Tag Archives: Cycling

What a year.

Holey Moley, it’s been an amazing year. 2013 went by so fast.

Back in October, I wrote about how one thing at a time, over time, can add up to a lot if you just keep at it. This is very true for me when I think about the past year.

The following list is not designed to say “Here’s what I’ve done—what about you?”. Instead, it’s a reminder for myself, to remember during times when I feel like I’m not doing anything. Also, it’s a recap of the year that’s been, a Bridget Jones-like reference of the previous twelve months.

My life in 2013 included, in no particular order:

One noteworthy anniversary

– Participation in two clinical trials

Not participation in two other clinical trials. That’s right… I was disqualified from another AP study. Don’t want to talk about it.

– One entire week of gluten free eating (My Week with Celiac)

– Two 55 mile bike rides

– One 5K run with The Live-In Niece

– One Book Review (Shot – Staying Alive With Diabetes by Amy Ryan)

– A chance to meet Cherise Shockley for the first time, and begin to understand her passion for connecting others and helping them live better, more meaningful lives with diabetes. I left that meeting ready to charge up the hill for DCAF.

– A Chance to meet Scott Johnson in person for the first time, and an opportunity to meet Karen, Kerri, Shannon, and Christopher too. There were several others I met in passing that weekend that go unmentioned, but not forgotten. The CWD Focus on Technology conference definitely ranks as a major highlight of the year.

One appearance on DSMA Live with Cherise Shockley and Scott Johnson

– Attendance at the DSMA Live meetup in Philadelphia in August. That meant a chance to see Cherise and Scott again, and meet Kelly and Allison and Brea (and her Mom) and Penny and Colleen and Maria and many more wonderful people who I can’t remember right now.

– While we’re on a DSMA kick, I should mention the countless #DSMA Twitter chats that I was lucky enough to take part in this year, including a special hour that I was honored to moderate on World Diabetes Day in November. Hands down, that was the fastest hour of the year.

– Also high on the list was the Manning Diabetes Symposium in Charlottesville back in April. Lots of talk about diabetes research from a number of experts in the field. I think I was the only one there that didn’t have a bunch of letters after the name on my lanyard, but I didn’t care. I soaked it all up like a sponge. Thanks to UVA’s Center for Diabetes Technology (I’m looking at you Molly) for letting me attend.

– One more event to mention: The JDRF Research Summit in the D.C. area back in March. There’s another coming up this March. Get all of the information at http://jdrfsummit.org.

– Finally: Five Medals were handed out to real bona fide Champion Athletes With Diabetes. And we’re just getting started. I can’t wait to hand out every medal we have, then order more to give away! To find out more, click on the medals image in the upper left part of this page. Or just click here.


Wow, did all of that really happen? It all flew by really fast. Even so, I think know I would rather have participated in all these things that seemed to have happened so quickly, rather than missing even one. I wasn’t responsible for a lot of the things I was a part of this year, but I was glad to participate or help wherever I could.

With all this said, even though I’m not a New Year’s Resolution kind of guy, I do have a few things on my list for 2014. I don’t know if I’ll get to all of them. But I know it’s shaping up to be another interesting year searching for the Happy Medium.

Tour de Talbot recap.

Okay… My 55 miles in the Tour de Talbot on Saturday was not my favorite experience on the bicycle.

I was running late all morning, I forgot to put on sunscreen (no burn issues after all), I almost forgot to put on my riding gloves (and I’m soooo glad I didn’t), the weather was iffy, and my BGs did not want to play fair. But when do they ever play fair? Heck, I didn’t even get a photo of anything on Saturday, except my dog when I got home. Not to worry, I won’t bore you with it here. But I did complete the 55 mile journey, in roundabout fashion, and today I have a sore behind and a sense of accomplishment.

So let’s start at the beginning. BG at the start: 219 mg/dL. This is entirely due to the fact that I didn’t bolus for breakfast. I woke up at 81 mg/dL, and I didn’t want to be nearly that low when I started the ride. And yeah, I ate a lot of carbs for breakfast. I set my temporary basal rate at 30 percent for 5 hours.

This is the most laid back event ever. I think I mentioned that last year too, but it’s true. Somebody gives a speech at the beginning that hardly anyone can hear, then we’re off without a horn, or crowds cheering, or any of that. Down a paved two lane driveway and out onto the highway that goes between Easton, Maryland and St. Michael’s (more on that later).

We wound around a bit and then, about three or four miles in, suddenly we’re on a gravel road. Gravel. On my thin little road bike tires. This went on for about three or four miles, I think, and the whole time I’m hearing the same complaints and hopes coming from the other riders. Mostly, “I hope I don’t wipe out on this gravel”, and “I hope I don’t get a flat tire from this gravel”. Oh, and “Who’s idea was this?”. And these are still roads that are traveled by vehicles, mostly local residents and big farm trucks kicking up gravel as they pass by. And this was just the first gravel road we traveled. I started counting the riders on the side of the road with tire issues. I counted ten in 55 miles.

