How do you handle exercise? I RIDE!

I am by no means an exercise guru.  But three years ago, my husband and I decided to do the Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley, CA.   At that point, I'd had diabetes almost 30 years and had not done much in organized or regular exercise since high school.

We bought bikes (and helmets, shoes, pedals (who knew bikes don't COME with pedals?), shorts, ) and started riding in May 2006.  The ride was in October and the goal was 105 miles.  I recall being very proud of myself for riding five miles on my first outing.  (nice, huh?)

Over that summer, I realized how tough long distance riding with type 1 diabetes was going to be.  I was used to 30 minute workouts, not six and eight hour.  I could not figure out basal rates on my pump and carb consumption.  I was low while riding and then would sky rocket after.  It was really tough.  I worked with my CDE and she helped me make adjustments.  I ended up figuring out I need a 30% basal rate started 20 minutes before I begin a ride that is longer than two hours.  I also need to consume 60 grams of carbs per intense hour (lots of hills, high heat, etc.) of riding.  Those numbers are adjusted for less intense rides.

About three weeks before the Ride in 2006, I got a CGM.  That was WONDERFUL.  It made riding so much easier knowing where I was and where I had been in the recent past with a pretty good idea of where my blood glucose was trending.  I wear my CGM on the front of my jersey and can just look down and see where I'm at.  I also ensure that I am on day two, three of a sensor on "big" ride days so I can trust the numbers I'm seeing.  I cannot say enough positive things about endurance exercise and CGMs.

I've done Death Valley Ride to Cure Diabetes three times now.  Sorry to say, I have not yet done the entire 105 miles.  Lack of mental & physical prep got me on 1st attempt and a small amount of head winds (25 mph).   Strong wind was my nemesis (45 mph head winds) on year 2 (and a small incident at mile 86 where I reset my cycling mileage meter and started crying hysterically).  This year... it just wasn't my day and it was hot (100+ degrees).  Will I conquer it next year?  We shall see. 

Are interested in the Ride?  Check out my team's blog:  Looks like the team will be headed to Killington, VT in 2009 (don't worry, my husband & I are doing Killington AND Death Valley next year!)

I just got approved for the CGM as well and it has helped me tremendously. I used to be afraid to go to the gym but now I am much more confident. Through trial and error I learned that I have to turn my basal down an hour before exercise to 50% then during working out temp basal of 0% as soon as I am done exercising back up to 50% for an hour and then back to normal rate.

Exercising can be a struggle but, once you know your rates its a piece of cake (well sometimes!) . I am always prepared though two juices, glucose shots etc..


Yeaaaah I need to kick myself in the arse and get back to jogging again, at least!!

This ride sounds awesome btw.

In May I started riding to work (about 7.5 each way), but I never would have started without the CGM. It has been so helpful. I was afraid, too, to ride in on that commute without something to tell me if my blood sugar was crashing.


I try to workout after dinner or lunch, and I just suspend the pump because my blood sugar drops very quickly otherwise.

Like Katie, I ride too! I have done 5 of the JDRF rides. I have done the 100 mile Asheville, NC ride twice, the 121 mile Whitefish, MT ride twice and the 105 mile Death Valley ride once. These rides are awesome! It is a must do for all type 1 diabetics. This year I rode with her West Michigan team and they are an great group of people.

I have been type 1 for almost 36 yrs now and with today's treatment plans there is really nothing we can't do. Of course you have to be smarter on how you manage things but the high (not the BS high!) you get from accomplishing an athletic event that even a "normal" person would have problems with is an incredible feeling. Once you believe you can do it anything is possible.

I'm so impressed that you have done the JDRF rides! I would love to do something like that. I'll check out your blog!

I was diagnosed just over 3 months ago and I completely stopped excercising. But now I excercise to one of those tapes that tell you everything to do. I just keep juice with me so if i get too low I can drink that up and rest for a bit and I'm good to go. I also make sure I eat before I work out.

I'm in rodeo, so I ride horse a lot. I'm going to join soccer next spring, but I need to get in better shape before then! I do some cardio, weight lifting, and strength exercises a few times a week.

