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Mountain biker won't let diabetes get in the way as he crosses t - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Mountain biker won't let diabetes get in the way as he crosses the 'Great Divide'

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An Atascadero cyclist recently accomplished an incredible feat, winning the world's longest bike race called the Tour Divide, and doing it after recently being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

"Who cares about how hard it is. You start to learn how to overlook the challenge," said Brian Lucido.

The 41-year-old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year and, some may say, learning to adapt to a disease that will last for the rest of your life is the biggest challenge of them all.

"I'm not going to say I feel blessed that I have diabetes, but I feel blessed that it's that and not something I can't control," Lucido said. "This is a disease that you can get on top of and if you work hard, you can have a total normal life and just as long, too."

Shortly after learning about his diagnosis, Lucido began carefully and methodically preparing himself for the world's longest bike race called the Tour Divide. It covers nearly 2,800 miles and 200,000 vertical feet climbing over the Rocky Mountains, across multiple states, while dealing with treacherous weather conditions.

"We had a lot of difficult sections, a lot of snow, way more than the previous years," Lucido recalled.

He crisscrossed the continental divide through the wilderness and alone as fast as possible while pushing his body to the limit.

"So I pushed really hard and both of my Achilles, I mean, they're still swollen as you can see, I pushed really hard and injured both of them. I woke up to go to the bathroom and could not walk, literally, they were so stiff, so I crawled over the bathroom and I was like, my race is over, but I invested so much energy in getting there so I'm like, I can't stop today, I'll do one more day," Lucido said.

After 14 days, 22 hours and 45 minutes, rookie Brian Lucido took first place. 

"I didn't think it would be possible, honestly. There's a lot of complex things that you have to deal with when you have diabetes and learning what I could do and once I figured that out, I realized, it was possible," he said.

The Tour Divide has officially existed for 10 years now, making Lucido the 10th winner in its existence and he holds the third fastest time.

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