Riding without CGMS and pump

Anyone ride using basic needles and test strips? I’m all curious here to see what other people do. I generally ride a few 20 mile rides a week- sometimes less if I have a busy day. My new thing is strength training exercises- about an hour workout using free weights (courtesy of my physiologist at Joslin Clinic). Since I’ve been tackling my whole body I’ve been putting in faster rides- I want to get in my first 30 mile ride before the month is over!

…ah so back to what I asked …
Anyone else ride without CGMS / PUMP?

Peter - I’ve been cycling for 34 years and about 15 of that was w/o a pump (CGMs weren’t even around then). During that time I made sure I carried plenty of food and ate frequently. I also carried a tube of glucose in case I got low (I still do this). And don’t forget that Medic Alert ID or something similar. I also carried a small glucose testing meter to occasionally check my BS. Even with a CGM, I still carry a meter on longer rides to be certain about the accuracy and calibrate the CGM. As you ride more and more, you’ll get a feel for what works best for you. I always test before heading out on a ride. If I’m in the normal range, I’ll definitely make sure to eat something before I head out. What I eat and how much depends on how long and how hard I plan to ride. If my BS is elevated, I skip the snack and eat later on the road. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Best of luck.

Well now that I have a CGM and a pump I rarely go out for a ride without them, but there is no reason I could not. You shouldn’t worry about it either, but take the usual precautions like carrying Gu packets and a test kit. Consider an insulin pen for longer rides. As you get past 20 miles I think you may get to the point where you exhaust your muscle glycogen and must eat some carbs, and you might need some insulin to cover that. So many factors to consider while you experiment, including food or insulin on board, the starting bg level and the intensity of the ride. Everyone’s diabetes is a little different of course, so as Kevin said, don’t be afraid to experiment.

If you ride with any intensity at all, you will exhaust your muscle glycogen in 60 - 90 minutes. At that point you will start to go low, so you’ll need carbs. And if you’re ingesting carbs you’ll need insulin - albeit less than usual (reduced basal). So you could get by pretty easily if you always rode less than 90 minutes. But what about those days you spend a half hour fighting flats, or a headwind? And 90 minutes turns into 120, or 180?

Given a choice, I’d always ride with pump, CGM and a meter. Going low 15 miles (or 50) from home ain’t a sweet deal!

Good to know that it only takes 60-90 minutes to exhaust muscle glycogen. I usually check myself within the first 5 miles, and eat frequently to avoid lows, but even when I drop my humalog, I can still get lows. I guess I should be riding more consistantly- say like a minimum of 5-10 miles a day or a mile jog a day as to keep my muscles in a routine… any thoughts?

Peter - I workout on average 5-6 days a week training for triathlons and, while I have a CGM and a pump, I still carry a meter for longer workouts that last over 2 hours just in case. Yesterday was a good example of why: ~3 hour workout (30 mins swim, 1:45 bike and 40 min run); my BG was fine the whole time, but about 30 mins into the bike my CGM had the ??? which means a reset and 3 hours without readings so having a meter and checking at least every hour is my standard. I also generally consume between 20-60 carbs per hour depending on intensity, time working out, heat of day, etc. Stay hydrated.

Per your question about routine, I think there is no doubt that a better trained body will help you respond better in exercise. I saw an interesting quote in one of the diabetes magazines a while back. A Type 1 asked his doctor how often he should workout to help his diabetes and the doctor responded with, “how many days of week do you have diabetes?” :slight_smile:

Great info! I’ve been trying to get some sort of workout every day for the past week, rather than 3-4 days a week. I did a 2 hour 20 mile bike ride (if you count the stretching) and downed about 70+ carbs for the whole route. It seems that I go low for the first 10 miles and then level off after that- at least that’s the current trend.

I test while I ride. I put some Velcro on my Accu-check compact plus then made a two strap harness that goes around my arm with the mating Velcro. I can tighten it up so it is secure it also has two separate bungee type straps that secure the meter to the harness.
I like having the auto 16 strip drum for long rides and races, can’t stop when in race mode.
My CGM does not always track real well. And I like to see exactly what my sugar is so I can I compensate. I do use a pump to compensate for long rides but for an hour or under I do not wear a pump.
If you go on long rides you will need a little insulin to help get the food/glucose in your cells.