Touring with diabetes
My wife and I are looking forward to a 4-5 day tour on our tandem in the late spring. Pretty much, we will be riding the C&O Canal towpath. There is minimal intrusion of civilization on most of the canal.
This could be an issue as I am a Type 2 diabetic. I am under very good control and use an oral medication (glipizide) which can cause low blood sugar. I plan to keep my meter handy and check frequently. With meds and snacks, I should have few problems, but it would be good to know how others have dealt with these issues.
I'm type 1 so perhaps my words won't be of much relevance for you. At present, I only do one day tours, but in the past I've done some 4-7 day tours. What I do is use my meter every 1 an a half hour or so, use less insulin (I don't know how you can manage this with your meds) and have some kind of carbohidrates and sugar ready. My fav snack for those low sugar crisis are bananas (very easy to find where I live). I also adjust my diet durng the tour.
You can find lots of info searching the archives of the bikelist.org at:
Some members of the list are type 2 and have provided tips and lots of encouragment to other diabetics.
Keep your cell phone handy. I also have a medical problem and I find the cell phone is essential. It makes it a lot easier to summon help if needed.
Originally Posted by DocF
Also you might want to reconsider your bicycle choice. We did it several years ago on mountain bikes and saw people on road bikes literally stopped because of mud getting caught between the wheel and the bike's fenders. Narrow tires had problems with the path surface also. Parts of the canal path are extremely muddy when it rains and it does rain alot in March and April in MD and DC.
Make sure you eat a little something on a regular basis. The excersize will lower your sugar, so you need to prevent your sugar from going too low. Bring something that can raise your sugar quickly such as glucose tablets and juice. If you feel a little funny, don't push it, get off and check your sugar.
I think you'll be fine, sounds like your under control anyway. As a precaution though, you should bring a cell phone and be sure to check with your physician.
Thanks guys, I guess I'm on the right track. I will carry a cell-phone and some Snickers bars. (We have two Type 1 diabetic daughters and the younger one says, "Why waste a good low; eat chocolate.") Our tandem is a Cannondale MT800 and features wide wheels and tires. It should deal with the possible muddy conditions quite well.
I usually test before each meal and at bed time. I figure I'll be testing 8-10 times a day while on tour. I also probably will cut back on the amount of my meds a bit. I manage my diabetes and my doctor goes with the program.
He told me he wishes he could take the time to go with us.
Why a candy bar? Why not some fruit?
I rode with a guy that had diabetes. He had fruit and it worked well for him, although we did stop for some yougart too at some point.
Different people react differently to different sources of glucose. In traditional practice, orange juice is the quick way to raise blood sugar. It does for me if I drink massive quantities. Then I go way too high. Eat an apple. That is a great idea and healthy too. My daily routine diet includes fruit and veggies (and I don't mean the topping on a pizza). I've found that a snack size Snickers or Milky Way bar gives me just the right amount of a blood sugar boost when I need it and acts quickly too. Your results may well be different.
Originally Posted by koffee brown
The main reason for the Snickers remark, though, is its funny.
I feel ya. Good luck.
Also, contact AndrewP. He is a diabetic and he does long rides (50+ km).
He may have good advice for you.