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Gargrave diabetic Simon Pickering takes on 1,300-mile cycle challenge
9:00am Wednesday 14th August 2013 in News
A father-of-two from Gargrave is aiming to prove just how much diabetics can achieve, by cycling 1,300 miles in 13 days.
Simon Picking, 38, an electrician, was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic when he was 16, but is determined not to let it hold him back.
He’s joined up with Team Blood Glucose, an organisation which helps inspire those with diabetes to achieve their sports and exercise goals.
A team of cyclists, many with diabetes, will ride from Brussels to Barcelona between September 5 and September 19.
“The ride is all about showing that diabetes should not prevent us doing anything,” said Simon.
“We want to be an inspiration to others and to raise funds to put on events to help promote exercise amongst diabetics.”
Simon only recently took up cycling and triathlon seriously, joining the Craven Energy Triathlon Club last year after he was encouraged by his consultant at Airedale hospital.
“This is a massive step up for me,” he said. “I did my first 100- mile ride doing the Etape du Dales in May this year, yet I will be riding 100 miles a day on average.”
Simon says often people with diabetes find it hard to exercise because they don’t know how they can manage their condition – but it is possible.
From Team Blood Glucose and other experts he has learnt how different kinds of exercise affect his blood sugar levels, what to eat at the right time and how to prevent himself from becoming ill.
On long rides he takes blood sugar readings regularly and for the event itself he is being given glucose monitoring sensors which he will insert under his skin to give constant readings.
“If we can ride 1,300 miles and manage it as diabetics, there’s no reason why somebody who wants to lose a bit of weight or do some exercise can’t do it,” he said.
“I’ve realised myself how when I do more exercise, it seems easier to manage my diabetes.”
Simon is married with two young daughters, Daisy, four, and Hebe, eight, and says his wife Heather has been very understanding about the training he is putting in.
“I’ve got lots of training to fit in but they’ve been great,” he said. “Hebe loves cycling and she wants to ride in the Olympics so she’s very keen on me doing this.”
To support Simon and his attempt to raise money for Team Blood Glucose, go to his blog: http://pumperpickingblog.wordpress.com/please-support-team-blood-glucose-with-a-small-donation/ To find out more about Team Blood Glucose go to: http://www.teambloodglucose.com/TeamBG/Home.html
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