Cycling from Italy to Asia with Type 1 diabetes.
wo cyclists have set off
from Italy with the aim
of reaching Singapore in
a year-long adventure.
One of the riders, Chiara
Ricciardi, has Type 1 diabetes and needs
to ensure her insulin is maintained at the
right temperature during the course of
the trip. Chiara, an engineer, is travelling
with her partner Riccardo Rocchi, a
photographer and between them they
dreamed up the challenge of using pedal
power to get them from Cesena in Italy to
Singapore, 18,000km away in Asia.
They are taking all precautions for
safety. Ricciardi is supported on her
journey by diabetologists Paolo Di Bartolo
and Tosca Suprani, who will be additional
watchful eyes on this long undertaking.
They have planned a network that will
ensure they have a regular supply of
insulin and diabetic aid along the way.
For the relationship between exercise
and diabetes, they took the advice of
Marco Peruffo, a diabetic athlete who
climbed mountains over 8,000 metres
high without oxygen. Peruffo's long CV
of 'extreme experience with diabetes will
be in contact with the cyclists during the
trip. They say they will cycle eastwards
for more than 18,000km 'for a piece of
cake', because cake means celebration
yet is often off limits to poeple with
diabetes. Exercise is fundamental for
people suffering from diabetes type I,
since it significantly reduces daily insulin
Ricciardi was diagnosed with Type
1 diabetes in 2001 at the age of 11,
initially using multiple daily injections
before going on an insulin pump in 2007,
which she says made her life easier. She
combines her personal passion for artistic
gymnastics with carbohydrate counting,
helping her to live with what she calls a
'lazy pancreas'. Diabetes accompanied
her studies between Bologna, Lisbon and
Sydney until she obtained her degree.
The cycling couple will use pedal power
to navigate their way through numerous
countries over continents and aim to
complete an average 1,600km a month.
Pelican BioThermal's Credo
ProMed medical transport bag,
as seen left and right on the
back of the bike.