Annalisa and Erik are friends who met in a NYC-based type 1 diabetes Meetup group. On their bicycle ride across America in 2017, Annalisa took pictures of the people she met along the way in a series called Miles of Portraits.
Following the trip, the two teamed up to take the series around the world. Featured in Adventure Cyclist, REI, and The Washington Post, Miles of Portraits is a magazine and film that tells the story of Annalisa and Erik’s bike travels through the people they meet. While the magazine focuses on the kind souls they come across, the film features their own journey and what it’s like to manage type 1 diabetes on the road.
Watch the film, buy the magazine, and see the portraits: milesofportraits.com
Starting in mid-March, they'll cycle from Los Angeles to Santa Fe, NM, stopping at REIs along the way to tell their story. Come watch the film and hear Annalisa and Erik talk about their deeper reasons for riding their bicycles really, really far.
Easy link: milesofportraits.com/events
New York, NY, March 4th, 2019 – Miles of Portraits revealed Monday that The Ups and Downs of Touring with Type 1 will be the cover story of Adventure Cyclist Magazine’s April 2019 issue. The essay by Annalisa van den Bergh with photography by Erik Douds and Annalisa tells the story of their 1,000-mile bicycle trip around Alaska through the lens of the Dexcom blood sugar graphs they both use to manage their type 1 diabetes (T1D).
A first of its kind, the cover photo is a bold and stigma-breaking choice. To have a person with a disability injecting herself with insulin on the cover of a magazine with 52,000 subscribers and 100,000+ readers per issue sends a powerful message. It celebrates those living with disabilities and underlines the sentiment that, as Erik says, despite our limitations, we can go anywhere and do anything.
We meet so many people on the road because of this little patch on our arms that relays blood sugar readings every five minutes. It becomes a conversation starter and an educational tool.
1.25 million Americans live with type 1 diabetes yet it’s still largely misunderstood. Through these blood sugar graphs that guide the reader through the feature article, Annalisa shares anecdotes from the road. The piece also acts as an educational tool, illustrating to the reader what it’s like to live with this chronic condition that in short, requires one to do all the work for their non-functioning pancreas.
A free PDF of the article will be available as an educational tool on adventurecycling.org