Five Years and “Change”

A new month.  And in keeping with every month pushing one awareness thing or another, here’s mine…it’s Diabetes Awareness month.  And it’s as good a time as any to mention to my Tour de Cure fans on a change for 2014.

Five years ago, I designed the base routes that is the home for Tour de Cure Oregon’s bicycle event.  In these five years, I have worked with a great group of volunteers to put in a deployment plan and structure that produces one of the best supported rides in Oregon.  With a personal mission statement of “spoil the riders rotten”, I think we have taken that to heart in everything we plan and do for the ride.  But five years is a long time.  It gets harder to see ways to improve what you’ve built.  And so I decided it is time for a fresh set of eyes in the seat of Ride Director…

Kent's first Tour de Cure as Ride Director

Kent’s first Tour de Cure as Ride Director

…So what’s next?  Tour de Cure is the primary fundraising event for all the programs financed by the American Diabetes Association.  And putting on a Tour de Cure event reflects this mission.  With a very small “paid staff”, the event is pulled together almost entirely by volunteers and donations.  A very small amount of “the budget” pays for Tour.  And so as Ride Director, it’s important that riders feel they get a better ride for the price of participation (in donations, fundraising, and pleas to fundraise).  That’s how you promote a ride event with a (relatively) high entry fee compared to the competition.  But it’s backwards.

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I have accepted the role of Event Chairman for this year’s Tour de Cure.  My new goal is to take our ride event to the next step as the primary fundraising event for the Oregon ADA.  That doesn’t change the ride, or it’s priority on spoiling riders rotten.  However, instead of being “just a ride”, it becomes “an event”; an all-day thank you for volunteering, donating, fundraising, and raising awareness to the diabetes epidemic.

Sign duty, 2013

Sign duty, 2013

For me, I get to work with the same great group of people on the ride.  But I get to invite more people to expand the reach and message of Tour de Cure.  New challenges.  More creating and building.  Something different, yet the same.  I’m looking forward to it.  I hope you continue to share and enjoy my journey too.

TeamNakagawa 2013 - Levon Brown, Dean Rifenbery, Melissa O'Brien, Mike Warner, Margo Nakagawa, Bob Downey, Kent Nakagawa, Les Brown, Elena Nilaver, Lisa Walker (not pictured)

TeamNakagawa 2013 – Levon Brown, Dean Rifenbery, Melissa O’Brien, Mike Warner, Margo Nakagawa, Bob Downey, Kent Nakagawa, Les Brown, Elena Nilaver, Lisa Walker (not pictured)