars and a nice cool night.

There was one cloud in the sky.  One cloud. Willie looked up and had the nerve to say, “There’s one cloud, there is no way we can get screwed!”

20 minutes later he and Kim were hunched under a gas station shelter while gallons and gallons of water poured off the roof of the building.  We couldn’t see them for a couple of minutes before they pulled over.  It was insane…and I have video to show it!

Mark and I rode together as the second tandem, J & J rocked shift three.  We rotated through the night until we busted a couple flats in a row and switched over to singles.

Willie rode all the way through Toronto.  When I say he ‘rode’ through Toronto I mean he totally destroyed that city.

On the last 20km stretch to Mississauga he came back to the RV and said, “James, it’s your Beemer.  Do you want to take it in with me?” 

It was the most incredible ride of my life.  Willie let me draft pretty much the whole way and we rocked that last strip of road at 40-50km/hr the whole way, and got into the community event in M-Town at about 7:30 AM. 

As I got off the bike, Googs came up and asked if I could help with the event.  I was feeling pretty high so I was like, “Hell ya!”   Then she told me I was doing the 30km ride.  Nice. hehehe.

It turned out to be awesome and I got to ride with Patti for most of the shift…what a great morning, too.  It is so incredibly lifting to share with other parents about D-Day, about the changes in life and what our hopes and aspirations for our kids and their life with this disease.

Googs totally rocked the event – for her first event where she had to write the entire script, it was incredible – and there was a strong group leading the team out of the city while she and I went to return a bunch of gear.  We met up at the team change event (ON East to ON West) and had to say some good-byes to a great group of people while we got rolling with the next.

What a blast…so fortunate to be riding with a group of people that want so badly to totally lick this disease.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Broke in on the Tandem

Kim Hexter is a ROCK STAR. If you’re ever going to do your first ride on a tandem in the dark, this is the lady you want riding the stokes is Kim.  Thank you so much for an amazing first ride.

We’re doing a wild downhill right now with tandem needed some serious love.  It’s lived through a hurricane, several thousand kms and a serious rain storm. Getting some big help tomorrow after the community ride in Mississauga.

Today my wife joined with Cyclebetes Manitoba team mates Jannessa Phillips and James Juliak went down to do a benefit BBQ for the team.  Murray Chev Olds hosted the event and covered the expenses, allowing us to collect over $600 for the JDRF! Too awesome.

Drove for three hours and am about 3.5 hours away from my next cycling shift.  Joanne and Jen rockin’ the tandem now and we’re about to do a change.

Looks like a great night of riding ahead of us!

Ride hard!

We Just Rocked Laval

from Aug 28…

I just rode with the tandem and we took the team out of Montreal the hard way…with a big fat detour u-turn that by no means suggests we got lost.  Seriously.

Riding in the pace van now with Carey and Kara in front of the tandem.  It’s 6:06 PM and I’m not sure when I will get internet, but I wanted to capture some of what we got to experience again.

Megan picked us up at 8AM…which is waaaaay too early if you stay up until 3AM looking for a place to find crepes.  Yeah, uh…totally Kara’s fault.

Team Food (that’s us) made our way down to Loblaws and grabbed a bunch of grub.  Man, the looks on their faces when we bought six bags of apples and a billion bananas.

We met up with the convoy, got the bikes tuned up and then hit the road with the team to make our way to Roche’s head office and were promptly blown off our seats.

5 year old Sammy and 8 year old Liam totally funked out a solid 5kms and as the dozen or so of us on bikes rolled into Accu-Chek HQ, we were met by 150+ volunteers, Roche staff, JDRF Quebec representatives, stilt-walking clowns and families living with Type 1 Diabetes.  They were cheering us through to this awesome event they were hosting for us, complete with buffet, drinks, some brief talks from JDRF, Cyclebetes, Roche and a truly endearing family.

Nathalie and her daughter drew more than a few tears as they shared how T1 affected their lives.  Both mom and daughter were phenomenal and drew much applause.

Next up was our very own Nathalie and her son Liam, who are team members of Cyclebetes.  Nathalie grabbed that mic and rocked it for 8 minutes and brought a great personal touch from our team to the event.

I then broke my legs in with a great shift behind the tandem and got to spend some time riding with Canadian Olympic medallist Chris Jarvis!  Sooooo cooool!

I have about an hour before I get on the tandem for the first shift and I’ll be knocking off some big KMs with Kim Hexter.  I am so pumped.

I’m thinking huge about my wife, my two man cubs and really wishing they could be here.  I can’t wait to see you guys in 7 sleeps!

Friday, August 28, 2009

With the Team!!!

I am so pumped.

We are sitting in the parking log of Resaurant Le Bordelais and chillin' while we prepare for our big event in Montreal with Accu-Chek. Refresh on the decals on the RV and we're tuning up the bikes.

