Diabetes Awareness rider tools through Crestview

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

Change of mission

When the rear axle dropped off the custom-made quadricycle he'd been riding, Rhodes sold the vehicle and returned home to Gainesville to rethink his mission.

Buying a mountain bike with a child transport trailer from Wal-Mart, he changed his campaign to diabetes awareness and embarked again.

Along the way, Rhodes relies on donations from people he encounters to buy food and make repairs on the bike.

"A tire here, a tube there, brakes, food — it adds up pretty quick," Rhodes said. "The Wal-Marts along the way have been real good to me."

However, he stressed, raising money is not the focus of his trek. Rather, it’s engaging the people he meets and sharing his life story to encourage others to make lifesaving lifestyle changes.

"Riding the bike doesn't do anything," Rhodes said. "It's not reaching people. You don't reach people until you talk to people."

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