Jeremy Quinn is 50-years-old and lives in Milton Of Campsie, a small village to the north east of Glasgow at the foot of the Campsie Fells and completed Dulux London Revolution in 2017.
How long have you been cycling for?
I have been cycling as a leisure pursuit for about 30 years mostly using a mountain bike, then a hybrid bike.
What made you take up cycling?
At the beginning of 2016, I was rushed to hospital by ambulance. I was diagnosed with diabetes and I developed a blood clot in my lung. I spent almost a week in hospital having my condition stabilised and being taught how to inject myself with insulin and taking blood thinners to disperse the blood clot.
I weighed 19 stone with an HbA1c (blood sugar level) of 124. A normal blood sugar level is below 42. The consultant who was looking after me in the high dependency unit asked me, “Did you think you were going to die?” It was a bit of a wake-up call.
When I got out of hospital I decided to change my diet. No more chocolate, crisps, sweets or cakes. I reduced my portion sizes and stopped snacking. I now have porridge or brown toast for breakfast, brown bread sandwiches for lunch and a healthy evening meal.
I didn’t want to be ill, so as well as eating healthily, I started to cycle more. I was on all sorts of medication and wanted if possible to reduce this as much as I could. I wanted to be healthier and to lose some weight
Why Dulux London Revolution?
I had previously mostly cycled on forest paths and trails, along old railway lines that had been developed for walking and cycling and along canal towpaths. I am lucky where I live, I can cycle along the Forth and Clyde canal to places like the Falkirk Wheel and the iconic Kelpies. It’s nice and flat and there are no cars, which makes it perfect for a casual cycle.
From about spring through to early summer 2016 I cycled like this. The best compliment I have received was from my consultant who, after several months of attending his clinic, said: “you don’t look like a patient anymore”.
I then decided it was time to do a bit more and I bought a proper road bike to start doing some bigger cycles, I was ready for a bigger challenge and thats when I signed up to London Revolution. When I am feeling more energetic I can cycle in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. I can cycle over the Campsie Fells (about 1,000ft high) towards Aberfoyle, up over the Dukes Pass round Loch Katrine.
What is the best thing about your lifestyle overhaul?
I have lost over 5 stone in weight, I am now 13 stone 10 pounds and my blood sugar is 35. I was a 38-inch waist in trousers and I am now a 32. I have never felt better and I no longer have to inject insulin.
I am not perfect and still love crisps, I just don’t eat 6 packets every day the way I used to! I might share a packet of crisps over lunch with my wife and as a treat, or I have a couple of squares of Green and Blacks 85% dark chocolate.
How did you train for Dulux Trade London Revolution?
I cycled all through the winter in Scotland and most weeks I cycled over 100 miles, I found it addictive! Last year’s target was to cycle lots more, particularly as the better weather came in during the spring months. I entered several cycling sportives in preparation for London Revolution including one in Falkirk in March, a Gran Fondo sportive in Ayrshire at the end of April 2017 – all of this was building up to my biggest ever two day ride, The Dulux Trade London Revolution – hands the best cycling weekend, I’m not sure anything will beat it!
What do you love most about cycling?
The thing I love most about cycling is the opportunity to clear my head of all the stresses and strains of work. I can just enjoy the countryside, the blue sky (sometimes), my peddling and my breathing. Sometimes I go fast and try and beat my personal bests on the Strava app and sometimes I just turn the pedals and look forward to the stop at a café for a coffee, each cycling day is different and I am glad it has helped me get to where I am today.