The annual cycling event raises funds to help fight diabetes, raising money for the American Diabetes Association.

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Mari Ruddy spearheads the efforts in New Jersey as Founder of the Red Rider program.

"Our goal with the ride is to stop diabetes," she said.

The Red Riders recognizes and supports participants who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes by giving participants a jersey to proudly wear.

Ruddy says diabetes is a disease that affects 26 million Americans, while another 79 million have pre-diabetes and many do not even know it. The problem is growing here in the Garden State.

"In New Jersey, diabetes is definitely a big deal," Ruddy explained. "Over eight percent of the population of New Jersey has diabetes."

More than 65,000 cyclists nationwide are expected to participate in the Tour de Cure. Last year's tour raised over $26 million.

"No matter what health condition you have, exercise really, really helps, and that's especially true with diabetes."

The NJ Tour de Cure got underway yesterday with a ride in Basking Ridge. The next events take place on June 9th in Princeton Junction and September 21st in Asbury Park.

"To get involved with this cause that affects so many Americans, it's really cool. And if you like to ride your bike, get out there and do it."

Learn more by visiting the Tour de Cure website.

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