We hit the first rest stop 12 miles in. Even though it’s only quarter past eight in the morning, the salty pickles out on the table at this stop really looked good. But I passed them up in favor of a salty/sweet nut bar. These are usually my go-to snack on these rides. BG at this stop: 129 mg/dL. Pretty crazy, right? I dropped 90 points in about 45 minutes. With a 30 percent temp basal and breakfast carbs still working in my body (I think).

The next part of the trip wasn’t too bad. 18 miles to the next stop. Someone drafted behind me for about the last ten miles of that segment, but it was okay and we made good time. I made the mile 12 to mile 30 segment in a little less than an hour. That’s pretty good for me, on a long ride anyway. At the stop I had another nut bar and waited about ten minutes to let my body calm down a bit after working hard. BG at this stop. 82 mg/dL. I don’t want to worry anymore, so I just shut off my pump for the rest of the ride, and grabbed a banana at the rest stop too. Instead of climbing a steep incline after the stop, I decided to walk my bike to the top of the hill before climbing on for the next 12 mile segment. I’m glad I did.

The next 12 miles were probably the hardest 12 miles I’ve ever biked. About a mile after the rest stop, we turned onto another gravel road. Not as bad as the first gravel road we were on, but I had to make sure I didn’t get too far toward the shoulder or I would definitely have been in trouble. But I also had issues with the weather.

The same front that brought rain to the JDRF Ride for a Cure in Nashville was making its way toward the mid-Atlantic. Ahead of the front were some pretty strong 15 to 30 mile per hour winds from the south. On this stretch, we were riding south (on the gravel road) for about five or six miles. The rest of this part went pretty much straight south too. Straight into the wind. In short, it was brutal. I was never more grateful to reach a rest stop.

I took a moment to sit down and collect myself, and check my BG again: 66 mg/dL. Are you kidding me? My pump’s been off for an hour (and yes, it took me an hour to bike 12 miles). So now, I have to decide if I can even continue. I started with some glucose tabs, then loaded up on handfuls of pretzels for about 20 minutes. When I checked after being at this stop for 30 minutes, I was at 149 mg/dL. At this point, I felt like I could make it the final 12 miles, especially since we weren’t supposed to go any further south.

Shortly after leaving this stop, I connected with a couple of riders who were on my route, so I decided to ride in with them. Now it gets even more interesting. We’re about six or seven miles away from the finish, and we must have missed a turn. Because it wasn’t marked. I had been hearing about issues like this all day. Signs pointed in the wrong direction by pranksters. Arrows marked along the roadway pulled up. That must have been what happened to us, because before we knew it, about the three of us were in the heart of Easton. This was not on the route map. Now what to do? Well, I knew how to get back from where we were, and I wasn’t interested in going back to look for a missed turn, and I didn’t know whether the rest of the route was marked properly either. My decision was to go the way I knew to go to reach the finish. The two riders I had been with since the last stop thought that was the thing to do too, so we rode right through historic downtown Easton, then over to the main highway back to the start/finish.

Then, the final joke: When we near the finish, there were volunteers at the two lane driveway, which was now closed, directing us to go to the next driveway and turn right. So we did that, turning onto the worst stretch of one lane gravel road on the entire trip. With vehicles leaving the venue, coming right at us.

Somehow, we made it through and I was able to finish. BG at the end: 88 mg/dL. I can’t say that I’ll sign up for this ride next year. There were a lot of tough, grind it out miles, but overall, I can say that I’m happy to have been tested and passed the test. We claim our victories were we find them. This one wasn’t pretty, but in the end, it was a success.

D-Athletes ROCK.

I’m off today to do my 55 mile bike ride over on Maryland’s beautiful eastern shore. We start and end in Easton, which I like, because the area is about the flattest terrain I’ll ever ride on. It’ll be warm for this time of year, but the ride starts at 7:30 a.m., so if I put some real estate behind me early, I should finish by noon.

I know I wrote earlier this week about wanting it all to be over. But the fact is, I am pumped to do this ride tomorrow. That’s partly because I always get this way before an event. And it’s partly because of something else that I can’t reveal yet (sorry for the tease). I should be able to talk about it sometime in early October.

Anyway, I’m really excited to do this ride tomorrow, and I’m proud to be a Person With Diabetes who will be out there breaking stereotypes. I’m even more proud to ride in an event on the same day that others, in hilly Nashville, Tennessee, will be riding in the JDRF Ride for a Cure. I’m prouder still that many others with diabetes are training, participating, and yes, competing in athletic events around the world. And I’m not discounting you, all of you JDRF and Step Out walkers. What you do for all of us is special. It seems like the population of Athletes With Diabetes is growing every day, and I love it.

