Diabetes Awareness rider tools through Crestview

Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 08:40 PM.

After the drunk driver hit him while on a Portland, Maine-to-Miami awareness bike ride, Rhodes ended up in a motorized wheelchair for almost 11 years. His weight rose to 485 pounds.

Then the motor burned out on his wheelchair. With a thrift store crutch — and against doctor's orders — he decided he would walk again.

For more information on living with diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association page: www.diabetes.org>>

Quitting smoking, adjusting his eating habits and exercising helped Rhodes shed weight, lower his blood pressure and cholesterol, and beat Type 2 diabetes. Today he weighs 198 pounds.

Earlier this year, Rhodes decided to raise awareness of drunken driving’s hazards and, in May, began his state-wide cycling tour supporting Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

However, cycling through Central Florida in a region he described as "filled with rednecks," Rhodes had not only epithets but booze bottles hurled at him.

"'We like our beer!'" Rhodes said people shouted at him from their vehicles.

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