Friends complete 100-mile charity cycle in mankinis

Tom Dunning and Rich Chambers took part in the Hertfordshire 100 mile cycle event on Sunday to raise

Tom Dunning and Rich Chambers took part in the Hertfordshire 100 mile cycle event on Sunday to raise money for Diabetes UK - Credit: Archant

For most people their 18th birthday is marked with a boozy night out and a major hangover the next morning, but for Richard Chambers the milestone will always be remembered as the day he was diagnosed with type one diabetes.

The Letchworth resident spoke to the Comet about life with the condition after taking part in a 100-mile bike ride last weekend dressed in a mankini – all to raise money for a diabetes charity.

“The diagnosis was unexpected as there is no family history with diabetes,” said Richard.

“I inject insulin each time I eat a substantial meal and one other injection first thing in the morning. I struggled in my first year of university after this, developing further complications, such as an under active thyroid.

“It is hard to manage sugar levels when trying to join in with friends on nights out, sports, meals out. I need to always carry my insulin on me and my blood sugar meter. I am always watching what I eat as it affects my sugar level.”

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The 26-year-old spent about eight hours in the saddle on Sunday with friend Tom Dunning, who lives in Hitchin.

The pair both completed Sportive UK’s Hertfordshire 100 dressed in mankinis to raise funds for Diabetes UK.

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“Tom came up with the idea a few months ago,” said Richard, who works for accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers

“A few of us were all getting into our cycling this summer and decided that by the end of the summer we would attempt a 100-mile bike ride.

“We chose the Hertfordshire 100 as it is local to us and has some really challenging hill climbs. The total elevation was 5102ft. Also, the Hertfordshire 100 has probably some of the nicest scenery and rolling countryside roads in England.

“I started telling people at work about the ride and someone asked how much they would need to pay me to do it in a mankini. This led to me consulting with Tom and saying £2,000, which then led to us doing it for a charity, never thinking we would ever reach £2,000. It caught on well and we ended up hitting £2,000.”

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