On a bicycle made for Type 2 – by Mike Gerrard
A few years ago I found my health being called into question. I weighed in excess of 26 stone, had high blood pressure and was diagnosed by chance with Type 2 diabetes. I also had two young boys who were then aged 4 and 2.
It was suggested that, if I wanted to see them grow up, I should do something about it. Of course I had already done many diets over the years and had always ended up weighing more than I did to start with.
My wife happened to hear that the ‘Hairy Bikers’ had just done a diet series. I’m not sure how I missed it as I rarely missed anything to do with food on the TV! Perhaps it was the word “diet” that made it escape my attention.
Anyway, with the help and support of my wife, we started to follow their plan, though as my wife is vegetarian, we had to adapt a good deal. We were very committed over the following 12 to 18 months and I lost 10 stone.
The weight started to creep back on and I thought this can’t happen again. I decided to do something to mark what I had achieved. One of the ‘Biker’ suggestions had been to” get on yer bike!”.
I had started cycling in a small way by cycling to work. A distance of 2.5 miles, uphill on the way home! My first ride home took me 45 minutes and I was jeered as I passed a snooker club by the smokers standing outside, something which I found rather ironic! Now I am disappointed if it takes more than 15 mins and my record is 13 mins 25 seconds. It’s not a fast time but for me it’s really amazing.
Cycling is now a major part of my life and I wish I could do more. I’m sure many people think similar thoughts to me but I do wish I’d found this passion many years ago. I only hope I can encourage others to do something sooner than I did. I am now 57.
To raise awareness of diabetes, Mike is planning to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in September 2016 – go to Mike’s JustGiving page.