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Baskerville resident Herb Boltong is planning to circumnavigate Australia on his electric bike to show that people with type 2 diabetes can lead highly active lives.

When the 74 year old cyclist was diagnosed with diabetes ten years ago he was shocked, because he was otherwise healthy with no history of diabetes in his family. But he quickly decided to learn all he could about diabetes, attending our workshops to put himself in the driver’s seat of managing his health.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where the body gradually becomes resistant to insulin or no longer produces enough insulin. While there are a number of uncontrollable risk factors such as age and ethnicity, type 2 diabetes is also associated with lifestyle factors – such as diet, exercise and weight.

“Being diagnosed with diabetes was an eye-opener that actually helped me change my life for the better”, Herb said.

Herb learned that regular exercise is important to live well with diabetes, so he got onto his bike and started riding. Since his diagnosis Herb has ridden the Munda Biddi trail from end to end, and also walked the Bibbulmun track end to end. He noticed that the exercise helped to bring his blood glucose level down into his target range.

Hence the idea of riding around Australia developed in Herb’s mind. He bought a custom-made Scorpion electric tricycle for the trip, and his kelpie, Snotty, seems to like the idea of coming with him.

Herb and Snotty will leave Perth on 29 April 2018, heading north to ride clockwise around the country. He plans to take his time, arriving back in Perth in April next year.

“Diabetes doesn’t stop you doing anything. You can still lead a normal life”, Herb says.

You can follow Herb’s journey on his blog at www.herbandsnotty.wordpress.com.

If you would like to help Diabetes WA to keep helping people like Herb, you can donate through our website.

Herb Boltong with his electric tricycle Herb Boltong and his kelpie, Snotty

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