It's been a blast so far and I'm not even 12 hours in!

Everyone here is great...Kara, Grant and I started the day at just after midnight when I got in (I had my own greeting party at the airport!) and we went on the hunt for crepes (FAIL).

Megan picked us up at 8AM and we headed to the local Loblaws. I TOTALLY BLEW my attempt to navigate, but I'm blaming it all on poor signage, a non-detailed map, and Kara. I don't know why, but Kara is at least partly to blame.

Getting ready to roll now...RIDE HARD!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My First Leg of Cyclebetes Complete!

I averaged an amazing 96km/hr on my first leg. 

Of course, this wasn’t on a bike; rather it was in my van, but nonetheless, the start of this adventure has come and gone.

Next up…getting to Montreal.  There’s apparently nasty weather right now in the area and 8 out of 13 flights were late, are late or were cancelled.


That’s me at the bottom…West Jet flight WS208, currently still on time, but there are quite the crowds forming here and equipment is late in all directions right now.

There is one more thing…I’m at the wrong gate.  The friendly people at West Jet think my boarding pass is right, but I need to wait until they get the mess cleaned up a bit first.

Having a little trouble connecting to the internet.  Ironically (though not that uncommon) I need to download a driver update.  But, I’m not connected to the internet…which makes downloading a little tricky…

Some People Shave Their Head for Cancer…

…and I shaved my legs for Juvenile Diabetes.  Yeah, apparently it’s a cycling thing. heh.

I leave for Montreal today and will be in Calgary 13 days later...riding my bike...and I'm so PUMPED to be part of Cyclebetes.  A cure for my son will be so incredible...and it's going to be one heckuva bike ride!  There are dozens of people from all walks of life taking part in the relay.

Thank you to everyone who has already pledged me.  If you haven't already and would like to, here's the online address:

If you know of anyone else who would like to donate to help find a cure, please forward this message along.

Thanks again everyone for caring so passionately about making a difference for our son and the 200,000 people in Canada who live with Type 1 Diabetes.

Wherever you are in Canada, I hope to see you along the way!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Training is REAL hard work…

…but my kids wanted to make sure their dad was ready to go this week, so they helped me with some push-ups before my ride.


Another HYOOGE Thank-You

This time to James Juliak of Westman Evaluation and Rehabilitation Centre here in Brandon.

The news for Cyclebetes just keeps getting better and better!

James Juliak is one of the riders for Team Manitoba and is also a partner at his office.

James ROCKED us at our Team Meeting last night and announced that WERC would be donating a minimum of $1500 to Team Manitoba as well as riding the 600km relay across the province.

Please show your support to James and help him reach his goal by donating online!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

And…They’re Off!

Amidst near-hurricane winds and rain that was coming down sideways, Team Cyclebetes official kicked off this morning by dipping tires in the ocean and taking it to the asphalt!

This amazing team – of which I am so honoured to be a part of – is cycling clear across the country and covering 8,000km.  It is the biggest bike relay in the world, with thousands of riders taking part along the way and approximately 100 provincial riders that will carry the ‘torch’ from coast-to-coast in Canada.

We are going to knock the snot out of this disease.

As Willie Cromack said, this disease doesn’t really have a chance.  You almost have to feel sorry for it.

Nah.  Scrub that.  Bring on the lack of pity folks and help find a cure!

Friday, August 21, 2009

I-NetLink Wireless – THANK YOU!

I just got word from the management at my work that a HYOOGE thank you is in order!

The owners and management of I-NetLink Wireless have announced that they will be giving a portion of every new installation from August 15 to September 5 to Cyclebetes to support research programs at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Canada.image

This is phenomenal!  …it could translate into hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

I-NetLink Wireless is the second largest telecommunications company based in Manitoba and reaches hundreds of thousands of customers with its high-speed internet service.

So, if you’re living in rural Manitoba and have been waiting for an opportunity to get onto high-speed, why not right now!

Visit them online and sign-up today!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Our Mall Ride Makes Some Tracks

Check out this article excerpt from Cyclebetes marketing manager Grant Daisley:

James Chambers really is a man on a mission.  This past weekend the Manitoba Team Captain put his butt on the bicycle seat for a total of 19 hours to draw awareness to the reason why he’s riding across three provinces.  To Cure Juvenile Diabetes.

james_cycling_in_mallYou can read the full post here, which goes on to share some of my ideas for totally rocking a fundraising event out.

The photo is from the Brandon Sun coverage of the event (thanks again, Tim!).

While Grant praises me pretty good in the article, the reality is that I am so honoured to be part of such a great cause…one that will mean the end of Juvenile Diabetes for my son and 200,000 other Canadians that live with the disease.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thank You Westman!

