Racing for diabetes in 3,000 miles

Posted 6/22/09

As you turn the page to read this article, Bob Avritt is pedaling his bike somewhere between Oceanside, Calif., and Annapolis, Md., in what is …

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Racing for diabetes in 3,000 miles


As you turn the page to read this article, Bob Avritt is pedaling his bike somewhere between Oceanside, Calif., and Annapolis, Md., in what is regarded as one of the most grueling athletic events in the world, the 3,000-mile Ride Across America, which began June 17.

With a goal of reaching the Annapolis finish line in seven days, the Littleton resident will be riding 10 hours a day with a team of eight people with type 2 diabetes to raise awareness about their cause — all the while trying to manage their own disease.

“We’re just a group of ordinary guys embarking on something extraordinary,” said Avritt, an IT consultant.

Bob Avritt’s was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 10 years ago.

Having seen what his grandmother went through with complications from the disease, he immediately worked hard to change his eating habits. But after losing some weight he eventually hit a plateau, and he still needed diabetes pills to control his blood sugar.

Little did he know the day his kids, Mya and Robert, begged him to take a bike ride, everything would change.

They only pedaled four blocks that day, but Avritt had a blast.

He continued to ride, going farther and farther each time. Today, he no longer needs pills and is doing 100-mile rides.

The Triple Bypass Bicycle Tour is one of his favorite local races.

As team manager for Team Type 2, Avritt encourages people with Type 2 diabetes to take control of their health and also to his duties coordinating and motivating the team.

Team Type 2 is comprised of all first-time cyclists.

“Our message is that people need to take diabetes seriously,” Avritt said. “With an active lifestyle, good medical care, people can live healthy, happy adventurous lives with diabetes.”

His personal goal this year is to maintain control over his diabetes, achieve a weight goal of 175 pounds, and make a career of helping others with Type 2 diabetes and weight issues.

Avritt, who weighs 200 pounds, bike commutes to Denver three days a week, which equates to 30 miles a day.

He’s part of a bike club and participates in the Triple Bypass Bicycle Tour. He’s also been known to ride along Mount Evans road (the highest paved road in North America at 14, 200 feet), and in the 80-mile Copper Triangle.

Most recently, Avritt served as co-chair of Red Riders, an organization for Tour de Cure participants living with diabetes.

“It has been my honor to have been asked to share my story and to be part of something potentially life changing for millions,” says Avritt. “If we can affect one person’s life so that they take control of their diabetes and their health, that’s the main thing.”

The race is about 30 percent longer than the Tour de France, which takes place in 21 stages separated by the creature comforts of hot showers, hotel beds and meals. There’s only one stage to the RAAM: from start to finish.

Using Google Latitude, fans can keep tabs on the team’s progression across the country in real time updates.

For more information on Avritt and Team Type 2 visit,


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