Medical volunteers on the course

Published 11:11 pm Saturday, April 9, 2016

Riders on the 2016 Hampton Roads Tour de Cure later this month will be well taken care of along the route.

The Western Tidewater Medical Reserve Corps will have volunteers at every rest stop to care for the ailments that arise when cyclists are pushing themselves to the limit in the American Diabetes Association fundraiser.

“We have medical and non-medical professional volunteers there,” said Jim Steil, coordinator of the Western Tidewater Medical Reserve Corps. “Our volunteers come from medical and non-medical fields. They go through training for CPR, and/or they take first aid. Prior to every event, we refresh those training skills. We’ve been doing a lot of that this month.”

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Steil said two or three volunteers will be at each rest stop along the 100-mile course. Issues could be anything ranging from cuts and scrapes or sunburn to low blood sugar, a dangerous medical situation that can occur when a diabetic is doing strenuous exercise, like riding a bicycle for a long period of time.

“If there’s something we’re concerned about, we’re going to address it with the person there,” Steil said.

Volunteers communicate with the rest stops before and after them on the course, to make sure everyone makes it along their way.

“We’ve had people fall off their bike in between rest stops,” Steil said. “We’ll work to take care of those things.”

Steil said this is the fourth year of the group participating.

“They enjoy it,” he said of the volunteers. “It’s excellent community involvement. You get to recognize people by their uniforms and bicycles as well as their names. You understand what it is and why they’re doing what they’re doing.”

The 2016 Hampton Roads Tour de Cure will take place April 30, beginning and ending at King’s Fork High School. The route options are 10, 25, 65 or 100 miles.

There is a $30 registration fee and a $200 fundraising minimum. The fundraising goal is $450,000; so far about $203,319 has been raised.

Visit for more information about the fundraiser.