Spike Beecroft

SpikeAffectionately known as HypoBoy thanks to the frequency of below par blood sugar levels has wowed HypoActive audiences with his sprints for town signs in mega endurance rides, and has kept hundreds of diabetes camp attendants in suspence from recounting terrific tales of hypo survival.  Recently, the dedicated camp leader for Diabetes Camps Victoria has packed over 1200 testing strips and taken off to spend a year in England.  We caught up with him as he was settling into his new position and asked him about life, lycra and London.

Q 1) So, Spike, its been a big year for you: camp leader for Diabetes Camps Victoria, settling into your new home in Belmont, marriage to Kendra in April, visits from both your parents, participating in a couple of epic diabetic bike rides (Murray to Moyne and the Rotary Ride for Diabetes), packing up your home contents into storage, and of course playing an instrumental part of the formation of HypoActive. Why leave now?

Yes, eddie it has been a hectic year: a house here, a wedding there, riding more kms than a sane person might consider.. but it's been a dream of kendra's to come back to the UK that I have been delaying as much as possible and I've finally run out of delaying tactics. Besides, a great opportunity became available for me with an engineering company over here which was to good to miss out on - also the pay is ridiculous!!! It works out about 90K in AUD.

Q 2) Are you trying to avoid the expectations of you and Kendra starting a family? If not, when can we expect that to occur?

I'm not trying to avoid anything, I'm trying my hardest to facilitate that event! And if somebody (Kendra) doesn't get her game face on soon I might have to adopt, father illegitmate children or have children through a time sharing contractual agreement drawn up by some dodgy lawyer (know any one??).

Q 3) What sort of work will you be undertaking in London? What will it involve?

I'm working for Rexam Beverage Can in Milton Keynes, basical doing project work which involves flying around Europe to the plants and implementing new machinery/processes etc, in fact my first day of work was spent travelling to Pau in southern France, which was great, I had a fantastic hotel room and all was good. Basically, Rexam is much bigger than Visy (where I worked in the beverage plant in Melbourne) so they have much more work for me.

Q 4) How long do you plan to stay in London? Do you have any other travel plans?

One year, well work is flying me ever where around Europe so I should get to see plenty, plus having a factory in southern France and a place near the 2006 Tour de France route I am going to try to watch as much of it live and in person as I can, plus trips to visit family in Denmark and Switzerland.

Q 5) Some people allege that you are planning to return to Victoria for brief visit solely in order to honour your leadership role in Diabetes Camps Victoria. Is this true, and what is the motivation to remain involved in these camps? Is work paying for this trip home? Are you planning to surprise us all with a visit in order to ride the Murray to Moyne as well?

Yes the rumours are true - just trying at the moment to arrange it around a trip to china, so work would pay the bulk of my flight I hope!! As for M2M 06 well you never know but I'm not planning it at this stage.

Q 6) How much diabetes supplies did you pack?

9 boxes of infusion sets
2 boxes o reservoirs
72 AAA batteries (got them at work for $7.50, they cost about £2.00 ea over here)
3 BSl meters Go, Active, exceed
1200 test strips (give or take a few)
7 vials of novo 10ml
2 blister packs of novo 5*3ml
3 pens
50 needles

and what happened on the first week in London?? Both the active and the Go meters developed low batteries! Bugger..

Q 7) How much lycra did you pack?

3 jersey, only one long sleeved
2 knicks
1 fantasy halle berry outfit

Q 8) Do you intend to ride in Europe? What sort of riding/when/where?

Well there's the Pryrenees near work (in southern France) so plan on getting there a bit, l'Alpe deHuez (in the French Alps) is a must. Signed up with the local club in Milton Keynes for Sunday rides, and trying
to find out where the local velodrome is here so I can get back on the track.

Q 9) Do you plan to discover what viking heritage you may have in the land of Denmark?

Hell yes already booked my ticket for Christmas - also known as the festival of eating for four days straight - I plan on using at least two reservoirs during the period.

Q 10) Has HypoBoy accompanied you on your journey to date?

HypoBoy has come along with me, he helped out ordering Chinese, he made an appearance on the tube in the annoying underground tunnels which cover London - got very panicky and nervous and had to sit down in the middle of the thoroughfare and chill, and got questioned by the MET. He also appeared a few times since but no funny stories are associated with them.

Q 11) What advice can you provide to HypoActive members (in general, for travel, and for exercising with D)?

For travel: take anything d-related you can think of, and then add a few items (see my comments on my d supplies), for time traveling (i.e changing times zones) NOTHING beats the pump, SO SO much better than needles, in fact I'm willing to support adding 'travel' to the criteria for the pump!

As for exercise and travel: just be aware of the stress component of your travels. Being tired and stressed even if you're not aware of it is a big issue, I felt fine in the afternoon and went for a ride on a borrowed bike and after half an hour collapsed into a massive heap, jetlag-stress and not sleeping well caught up in a big way.

Q 12) Anything else?

England is cold wet and dreary, France is not much better at the moment. Pump companies over here are a lot more mothering than at home they have rung me twice in the last few days just to check up on me!!