I hope that all of you D-Athletes run faster, swim longer, walk farther, and bike harder than I ever will. I will cheer you on all the way.

I am happy to be part of your team. Go us!!!

Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure.

I went to Maryland’s Eastern Shore (east of the Chesapeake Bay) again this past weekend. This time it was for Saturday’s Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure.

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I rode the 55 mile route this time. Maureen was engaged with some dog walks at home, so she wasn’t able to be there. Even if she was, she wouldn’t have let me do the 100. That’s okay though.

So, how was it? More difficult than I thought. The weather, which was just about perfect on Friday, was pretty lousy on Saturday. The 55 mile ride started off at 9:00 under cloudy skies and temperatures around 63-64 degrees. It stayed cloudy, with a little rain too, all through the day.

My glucose wasn’t very cooperative either. I bolused less than normal for my high carb breakfast at 7:30, which I normally do. But when I checked my BG just before the ride started, I was at 312 mg/dL. Still, I was a little worried about correction bolusing and crashing too fast later on. So I didn’t bolus, and started the ride.

The first rest stop was about 12 miles into the ride, and I thought that it wasn’t worth checking my glucose because I had only been on the bike for about 40 minutes.

The next stop was at around mile 28, after the Bellevue to Oxford ferry. That’s right… our ride included a ferry ride across the Tred Avon River. Yes, it was a nice break in the ride. Especially since my BG at the Oxford rest stop checked in at 61 mg/dL. I loaded up with an energy bar, some grapes, and a couple of honey stingers. Then I was off to the next rest stop, about 10 miles away.

Once I got there, I checked my BG again: 71 mg/dL. Another bar, a bag of chips, and two more honey stingers. No bolus since about 7:30 in the morning. I stayed at this stop for about 20 minutes, which is 10 to 15 minutes longer than normal. Then I was off again.

I now have about 17 miles to go. I’m very concerned about going hypo at this point. Part of why I was worried was because I wasn’t riding with a pack. What I mean by that is there were about five or six people that passed me and disappeared quickly at around the 45 mile mark, and they were the only people I saw in the last 25 miles or so of this ride. ADA does a fantastic job of tracking riders and equipping everyone with emergency numbers, etc. But if you’re nursing your BG along in the last leg of the ride over mostly country roads, you don’t want to take any chances. I decided to suspend my pump.

At that point, I just kept reminding myself: Keep those legs moving, keep the wheels rolling. I managed to get back without an issue. When I checked my BG prior to partaking in the post-ride lunch, I was at 86 mg/dL. After suspending my pump for about an hour and twenty minutes up to then.

I finished the ride in about 4 1/2 hours, including time spent at rest stops. That’s faster than I thought I would go, but I didn’t feel like I was really pushing it. That’s a good sign.

All of the event volunteers were wonderful. They were helpful, informative, and always very nice. At the stop in Oxford I was helped by a volunteer with Type 2 who was putting together sandwiches, someone handing out grapes and chips who’s had Type 1 for twenty years, and her son, who also has Type 1 and a great service dog. They all looked happy, and they were doing great. How can you not feel empowered by that?

I’m glad I made the commitment to ride. I’m happier still that we were able to raise about $266,000 for the American Diabetes Association. That’s pretty good for a still-new ride with a relatively low turnout. Now, if they can just get the weather worked out next year, it will be a lot of fun.

I haven’t forgotten you, old friend.

I took the time to do some laundry last night after work. The washer and dryer are in the basement, and it’s cold down there this time of year.

I hurried to get the laundry moved over from the washer to the dryer, and then I turned and hurried toward the stairs and some warmer air. But something stopped me right in my tracks.

It was my bike. Just sitting there. Looking lonely. And dusty. And no matter how cold I was, I had to stop and check her out.

This is a big deal. I don’t have a trainer to set her up on. I go to the gym and use the spin bikes in the winter. Once I put the bike away, it stays put away until Spring.

I wasn’t just looking everything over again. I was reliving all those rides from last year. All those happy memories (and an unhappy one too). I was looking forward to the rides to come in 2013. Before I knew it, I was imagining the first ride I’ll do this Spring.

This is how I used to feel about baseball when I was a kid. And I guess how I used to feel about Spring and Summer in general when I was a kid. Oh, I liked the snow. Okay, I really liked getting snow days off from school. What kid doesn’t? But around this time of year, I always did, and I always still do, start to really hunger for the warmer weather.

So come on Spring! What are you waiting for? The temperature was in the twenties most of the week here. I know, that’s nothing compared to the Midwest, the plains states that are getting so much snow and ice, and up in Canada where it’s crazy cold for months at a time. But the cabin fever is starting to get to me.


I haven’t forgotten you, my old friend. I haven’t forgotten the great times we’ve shared already. And I’m looking forward to the great times to come.

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