I wasn’t a cyclist before UK Wide Cycle Ride; the only exercise I used to do was either wrestling with someone during my job as a security officer, or jumping in my car! But after I started developing problems with my toes, and my diabetes nurse pushed me to move, I took the first step to becoming more active and bought myself an Oxygen e-bike.
I had tried my normal bike before that, but I could hardly get to the end of the road on it. So, rather than give up, I got an e-bike and it changed my life. I was going to be the first person to ride one in RideLondon last year, but unfortunately that got cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Then I saw UK Wide Cycle Ride online and thought I had to give it a go. It’s virtual, I could do it in my own time, I didn’t have to travel or book hotels to take part.. I just thought, ‘let’s do it!’.
My UK Wide Cycle Ride experience
It was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it; I felt motivated throughout the entire month and the community was like one big team - it was really special.
I managed to do the full 950 miles, which was a huge goal for me. I had never cycled that far in my life so I have to admit, I did find it hard - but hitting the target felt incredible.
Nowadays, I can’t wait to get on my bike. I’ve given up driving and tend to cycle everywhere - I built my strength up on the e-bike and now I can take the mountain bike out for 20 to 23 miles at a time. It’s currently being custom sprayed with the Diabetes UK logo because I want to promote the charity and raise awareness; I want to make people stop and stare and ask questions.
This time round, I’m planning to do 950 miles again - but I want to do it in three weeks. That’s about 50 miles a day, so 25 miles in the morning before work and 25 miles after.
UK Wide Cycle Ride isn’t a race, it’s a ride - it’s a ride to show people that just because we have diabetes, it doesn’t stop us from living a normal life. Yes, we may have more to think about, or more to consider, but that won’t stop us.