Damien Whittaker

Riding 1500km's to change lives

My Activity Tracking

3,620
kms

My target 1500 kms

I'm fundraising for a great cause!

I’m doing the JDRF One Ride to raise funds for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research! This means I will be riding from 1st to 30th September 2021 to achieve my KM target while competing with other cyclists across Australia. 

This year is particularly significant for the T1D community as it marks 100 years since the discovery of insulin. Despite many advances in the past century, insulin remains the only treatment option for people living with type 1 diabetes. This means the needles, injections, finger pricks, bulky devices and constant monitoring remain a part of everyday life for anyone living with this condition. 

JDRF is the largest funder of T1D research in the world and believes we shouldn't have to wait another 100 years for the next major breakthrough.

DONATE NOW to support me so we can help change the lives of more than 125,000 Australians living with T1D.

Let’s make type 1 diabetes a memory, not a milestone. Thank you!

My Updates

JDRF OneRide - the final day

Friday 1st Oct
Thanks so much for all the wonderful support and generous donations to JDRF throughout this month. Over 1700km ridden, over $3k in donations, and over $100k in total raised for JDRF by all the One Riders! I've been part of the Hypoactive team, a group of people with Type 1 Diabetes who share insights and support each other to stay fit and active with Type 1. We met up on zoom and Zwift tonight to chat and celebrate our achievements. So great to connect in this way with us having ridden mostly solo in lockdowns for the month. This photo is the iconic (to Novocastrians) Fernleigh Track tunnel through which I've ridden countless times commuting and enjoying the track. Taken at dusk on my way home from work today. Love that I have such beautiful places to ride in my local area. Big thanks goes to my wife Catherine and my 3 children for supporting me this month - it's taken quite a few extra hours to ride this much and they've been battling on with schooling and working from home, I'm very lucky and grateful 🙂

Day 26 report - 1500km done, fundraising almost $3k!!!

Monday 27th Sep
Alex and I went down and back on the Fernleigh Track in some chill rain on Sunday. As well as being a fun ride together I ticked over 1500km for the month! Far greater though is the amazing support and generosity of everyone donating to JDRF - close to $3k now, with the overall JDRF OneRide having raised over $90k with still 3 days to go! Thanks so much to you all 🙏. With a busy work schedule this week I'll probably do a few shorter rides to end the challenge. Rest day: Friday 🙂

Day 21 - 23 update

Thursday 23rd Sep
It's been a fantastic week having time to go for a couple of long rides to the far corners of Lake Mac LGA, and a more familiar ride doing some laps around the racecourse then local hills. I feel quite blown away by the amazing support and generosity of friends and family donating to JDRF, thank you all so much 🙂. Today JDRF hosted a Zwift ride along with a fantastic Zoom meeting. Pro cyclist with Team Novo Nordisk - Declan Irvine shared his experiences of cycling at an elite level in Europe and managing diabetes whilst riding and racing. JDRF's current research projects were also discussed, and we got to see some of our fellow OneRide cyclists. A great session! Enjoyed the rest of the morning with my family and dogs running around on Redhead Beach. Tomorrow I'm back at work but with a late start so might get out for another longer ride, conditions are looking perfect. One week of OneRide to go, I'm excited to push on and see how far I can ride, thanks so much for your support!

Day 20 - 100km today, over 1000km so far

Monday 20th Sep
It's day 20 of JDRF OneRide, 10 days to go, 1000km done and getting close to my $1500 fundraising target! Thanks so much to everyone who has donated to support diabetes research 🙏 A beautiful day for a longer ride North-South in Lake Mac LGA to Catherine Hill Bay then around the lakeside. Kept cool by a nice northerly breeze. Glucose levels were pretty good though I tend to get hungry on longer rides, waiting for the initial rise to settle down before eating. I'm very thankful for the CGM and pump technology that allows me to get out and exercise without feeling too anxious. Still not the same as a functioning pancreas but a huge advance over the needles, testing and hoping to avoid hypoglycaemia that are daily life for many with Type 1 Diabetes. My target of 1500km by 30 September looks to be in reach!

Day 19 - mountain biking

Sunday 19th Sep
The whole family went trail riding at Holmesville this morning, then Alex and I went out in Glenrock for the afternoon. Beautiful spring day for us to enjoy mountain biking together.

Day 16 - by the lake, black swans and winter like conditions

Thursday 16th Sep
Thanks so much to everyone who has donated to JDRF, including recent anonymous donor 🙂

Day 15 on the Fernleigh Track again

Thursday 16th Sep
Halfway through the month, start of week 3, 750km done. I'm back on the Fernleigh Track - feeling very fortunate to have such a great bike path to ride to work, been here a few times this month.

Days 12, 13 and 14

Tuesday 14th Sep
2 days of nice bike commuting with extra kms added, and a trainer session on a day of wet, cold and windy conditions. This week is pretty busy working 6 days including a late shift so just ticking over the rides to keep on track to meet the target. More time for some longer rides next week, fine conditions are forecast 🙂.
Riding each day for two weeks has been interesting with post exercise glucose levels lower in the first week but now staying higher. Could be that I'm eating more? My endocrinologist suggested the effect of adapting to training load might be less of a tendency to hypoglycaemia overnight. Otherwise I've noticed muscular fatigue from not taking any rest days, and perhaps speed and power are dropping off a little whilst endurance is improving.
14 days down - over 700km ridden.

Day 11 - easier ride by the lake

Saturday 11th Sep
Felt a little tired this morning so took it easy and enjoyed some Lake Macquarie scenery. This is the flotilla moored at Valentine.

Day 10 - One-third of the month progress report 🧐

Saturday 11th Sep
We're through 1/3 of September, time to assess progress:

Fundraising: amazingly generous sponsors have given over $1000 already! 🙏 Thank you from me and all the T1D community.

