Am planning to ride the sea to sea in two weeks time from Whitehaven to Sunderland, about 140 miles, for diabetes UK with my sister and a friend. Kim (my sister) has had been an insulin dependent diabetic since she was about six years old and has had a lot of support from the charity. Does anyone have any advice or experience regarding carrying insulin and all the gear (ie, blood monitoring kit, emergency glucose etc..) or indeed any advice as we are all pretty young naive inexperienced cycle tourists. Also, planning on camping the route. Oh! And if anyone fancies sponsoring us please visit; www.justgiving.com/c2c4diabetes.
Steve, what are the tolerable temperature limits for storing your sister's insulin and glucose? It occurs to me that a small soft-sided icechest would likely stay in the zone (not too cold; not to warm) if you put some dry ice in it. You would not need much. Dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide, I think) is available in most grocery stores in the US, so I suppose it's plentiful there to. If you could depend on buying more ice each day on the route, that seems like a doable deal. You'd want to test this well in advance of the ride, of course, but I'd guess that about 750g of dry ice would keep a small ice chest within limits for a good 8 hours -- provided you don't open it more than absolutely necessary. The nice thing about dry ice is that it makes no water as it melts. It just goes straight to gas. My soft sided chest is closed by a zipper so the it would likely breath enough to handle the volume of escaping CO2 gas.
**The freezing point of CO2 is -109.3°F or -78.5°C.
**As a general rule, dry ice will sublimate (go from frozen to gas) at a rate of five to ten pounds every 24 hours in a typical ice chest.
**Dry ice requires special precautions when handling. It is extremely cold, requiring proper insulating gloves to handle. It constantly produces carbon dioxide gas, so it cannot be stored in a sealed container as the pressure buildup will quickly cause the container to explode.
I'm a Type 1 diabetic and use insulin pens. These are OK out of the fridge and I've never had any kind of problems using them on tours of such duration.
Blood monitoring is very important. I've found that I need to carry a test every hour or so to compensate any possible hypo with extra calories or less insulin. I always (even in the shortest of rides) carry some form of emergency glucose with me (fruit juices, energy bars...). Of course all this is based on my personal experience and you sister's situation might be different so I recommend you to get advice from your GP.
I'd recommend going on tours of a short duration (day trips or weekends) to get some experience before the real thing comes.
I've got some Word documments from Diabetes UK with information about cycling and endurance sports for diabetics. If you're interested, PM me your email address and I'll send them.
My wife is Type 1. We cycle tour frequently (although not done the C2C yet), at this time of year storage of insulin is not an issue, however in the summer it is an issue, and we have found either thermos flasks with a wide mouth are good as are a rool up pouch that you soak in water and the evaperation keeps it cool