How Fresno Man Started Biking and Reversed Type 2 Diabetes
FRESNO — Jaime Rangel holds a bike tire and begins checking with his hands for thorns and other sharp objects that might be puncturing the tire’s rubber tread. His fingers, stained with black patches of oil, move quickly and seamlessly. He’s done this type of work dozens of times before.
All around him, a steady stream of kids line up to get their bikes’ flat tires and faulty brakes fixed at this free event at a park in southeast Fresno.
The free bike repairs are a preamble to the Cumbia Ride, a group bike ride with Latin American dance music started last year by Fresno’s Cultiva la Salud to promote biking and a healthier lifestyle among Latino families.
Rangel, 26, says he’s here fixing bikes because he relates to many of the young riders at the event — kids who can’t afford to have their bikes repaired.
“When I was a kid, no one showed me how to fix a bike,” he says. “My mom never took me to a bike shop because we grew up low income, so everything I had to learn from scratch.”
Rangel makes a point of showing those skills to the kids and parents lingering by their bikes. He wants young people and adults, especially in working-class neighborhoods like southeast Fresno, to be able to bike more to fend off chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
Rangel speaks from personal experience.
Facing Type 2 Diabetes as a Teen
Rangel was just 14 and living with his family in Los Angeles when he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are risk factors for the illness. While he was tall — 6-foot-1 — he weighed 260 pounds.
It’s been Continue reading