Takes on Fight Against Diabetes

NorthBay cyclists posing with a bike

A record number of cyclists and their cowbell-ringing supporters came from all over California, Oregon and even the United Kingdom to take part in the Fifth Annual Ride to Defeat Diabetes (R2D2) on Sept. 11.

A cool morning with light breezes — as well as a contingent of first responders — greeted the first group of cyclists at the starting line. Representatives from Vacaville Fire Station 72, an entire shift of Vacaville Police officers and several representatives from Medic Ambulance stood at attention there, invited to take part in a moment of silence in honor of 9/11. Then, R2D2 cyclists were cheered as they embarked on a 60-mile ride.

A whopping 321 cyclists — the largest showing in the event's history — participated in one of the three routes that wound their way in and around Vacaville and Winters. Upon return, they were greeted by music, NorthBay Foundation board members who served up a tasty lunch and ice-cold beverages, and invited to browse among vendor booths.

Cyclists getting ready for the event to start

The event was designed to create awareness about Solano County's diabetes crisis, and to support the NorthBay Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology's efforts to defeat it, according to Ken McCollum, vice president, Human Resources, and ride organizer. All of the money raised by R2D2 stays local to help NorthBay's diabetes patients.

“Riders came back tired but happy,” observed Ken. “We saw a lot of camaraderie among the crowd and received some very positive feedback.”

Rebecca Sachs of Vacaville heard about the ride while visiting Ray's Cycle. “I decided to sign up because it supports a good cause and it supports NorthBay, which I think is a great hospital.”

Phil Webb of London was in the area visiting friends, and signed up for it because he works for Diabetes UK.

“It was extremely well run and I enjoyed being part of it,” he said.