Lone Star Rider makes local stop

Rex Covington’s ride continues in memory of his son, following the long road toward a cure for diabetes.
The ‘Lone Star Rider’ passed through Gladewater last week and was soon on his way again. The Texan’s two-wheeled trek keeps going and going, raising awareness about diabetes and recruiting more supporters in the fight against it.
“I’ve been doing this more than five-and-a-half years now,” he said.
Covington’s son, Chris, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2003. Twelve years later, in 2015, he died in a car crash at 38 years-old after blacking out during a low blood sugar episode.
Haunted by thoughts of what could have been done to prevent it, Covington eventually made his peace, but he woke from a dream in 2018 and knew his course: to ride his motorcycle cross-country and back again – and again and again – until he had raised $90,000 in support of diabetes research.
With thousands of dollars raised and thousands more to go, Covington continues. Donors support his cause through RidingForACure.com and fund his personal efforts via Patreon.com/LoneStarRider.
Along the way, he averages about 26,000 miles a year.
Granted, “It’s never really been about how many miles,” he said. Raising awareness is the real mission, and the miles Covington travels put him wherever he needs to be: “I just go from event to event – festivals, rallies, speaking engagements, stuff like that.
“I hand out cards. Sometimes I have conversations about Type 1 and Type 2, the differences – Type 1 is a really difficult road to go down, especially with your kids. I also let people know about resources, the diabetes kids camp, where to get insulin, help and things like that.”
Fueled by a bevy of online supporters and towing a trailer, Covington keeps followers updated on his travels through LoneStarRider.com. With the holidays arriving he’s fielding a variety of invitations to appear in seasonal parades and other festivities. Gladewater, too, has issued an invite, courtesy of Lois Reed at the chamber of commerce.
Covington says he’s eager to participate, but it just depends on where he is at any given time. After lunch downtown last week, he headed from his brief stop in Gladewater to a rain-extended stay in Jefferson then beyond.
“I’m not really sure where I’m going to be at.”
The Motorcycle Grand Tour of Texas provides a bit of a roadmap. Covington’s been on the self-guided tour of 50 stops throughout the state. In fact, he’s one himself.
“I am mobile stop,” the rider said. “They have to find me.
“This is the first year I decided to hit all the stops. That’s why I was in town,” checking in at Gladewater’s downtown derrick, now lit for the holidays: “I might be back.”

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