PORTSMOUTH, Va (WAVY ) — Riding a bike against the wind, you’ve got to pedal hard and push yourself. That’s what Matt Diggs did Tuesday afternoon in Portsmouth while training to ride 100 miles in the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure.

“It becomes a mental game for me — after mile 50 it really becomes kind of a mental game,” he said.

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14, Diggs is riding to raise awareness.

“Because the other misconception about diabetes is that it’s older, overweight people that get diabetes, but there’s actually thousands of kids out there that get diagnosed with diabetes,” he told WAVY.

He wants to show them that with proper care, you can not only live, but thrive, with the disease.

Diabetes Nurse Practitioner Dana Stallings told WAVY the number one thing is lifestyle habits. A good diet and exercise routine are vital to controlling blood sugar. However, with longer and more strenuous workouts like the ones Diggs is doing, blood sugar can be tricky to control.

“If you have a low blood sugar, it is putting extra stress and strain on your organs, so your organs are having to work harder to keep you alive, keep you functioning,” Stallings said.

Diggs wears a continuous glucose monitoring system to keep close tabs on his sugar levels.

“If it does go too low during the ride then I have snacks on me,” he said.

The new technology was made possible in part by research funded by the ADA. It makes life easier for Diggs and millions of others.

That’s one more reason he’s riding — to fund more research for a cure down the road.

The WAVY Warriors will be riding in the Tour de Cure on April 30 in Smithfield. There are rides for all levels, from 10 to 100 miles.

To join us on the ride or to donate, click here.