Your stories

Every rider has a story. Whether it's to improve your fitness, lose weight or simply reignite your love of cycling - please share your stories using #UKWideCycleRide on social media. Your experiences will help inspire others to take part and complete their challenge.

Marie, 2022 rider

"I first decided to do the cycle challenge after putting a lot of weight on over lockdown. After taking part last April in the UK Wide Cycle Ride I fell in love with cycling again and have taken part in another two challenges, managing to reach 500 miles in a month. Since then I’ve lost 26kg, my HB1C has improved dramatically, I am now using two thirds less insulin and feel amazing. I’ve been Type 1 diabetic for 26 years and this is the healthiest I’ve ever felt in my life. Most of all cycling is fun and makes me feel like a kid again."

Read more stories below
Euan in Diabetes UK cycling jersey holding his bike with his other arm around his son Archie in red pyjamas
Euan, 2021 rider

“My youngest son Archie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2019. He was two years old at the time and it was a real shock. Thankfully, the local diabetes team at our hospital were absolutely amazing and really supported us through his diagnosis. I’m really proud of how Archie’s responded - he just gets on with life. He’s wearing pump pouches at the moment and his favourites are Baby Yoda and Super Mario!

Archie has to face the challenge of diabetes everyday, so taking part in UCKWR was my way of facing that challenge with him together. It also gave me something else to focus on and helped my mental health too. Once I started sharing that I was doing it, I became accountable and it helped me stay motivated. It was amazing how much support I received during the challenge too. I think I was aiming for about £500 initially, but I ended up with five times that and I was truly blown away.

I also found the Facebook group a lot of fun; it was great chatting to people all over the UK. It felt like a little community. I would tell anyone thinking of doing UK Wide Cycle Ride to absolutely go for it - you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve when you have the encouragement and support from others.”

Read more stories below
Jessica and her boyfriend posing in cycling helmets
Jessica, 2020 rider

"The main reason I decided to take part was because of the help Diabetes UK gave me during the first few months after my diagnosis. Every single person I’ve spoken to on the helpline has been really lovely and really amazing, and the website has been an amazing resource too. I don’t think in all honesty that I’d be as confident as I am now without them.

Each week during the event I posted Instagram videos of our rides and shared screenshots of my mile tracker to keep people updated. I wanted them to follow our journey and see how their donations were motivating us to keep going.

It felt great to hit my fundraising target; it was something new that I’d achieved and my partner was so supportive. Despite not cycling much before, I ended up really enjoying it; it’s so nice to get the wind on your face. We’re also quite competitive so we wanted to beat our times all the time, and I just wanted to keep getting fitter and fitter. I felt much better for it."

Read more stories below
Brian in sunglasses and Diabetes UK cycling jersey
Brian, 2020 Rider & 2021 Ambassador

"The 2020 UK Wide Cycle Ride 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. 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 my Oxygen 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.

This year, 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."

Read more stories below
Heidi smiling on exercise bike
Heidi, 2020 rider

"I like competition and working towards something I have never done which is why I’m currently training for Half Ironmans.

I was put on an insulin pump at the age of 28 and it has been an absolute life changer. Amongst other things, it means I can reduce insulin when I am doing any training and I haven’t had a hypo during a race since. With long cycle rides, the insulin pump hasn’t completely taken the hypos away but it allows me to manage them much better. I also started using the Freestyle Libre this year, which is incredibly convenient for my lifestyle and training.

My cycling tips:

  • Have plenty of water on hand to drink
  • Electrolytes are a must - they help restore lost minerals and salts the body loses when sweating / exercising
  • Buy some cycling shoes – you can cycle with better technique and more power than normal trainers
  • Get some padded shorts – there’s nothing worse than sore glutes!
  • Get a good bike fit - making sure your seat and handlebars are in a suitable position helps reduce injury and gain comfort."
Read more stories below
UK Wide Cycle Ride logo