I sent my friend and colleague an email, with the subject line: Need. Bike. Ride. It wasn’t long before he replied with a similar sentiment, and we both made the dash to our respective homes at lunch to grab our bike gear.
I love cycling. I love it like my dog loves Milk Bones, or my cat loves a bright patch of sunshine. It brings me joy, it makes me feel better about myself, and it helps me manage my stress. I’ve always said that one of the best things about a bicycle is that there is no room for “baggage” on it. When I get on a bike, the stress just seems to fall off as the miles click by. Cycling also helps me stay in shape, push my limits, and meet new and interesting people. My best friend got me into road biking several years ago, and I’m so glad he did, because it has brought me so many stories and adventures since.
Today was almost an adventure unto itself. As we were just about to take off from the start of the ride, I did a quick BG test to make sure things were copacetic. They weren’t. My blood sugar was 36 mg/dl…and I did not feel it even the slightest. That frightened me, because normally I can feel it, especially one that low. I played it off so as not to freak out my friend, because good or bad, that’s what I’ve done most of my life, hide it. However, I did make him aware that my BG was low so he could understand our delayed start, and I got a glucose gel down, suspended my basal insulin delivery on my pump, and managed to get my BG up to a modest 74 before feeling confident and safe enough to get on the bike. About 10 miles into the ride we stopped at a convenience store, and I added an orange Gatorade to my arsenal, just to make sure that things didn’t sink back down with all of the activity.
At the halfway point (16.5 miles) my BG was holding at 74, which given the activity and fact that my pump was suspended, seemed about right. I continued to drink my orange Gatorode (which by the way, is quite delicious when you don’t get it on a regular basis), and by the time I finished the 33 mile ride, my BG had risen to a solid 147.
Earlier today Kerri (@sixuntilme) wrote a great post about fear and hope, and what motivates us. I hope that I can be strong, athletic, and continue to do bike rides like this (and even longer distances) for years and years to come. I want to be retired and able to blow the doors off some young whipper snappers who think they are lightning on wheels. Being on two wheels, pedaling for miles, and as a Type 1 crossing finish lines that most people say “I could never do that” about, that makes me happy. I love the endurance, the challenge, and the sense of accomplishment when I cross the finish line. But while I have that hope, I also have the fear of that one low BG that sneaks up on me and is one that I can’t manage on my own. I hope so much that if/when it happens, that it doesn’t ruin for me the sport that I love so much. That mix of hope and fear is one of the things that motivates me, and encourages me to stay @woodonwheels.