An Interview with Andy Woolfson

So tell us about your background - where are you from?

I grew up in both North London (Hertfordshire really) from age 2-8 yrs and then South Manchester (Stockport) after age 8 with my mother and brother Rob (who is also on the Mhealth Tour). I come from a large wider family which is great. Someone in the family will be knowledgeable about almost any subject which means that you have access to a huge information resource if you ever want to try something new.

Since March 1993. 21 years and counting.

I was a very bad diabetic especially at university. It wasn't that I was in denial but I believed things about myself that simply were not true. Phrases like "I know exactly what my BGs are without testing" would be commonplace for me. Combine that with student living and it is not a good recipe. Rob (my brother) becoming diabetic 12 years after me, some poor HBA1C results and a couple of other things made me refocus.

Recently, becoming part of Team BG has really encouraged me to improve control further. It is good to know how many like minded diabetics are out there. There are so many phenomenal people in the team. I previously avoided diabetic groups. I wasn't interested in the woe is me mentality that can be associated with illness. Team BG is the opposite of that. It is a group of people that say "Diabetes isn't the boss of me, I am the boss of diabetes and if I want to achieve something I will control my diabetes and achieve it better than anyone!" That is a group I can buy into.


You rode with TeamBG last year - yet you’re coming back for more!

I loved last year - I need more. Love the team and the spirit and want to push myself that little bit further.

What makes you tick? - what are your interests?

My general interests revolve around sport. I'm an Arsenal season ticket holder. I'm handy on the golf course and the squash court (or used to be) and love a good ski trip.Triathlon takes up a lot of time. I am doing my first half Ironman distance this year. I have done many sprints and Olympic triathlons - I am not quick but I really enjoy it. I love the training and the camaraderie of the triathlon community and I really love to compete. Finishing a triathlon is amazing. I would strongly recommend that anyone who wants a challenge to enter one.

And your love of the bike...?

When it comes to cycling, it is about two things. Firstly, I love how you can travel so far under your own power. On a bike you can go so far in a day without using any fuel (food excepted) and getting through that distance is an amazing feeling.

Secondly, it is the challenge. Cycling over long distances or up hills, is very tough. I get so much satisfaction from getting to the top of a big hill. Last year on tour, getting to the top of my first HC climb was one of the proudest moments of my life. I was the last person up the mountain. That doesn't matter. Cycling, for me, is not about winning against other people, it is me vs the road. 

What about your Diabetes? How long since you were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes?

Back to the other TeamBG mHealth 2014 ridersmHealth_riders_2014.html

“I wasn’t interested in the woe is me mentality that can be associated with illness -

TeamBG is the opposite of that”

Rider in the mHealth Grand Tour 2014 - Barcelona to Vienna. 2300km ride, 33000m of climb.

You can find Andy through his facebook page, or if you are local to London and fancy getting together for a ride, why not e-mail Andy

Follow this year’s mhealth Grand Tour