Another great event for Cyclebetes here in Brandon as we prepare for the biggest bike relay in the world this fall!


I have a bunch of thank-yous to get out here:

  • Shoppers Mall Brandon for providing the space
  • I-NetLink Wireless for giving me the day off of work and sending Brittany down to staff the booth
  • A & L Get Active for providing us with the spinner to put our bikes on
  • CKLQ and Star FM – Carla was awesome and did great promos for us all afternoon on Saturday
  • The Brandon Sun, who came by on Friday and got us in the paper for Saturday AM…thanks Tim!
  • ALL the people who stopped by and donated!

It looks like light traffic in the photo above, but we were able to raise over $1200 for the JDRF this weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mall Ride Information

Our Cyclebetes Mall Ride here in Brandon is coming along swimmingly.  The Shopper’s Mall has donated the space to us, A&L Get Active will be lending us a spinner, Accu-Chek has sent us some meters and coupons, and we got our banner from Vancouver!

Looking forward to a great event next weekend…come and join us!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mall Ride is a GO!

Please come and join us next Friday and Saturday (July 24th and 25th) at Shoppers Mall Brandon for our 2x12 hour Mall Ride for Cyclebetes!

We will be riding a stationary bike for 12 hours straight on both Friday and Saturday, trying to gather donations for Cyclebetes and get more riders signed up for our Provincial Relay segment.

If you’re coming from out of town, the Shoppers Mall is located on the South End of the city on the corner of 18th and Richmond Avenue.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cyclebetes Blog is in Full Swing

If you haven’t already bookmarked the blog for the Cyclebetes crew you definately need to…lots of great info, messages from different team members, rider profiles and more. 

Check out the blog here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

24 Days of Riding Done

I was undertaking a challenge from Cyclebetes CEO Willie Cromack of John Henry Bikes in Vancouver to complete 30 days of riding, getting on the bike each and every day.

Sadly, today marks the last day I’ll be able to participate.  I am joining my best friend on a road trip…no bikes, though. 

I am greatly excited about the conference we’ll be attending and won’t wait a day to get back on my bike when I return…

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

These are the Real Champions

DSC_7440Kids that live their lives to the fullest are always a marvel and an inspiration. 

Here are three of such a type of kid, and they’re all heroes in my books.  Each lives with over 3,000 needles a year, and yet they do well in school and in sports.

Jannessa, on the left, is 14 years old and is riding with us through Manitoba as the Cyclebetes National Team makes it through the province.

This pic was taken the other night at the 600km tune-up ride at the Riverbank Discovery Centre in Brandon.  All three kids got their new Accu-Chek Aviva Nano meters.  My son Brandon is at the front of the pack holding his up (he loves it).

DSC_7477 And a pic of us on the trails as well…going to be a blast come September!

Great job, team!

Monday, June 29, 2009

600kms Later…

CyclebetesIt was a long, tough night and we were joined by some great people to help us reach our goal.

The Brandon Sun did a great article for us this weekend and we got a little more attention from some of the radio stations.

The weather was brutal – strong winds, rain and thunder threatening – but we endured and are that much more prepared for our big ride in September!

Thanks James and Jannessa from team Manitoba for making the night a great success, and to Carla from CKLQ who did the live-on-location coverage for us!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tonight Kicks it Off!

After nearly a year of training and planning, tonight our team members will meet at the Riverbank Discovery Centre in Brandon to ride a combined total of 600kms – the distance our team will travel across Manitoba!

Star FM will be on location and pumping out tunes as we ride around a 3km loop, racing to finish a total of 200 laps.

We are taking laps from anyone wanting to ‘donate’ to us to support research for Juvenile Diabetes and we will be accepting donations of hard-cold cash, too!

Come join us!

Monday, June 22, 2009

My New Ride

My local bike shop helped me out hyooooge and hooked me up with a great bike at a great price.

Here’s my new Norco CM2 (with a good 200kms on it already!  Woot!):

imageThe seat’s a little different from what I’m used to and I sure need to get used to those clips…but MAN can I glide on this beast!

I’ve found out very quickly, though, that with great speed comes much responsibility…in the form of tube replacement.  These city streets aren’t friendly to my new ride’s tires!

Friday, June 5, 2009

This is Me.

My name is James Chambers.

My son was diagnosed at age 4 and for three years has been living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Cyclebetes is a series of cycling and fitness events to raise awareness of the disease and to fund a cure.

We are close.  My son will be cured.  This may be the year, and Cyclebetes may very well be the difference in making this happen.

I am uber-pumped to be doing this.  I just got my jersey and shorts from the team in Vancouver and it upped my excitement even more.


I can’t wait for this fall!

Ride hard.