Riding: Just managed to roll over the 500km mark last night on the way home from work. I admit to riding a few circles on the flats near home to get there, it felt good!

Diabetes management: Increased exercise has required some adjustment - less insulin needed, a few lows overnight but working it out. Thank goodness for technology like continuous glucose monitoring keeping me out of trouble.

Goals: New fundraising goal of $1500, and pledge to ride 1km for every $ 😀
If we go over 1500? .... I'll do my best!

Thanks immensely to all my supporters 🙂

Day 9 lake side at sunset

Thursday 9th Sep
Day 9 - 60k today. Fernleigh Track this morning. Rode home the long way: across to Lake Macquarie at sunset, very picturesque.

Day 8 - Zwifting with team Hypoactive

Thursday 9th Sep
Day 8 - I sought out some flat riding by doing a few laps of the Newcastle racecourse in the morning, then enjoyed a team Hypoactive Zwift meetup ride with Gary, John and Pete in the evening.

Week 1 JDRF One Ride - Thank You!

Tuesday 7th Sep
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to support JDRF and me taking on this challenge, it's a bit overwhelming really that 7 days in you've donated together over $1000! 

Thanks to my family, friends and also everyone at PWC Newcastle :-)

My original goal of 500km and $500 was evidently based on flawed modelling, replaced now with open ended optimism: I'll just ride as far as possible, spurred on by everyone's generosity! 

337km down already, it's inspiring to be riding with a goal. 

Type 1 Diabetes affects 127,000 Australians with around 2,800 new diagnoses each year, often in childhood (my brother and sister) but sometimes at any age (I was 33). JDRF funds research into prevention, early intervention and treatment trials that improve the lives of people with T1D. 

2021 marks 100 years since the discovery of insulin which turned a rapidly fatal condition into one with which we can survive, and further advances now mean we can live life to the full. The ongoing daily challenges of T1D are significant but made more manageable through research and new technologies that JDRF (and donors like you) support :-)

I'm excited and looking forward to the rest of September's challenge!

Please check out jdrf.org.au if you'd like to learn more about T1D, the research and programs that JDRF supports.

Thanks so much
Damien

Day 6 - afternoon trail ride

Monday 6th Sep
72km over 3 rides today: to and from work including some extra distance, then afternoon in Glenrock with Alex for 16km. Some nicely refinished trails and old favourites.

Day 4 - Milkshakes ride - 16km

Saturday 4th Sep
Emily and I went up the Fernleigh Track to Pegs cafe then took a little detour into Glenrock Reserve on the way home.

Day 4 - Coastal 80km

Saturday 4th Sep
Merewether baths looking north to Newcastle early this morning. Went south from there along the coast taking time to enjoy the scenery.

Day 3 - Commuting again

Friday 3rd Sep
Beaut morning ride. The dark hilly headwind ride home was alright too

Day 2 - afternoon trails with Alex

Thursday 2nd Sep
Single trail in Whitebridge and Glenrock to shake out the day of school from home

Day 1, riding home from work

Wednesday 1st Sep
A little less scenic than this morning but still a very nice evening to be riding

Day 1 - ride to work

Wednesday 1st Sep
Day 1/30 appreciating glorious first day of spring, riding the Fernleigh Track to work with a detour to Redhead Beach

Thank you to my Sponsors

$318.24

Dabs Plumbing Pty Ltd

$250

Jennifer Campbell

Well done.

$156

Cath B

Nice work Damien!

$104

Matt Howard

Well done mate! You are smashing it.

$104

Jan Emmott

$104

Nicola Rosenthal

$104

John Whittaker

Keep going for it Mate. We will always back you up. Dad

$104

Hamish

$104

Amy Etherton

Good luck Damien

$104

Murray Halyburton

Incredible effort to continue through the whole month despite obstacles and fatigue.

$104

Nicole Hamilton

$104

Stephanie Brown

$104

Anonymous

$100

Jo Buckingham

Well done Damien on raising great $$ for a cause that is close to your heart. Enjoy the ride!!

$100

Maureen Smallwood

$75

Robert Clark

Well done mate for supporting such a wonderful cause. Your tireless cycling efforts of throughout the month have been nothing short of amazing. Fantastic stuff mate !

$52

Chris Fressard

$52

Elizabeth Evans

$52

David And Rebecca Mantle

Well done Damo, great job mate.

$52

Mark And Mel Steel

Well done Damo nearly there mate

$52

Jack E

Nice one Damien! Keep on riding.

$52

Vice & Marko

Well done Damien!!

$52

John Beckers

Good work Damo!

$52

Jo G

Well done Damien!

$52

Damien Whittaker

$52

Zoe Whittaker

$52

Baz Skennar

Mate, Great effort!

$52

David Virtue

Good luck mate. Safe riding

$52

Breanna Mcphee

$52

Jeffrey Family

$52

Jaden Cumming

$52

Scott Sam

Congrats Mate. Well done with the fundraising and the all the k's ridden. Such a great cause.

$52

Camille Campbell-whittaker

$50

Matt Mahony

Great job, Damo!

$50

Sally Sweeney

$50

Monica Griffiths

A great goal- good luck! From Mon, Josh and the boys

$50

Stu Lobsey

All the best Damien

$50

Ben Sparkes

Well done mate. Good cause.

$26

Melissa Harvey

Great work boss!

$26

Bataa Tsamba

Good luck

$26

Kendall Trembearth

Impressive effort all around Damien, well done!

$26

Rachel Jones

Type1 Strong! 💪🏻 well done!!

$26

Anonymous

$25

Kura Donnelly

Good luck Damien

$25

Andrew Maher

Great work buddy, All the best

$20

Phoebe Dun

Great work Damo!

$20

Anonymous