HERB Boltong of Baskerville 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 10 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 workshops run by Diabetes WA to put himself in the driver’s seat of managing his health.
A Diabetes WA spokeswoman said type 2 diabetes was a chronic condition where the body gradually became resistant to insulin or no longer produced enough insulin.
She said while there were a number of uncontrollable risk factors such as age and ethnicity, type 2 diabetes was also associated with lifestyle factors – such as diet, exercise and weight.
Mr Boltong said being diagnosed with diabetes was an eye-opener that actually helped him change his life for the better.
He learned regular exercise was important to live well with diabetes, so he got onto his bike and started riding.
Since his diagnosis he has ridden the Munda Biddi trail from end-to-end and also walked the Bibbulmun track end-to-end.
He noticed 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 going with him.
Herb and Snotty will leave Perth on 29 April 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.’’
You can follow Mr Boltong’s journey on his blog at www.herbandsnotty.wordpress.com
If you would like to donate to Diabetes WA visit their website at www.diabeteswa.com.au