I would love more information on the JDRF rides.  I cycle as part of my cross training program and right now am in the middle of my winter training program which is pretty intense.  I am a professional racing driver so in the off-season I push really hard with 2 intense workouts a day for 6 days a week.  One of my sponsors- Rocky Mountain Bike Company- got me set up with a road bike and I really enjoy the long rides.  Like Katie, I find my DexCom CGM a huge help!  Especially when I am working out this intensely, I almost can't get enough calories and balancing calories, carbs, insulin and exercise.  I am on MDI so I can't just turn down my pump and go from there- I end up with slightly larger fluctuations, but a lot more controllable numbers after workouts.  And with the CGM, I can watch what is happening and start to react before I get into trouble.  Also keeping my BS in better ranges allows me to workout even better and push harder.  It's all a bit of a compromise, and a serious learning curve, but I am doing the best I can and pushing on through!

I bought a bike last year, but ashamed to say I haven't used it much.  Until recently, I was working a lot of hours.  Now that the weather is mild, I plan to get a regular routine going.  We have some great trails here locally.  Haven't tried any of the fundraiser rides yet, but have participated in the JDRF and ADA walks.

thats really good about the ride :]  i'm a youth ambassador for my chapter so i've done a bunch of stuff to help out pre ride, though i would never be able to do that myself.

myselfff, to keep in shape i used to play a bunch of sports such as basketball volleyball and softball, on teams, but i gave up cause i decided i needed a job, money, more.  i still play every now and then for fun but i recently signed up at a gym and its fantastic :]

only thing i hate is after i work out i sometimes go low, and when i go low i get starving! does that happen to anyone else?

i cycle alot and when i cycle i go like 2-3 hours and take less insuline and i dont wear my insulinepump.

afterwards i take less insuline when i eat and during the night i take about 70 percent of the insuline what i normaly take.

i also do a lot of weight training, i go to the gym 3-4 times a week, each session takes about 1 or 1,5 hour, sometimes when i feel to 2 hours .

when i do that i dont wear my insuline pump, i only raise my bloodsugar by taking less insuline and i eat some more.

sometimes the next morning i get low, i  eat a normal breakfast and dont take insuline, most of the time that works out pretty well.


For those who ride bicycles, especially those that said they were interested in the Ride to Cure Diabetes, general public registration opens up on February 1st. 

I'm signing up for Killington, VT (a new Ride location for JDRF this year) at the end of August and we are going to go back to Death Valley, CA one more time in mid-October.   It's a bit daughnting to train for two century rides, as well as raise all that money. 


For more information, visit:  

If you want/need some support or a team, West Michigan will be happy to take you under their wing.  We will have around 65 riders again this year, going to Killington and/or Death Valley.   We have ride team members all over Michigan, & Illinois, so don't be worried about not being from "west" Michigan.

Hey guys-

I am a 26 year old diabetic (diagnosed when I was 5). I am also an avid cyclist. I do 35 miles 3 times a week before work and somewhere between 80 and 100 every Saturday. I also do some weight lifting and running on the treadmill on non-riding days (Tues/Thurs). I am not an insulin pump user currently nor do I have a CGM, though I'd love to get one of those soon. I've found that as long as I eat something with some carbs every 45 minutes to an hour while on the bike (be it a banana, one of those energy gel packets, a CLIFF bar, etc) then my blood sugar tends to be very predictable and stays right around where it was when I started the ride.

I use Humalog and Lantus right now as well. I'm happy to give motivation speeches/advice/etc to anyone who needs/wants it. Also, if you're in the Boston area, send me a message and we can head out for a bike ride!


I ran Sunday 1.25 miles for the fist time in over a month.  I've had an upper repitory thing that has kept me out of action.  I usually around 3 miles hopefully 3 times per week.  I test before going out.  If I'm under 200 or so, I have a snack, then run.  Often if I'm going to run, I'll take a little less insulin the meal before.  I also do some cycling but not anywhere near 100 miles!  Usually just around 7 or 8 miles.  I also walk my dogs everyday so I get a little exersize from that too.  My blood sugars are a lot better when I am getting 3 or 4 workout days in a week.

This article is on NYTimes, about T1D and cycling.

I used to ride my bike a ton when I was younger - up and down the street, to and from friends' houses.  I would love to get back into riding, just have to get a bike and find a good area to ride around!


i <3 my bike

I haven't ridden a bike in a while lol, luckily that skill comes back to you like... well, like riding a bike!


I usually run. A lot. LOL.

My son just got his first bike (training wheels yet) but it inspired me and I got one, too... First time on a bicycle since 1987 and I haven't tipped it over, yet... :)

I used to run but my knees hate me for some of my other, more youthful, antics so now it seems I can do the elliptical or ride a bike...