R2D2 Cyclists Ride for a Cause

A closed freeway Sunday morning delayed the start of the sixth annual Ride to Defeat Diabetes (R2D2) in September, but it didn't dampen the spirits of the nearly 200 cyclists who came to support the cause.

Cyclists getting ready for the event to start

Bill Marlin of Vacaville was diagnosed with diabetes 20 years ago, and is insulin dependent.

Sunday's ride — he chose the 25-mile version — was his fourth appearance in R2D2, and he proudly wore a red cycle jersey with the word, “Diabetic” on his back.

“I was there to show people you don't have to be that person who says you can't do things. A lot of people feel it's too much. They get overwhelmed, but I have a long list of things for them to try,” he explained.

With a festive balloon arch strung between the start signs, Ken McCollum, vice president of Human Resources and executive sponsor for the ride, explained why NorthBay Healthcare focuses on diabetes.

“With one of the highest rates of diabetes in the state, it's our mission to educate the community and support those who are struggling to control their diabetes,” he said.

Money raised from the event has helped create a support group for anyone in the community with diabetes — not just NorthBay patients.