Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure Rider: Kelly McCauslin (BluJay Solutions)

Editor’s Note: November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Since 2016, our Logistics Leaders for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Cure cycling team has raised over $253,000 for JDRF to help “accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications.” JDRF is also one of the charities that our Indago supply chain research community supports. Today’s guest commentary is a Q&A with Kelly McCauslin, Senior Business Consultant at BluJay Solutions and a member of our LL4T1DCure team. We’re also including some great photos that Kelly has taken during her rides this year.

How/why did you get involved with the Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure team?

I got involved with the team in 2018, with the encouragement and support from my work colleague James Coon. James had been BluJay’s rider on the team since 2016, but he decided to take 2018 off and recruited me to represent BluJay on the team. I was not very familiar with JDRF, nor did I have any friends or close family members with T1D. I joined out of curiosity, because I love cycling, and also as a cancer survivor, I liked the idea of getting involved with an organization that funds research to fight a chronic disease. I’ve had such a great experience since I joined the team and I definitely didn’t expect to continue on for years. I have met many great people that ride with JDRF and have had great experiences on our rides, parties, and end-of-year tours.

Which JDRF Ride to Cure locations have you ridden in? Were the experiences different?

I rode in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2018 and Saratoga Springs, New York in 2019. Santa Fe was my first experience riding at high elevation (7,500 feet) and the climate was also very dry. The ride was hard to prepare for in terms of gear because it was so cold when we started in the early morning (32F) and then it got progressively warmer and sunnier throughout the day. I remember my toes being numb for the first hour of the ride because it was so cold, but also having to put on sunscreen during breaks throughout the ride. Saratoga Springs surprised me with the number of hills and elevation we had to climb, but it was still easier than Santa Fe.

Due to the pandemic, JDRF reimagined its rides this year, with everyone participating in their own way: indoors on a trainer, outdoors on your bike, with friends or on your own. Tell us about your JDRF My Ride experience.

With not much else to do during the pandemic, I have actually ridden a ton of miles this year. I started in February and began riding a lot in March, doing longer rides that I normally wouldn’t do until June in a typical year. I’m at about 3,546 miles this year and still going, where in a typical year I get in about 2,000 miles. I have mostly been riding solo, but sometimes I ride with a couple of close friends too. My favorite rides are always the ones that are away from where we normally ride and outside our comfort zone. I’ve had some trips to Old Mission Peninsula in Michigan and Leelanau that were really fun with lots of hills along the lake. I also rented some bikes in the Santa Barbara/Montecito area that was super fun. I’ve been doing a lot more mountain biking and gravel riding this year as well.

Why should other supply chain and logistics professionals join our LL4T1DCure team next year?

Getting involved with the LL4T1DCure team and JDRF is a great way to support a great cause and achieve a nice work-life balance. For team sponsors, by supporting JDRF and encouraging your employees to join the team, you are helping them to improve their physical and mental health, meet new people, and share some amazing new experiences.

Note: It’s not too late to donate to Kelly and help the team reach its fundraising goal! Interested in joining our team in 2021? Please contact Adrian Gonzalez. Cyclists of all abilities welcomed! Whether we ride in person or virtually, we have some fun plans for the year ahead.