I don’t even know where to begin! To make a really long story short, after 9 years of not riding, I finally have good enough control to take up riding again. As a child I lived on my bike; as an adult before diagnosis (dx’d age 27 t1) I was very active. Now… not so much. I don’t have weight loss issues but I would like to become in shape again! I have a sporting good store mountain bike that I’ve ridden on and off for the past couple of years but I’ve finally admitted that being on pavement is what I enjoy. I live in the west side of richmond, va so I have a plethora of streets to ride, but I have no idea how to begin. I bought a Giant Cypress comfort bike with road tires and I’m excited about logging miles on her but am not sure how cautious I should be when I start again.
How many miles should I start out with? I’ve been known to over do any exercise plan I try, then burn out- how do I pace myself? Do I just go out one day and see how far I can go?
Are there good books which take into account diabetes that I should read( I have the Diabetic Athlete’s Handbook) ?
What is this tour de cure? 35 miles doesn’t seem that bad but… I haven’t done that for many years. I might be a little overly optimistic, but are there training plans that I could peek at?
Sorry if these seem like dumb questions… but I’ve had a hard time getting control and now that it’s better, well, I have 9 years of not riding to make up for! I just don’t know how to do this as a diabetic and would love any advice/ reassurance/ support…
Sorry I don’t have enough experience to give a lot of bike advice. I took a quick look at the Tour de Cure schedule, and the two in Virginia are in April and June of next year, so you have plenty of time to work up to 35 miles. As you said, it’s not that bad. It wouldn’t be right for one of your first rides in years, but for next year it would be great.
My suggestion to avoid burnout is to find a local shop that does group rides and start riding with them. A shop will usually do a few group rides each week. Typically the shop will have a couple of different paced rides (beginner, intermediate, advanced) with different mileage for each. Check your local shops for details. This will help with the burnout factor since you will be riding with other people, which will make it more fun, and those other riders will help keep you motivated by making sure you will be at the next ride.
My suggestion as far as blood sugar is to first look into a continuous glucose monitoring system. I just started using one in June of this year and don’t know how I ever got through my long rides without one. I mostly mountain bike and can keep this monitor in my camelback. I am typically fine for up to two hours, but things can get funny after that, so the meter is great. The other thing I do since I use Novolog and Lantus injections to help control my blood sugar, is to reduce my Novolog dosage by half after a long ride after work. This works really well for me since I get a delayed low from most forms of exercise. Definitely talk to your doctor about this if you start noticing a lot of low blood sugars after your post-ride meals.
The one last thing I would suggest is to get a bike computer to log your mileage. I use a computer for my mountain bike and my road bike and it is really fun to see how far you are riding and gauge your improvement. It also helps give you an idea about food intake once you see some patterns develop.
Congratulations on getting a new bike and jumping back into the sport! Most of all, just like when you were a child, have fun riding again! Hope this helps. - Adam
Well thanks! Sounds like I’m off to a good start- on pump, have CGMS, and having a computer installed on my new bike (it gets here next week). I went for a 20 minute ride on my old rust bucket tonite to try and burn off my impatient energy…I actually went up 25 points. huh.
There are alot of groups- however they’re all mountain bike groups! ( I like my bones right where they are, thank you very much. ) There is one road group but they are for people who are racing and only have sporadic rides for beginners about once a quarter. I’m even trying to see if there’s a group training for the Tour de Cure but… so far, no luck. The closest T.d.C. group is in Chesapeake, Va- about 2 hours east of me.
So… do I just bike until I go low to figure out what my limit is or…?
The CGMS will help significantly. I find it difficult to ride without mine now that I have ridden with it.
Here are some links that might help you find what you’re looking for…
I haven’t looked through the first link, but there are links on that site that might help you find a group to ride with. The second link (mapmyride) might be helpful because it gives route suggestions. This will help with the burnout factor because it can provide suggestions for alternate routes so you don’t get stuck doing the same rides all the time.
Hey Sweet Fur! Starting is the easiest part, keeping it up is the hard part. Start with few laps around the block or neighborhood and see how you feel. Don’t worry about how far you go, leave yourself wanting more. As your milage increases, plan pit-stops. You’ll need to fill water bottles, eat, test, and maybe give your seat a break.
Adam’s suggestion is great, find a group who rides locally. I’m sure there’s someone around there who rides. Look for a Trek store, or REI. Here in California, they usually have some organized ride. If there are no groups, go to a local bike shop and ask them if you can post something (it might even bring them some business).
It think you can do the TdC next year. 35 miles will be cake for you! Keep pedaling!!
Check with your LBS… or other LBS in your area. Most have groups for a wide range of riders.
I took about a 3 year break from riding after I was diagnosed. I had a kid, so hanging out with him took most of my time. My suggestion is have fun with it. When I ride now these days I remember the freedom we had as kids when we were on a bike. It takes some getting used to riding and making sure your sugars stay in check. for me I win some and lose some. Some rides are great and some are not too fun sometimes. Since I am type 2 the effects of the pills we take cant be controlled as good as insulin. I used insulin for 9 months so I found it easier to exercise on insulin than on pills. I cant nail it down for the perfect glucose level, some days I overshoot the number some days I am on it. But the one thing I try is to have fun with it. It was work at first, but now its a necessity and enjoyment.
take care and have fun with the bike
I vote for going slow and easy and building up slowly over time. If you push too hard too fast and find yourself belly up on the side of the road, it will be a big incentive to quit. But that’s just me. When I first started out, my strategy was to select rides where the first half was uphill. That way, if I pooped out, it was an easy ride back. I’d hate to start out downhill, get all cocky and overconfident and keep going, and then have to face a grueling ride all the way back.
My most important piece of advice is to ALWAYS carry a glucose meter and glucose tablets with you when doing any kind of exercise. I keep an extra set of that stuff in my bike bag so I can’t possibly forget it.
Good luck, and have fun.