VACAVILLE — Cyclists got some exercise Sunday during a miles-long effort to support the local fight against diabetes.
About 160 riders participated in the second annual Ride to Fight Diabetes, said event coordinator Theresa Travers. Proceeds from the event benefit NorthBay Healthcare’s Center for Endocrinology and Diabetes.
“Solano County has highest rate of diabetes in the state,” said Colleen Knight, executive assistant to the president of the NorthBay Healthcare Foundation. “We have patients here at NorthBay who don’t have insurance . . . we have people in this county who need assistance from us.”
The Ride to Fight Diabetes started at VacaValley Hospital and featured 10-, 25- and 60-mile routes. The latter, a 100-kilometer ride, cruised over flat country via Byrnes and Midway roads to the English Hills, according to NorthBay Healthcare’s website. After climbing the Cantelow Grade, riders descended to Pleasants Valley Road for a trip along Putah Creek to Winters before heading back to Vacaville.
Mike Winward, who just moved from Utah to Fairfield with his family, tackled the 60-mile route in an effort to lose some weight.
“I’m fat,” said Winward. “(I’m) trying to not be quite so fat.”
Winward, whose mother-in-law and father-in-law had diabetes, said he used to ride but hasn’t in about six or seven years.
“Now I’m commited,” he said. “I’m motivated.”
According to the American Diabetes Association, maintaining a healthy body weight can prevent and manage the more common Type 2 Diabetes, when glucose – or sugar – levels are higher than normal. When the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the cells ignore the insulin, sugar doesn’t get broken down and builds up. High glucose levels can adversely affect the eyes, kidney, nerves and heart function, according to the American Diabetes Association.
“We have to understand that diabetes is (sometimes) preventable and treatable with lifestyle (changes),” said Dr. Deborah Murray, medical director at the Center for Endocrinology and Diabetes. “Getting everybody out” Sunday to move and exercise – “that’s the awareness” – and what the event was all about.
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.