Chris' Story: Tackling Type 2 Diabetes with a Newfound Love for Cycling

About Chris

I’m Chris, a 49 year old Technology consultant and CTO of ActiveOrbit and I live in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire.


It’s 2014 and I’m a Senior Manager in a large Finance Corporation. My typical day starts when I jump into my car, drive the forty or so minutes to work and then walk across the car park to jump on the escalator which takes me to the third floor where I work. The Company has a fantastic café on site and  I use it for smaller meetings and those important ‘water cooler’ conversations. I love a full fat latte and it’s subsidised after all (great!), so I’ll typically have four to six a day. My weight is fifteen and a half stone and I feel fine and happy with how life is going. I have a lovely wife, two great kids and pet Spaniel.

What changed

I attempted a relatively short cycle with my son one day, only a mile or so, but I felt dreadful and thought I was going to be sick. My son was really worried about me and mentioned it to my wife, I just put it down to being unfit. Then I started to lose weight… fast.  Within six weeks my weight had dropped by one and a half stone and I began to think the worst. The C word was nagging me all the time. I was constantly thirsty and found I was drinking gallons at work. Eventually, I dragged myself to the GP who immediately tested my blood sugar – my mmol/l was in the high 20’s and at a level where I was close to being sent to A&E. I had Type 2 Diabetes.

The way forward

I was prescribed Metformin by my GP to help get my blood sugar levels under control and a close friend of mine (and CEO of ActiveOrbit) convinced me to take up road cycling, lending me one of his bikes. It was hard, but I soon found I could go further and faster and I fell in love with road cycling and the social nature of it. Over the next year I bought my first road bike and cycled a lot more, cajoling my neighbours and friends out on rides too.

We formed The Bullrush Bike Club’ no fees, just fun, friendship and a little adventure. In 2015, a neighbour and I completed Ride London, my first 100 mile ride and the Tour De Yorkshire. As a club we ride every weekend and the whole group has become so much fitter. The adventures have become grander, from rides in France, to completing the largest sportive in the world, the Vatternrunden, a 300km ride in Sweden that takes place throughout the night. And just this year we had 15 riders cycle (in bubbles of course) from Cambourne in Cambridgeshire to Camborne in Cornwall and then on to Penzance. It took three and a half days and we climbed three quarters of the height of Everest.

The future

“How’s the diabetes?” I hear you ask. Well I’m on the border of normal/prediabetic now and have been for three years. I’m off the Metformin too and my weight is 12 stone 8 pounds with 19% body fat. I’m no super athlete, but what I have learnt for the future is that, for me, high quality regular exercise (three times a week) is enough to keep me fit and on top of the Diabetes, but even more important is the mental help it provides. During this tough year of lockdowns, the Bike Club and camaraderie I have with my friends and how rewarding it is to achieve those challenges is something I never want to give up.   

This year my friend and another co-founder decided to work on a new start-up venture that we hope will motivate others to get out there and enjoy being active for fitness and mental well-being. For me next? Well the mighty Bullrush Bike Club are currently planning our next adventure – candidates are circumnavigating Iceland, cycling to the Netherlands or riding coast to coast – not sure what we’ll choose yet, but part of the fun is in the planning! 

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