Testing While Riding?

Anyone out there test and bolus while they riding? My pump is on a fuel belt that I wear, and I was thinking about trying to attach my One Touch ultra mini to the top tube, but not sure if it’s safe or a good idea. I’m pretty new to riding…got a used road bike a couple months ago, and just did my 2nd sprint tri on it. If any of you are doing this, I’d love to hear specifically how. Or feel free to tell me I’m a doofus for even thinking about it :).

I’ve always thought about it but never done it. I was always too afraid that I would drop things, and would hate to cause a crash or get my meter run over. In group rides, I would just ride ahead at a convenient stretch, stop and test quickly, and join the group again. For races, they were always short enough that I could do without testing (usually no more than 1 hour). I would try to test 3, 2, and 1 hours before a ride to get a good trend, and only make minor adjustments to make sure I’m level or slightly going up anticipating the exercise.

I’ve had the Dexcom for a little over a year now, and it was a a game changer for me while cycling. I don’t have to test while riding at all, even at stops. For racing, I just set the vibrations on with tight limits (maybe 100 as the low, 140 as the high) and without needing to look at the receiver I know whether I should drink more juice or water or grab a clif bar.

Thanks Andy! That’s great that your Dexcom has been such a big help. I have the minimed system and am thinking of firing up the CGM piece again. Took a long vacation from the CGM…got burned out on it’s “care and feeding” and flakiness and had a hard time keeping the transmitter attached because I was swimming more. But I ordered some mastisol and have some new sensors on the way, so we’ll see how it goes.

I’m having a hard time dialing in race day blood sugars, and just don’t feel confident enough at this point to not test in the first transition. In the most recent one (1/2 mile swim, 16 mile bike, 3.1 mile run), went from 95 pre-race to 279 after the swim. In T1, I bolused more than I have ever dared in a race of any kind, and wound up at 195 by the end. I did swig a bit of OJ prior to the swim because it was my first time in open water and I didn’t want to risk a low + was disconnected for about 1 hour total. By the second transition, it’s too late to do much anyway, so I didn’t bother testing. I’m not confident that I could juggle the meter on the bike, so I should probably go the CGM route for now and see what I can learn that way.

I definitely test out while riding…depends on the ride though. For example the weekend rides (longer distance, but more of a “no drop” if someone flatted) I will test. I usually just trail off the back a few meters and pull out my bag of goodies. Pull out the strip. Pull out the meter and put in the strip, and put it back in my jersey. Pull out the lancet device and prick, put it back. Pull out the meter again and squeeze my finger, apply, then I can go back to at least one hand on the bars while the meter gives me my number. Then I can put it all away back in my ziplock and rejoin the group. Alternatively you could try jumping off the front like Andy suggests.
I know of a few friends that had intricate velcro systems rigged up to secure their meters to their bars for riding/racing. I never went that far. When wearing my navigator CGM I would occasionally tape the mount to my stem (on my tri bike at least) for longer races/rides, but I don’t rely on that information 100%. Like you, I too take a break from CGM from time to time b/c of the maintenance care annoyances…
I do a lot of testing while training so that I don’t have to test while racing (at least not during the race, assuming it’s short). I, like Andy, test a lot leading up to the race though to ensure I know what’s going on, and then depending on the type of race I am also making basal adjustments, etc. For longer tris (1/2 and full) I definitely test during the race. I mean, you can train and train and train and train all you want and feel confident w/ your numbers, but things can still go awry on race day, and for a longer distance like that, having BG information in the middle of a race can be invaluable. So you’re not a doofus for thinking about trying to rig up a system by any means :slight_smile: For shorter races, I’m quick enough that I can be competitive for AG wins and even overall podiums on occasion, so I won’t test, but if you’re just getting into the sport and a check mark in the W column isn’t what race day is all about for you, then I would definitely test (b/c again, the more info you have about race day conditions, the more you can figure out what “works” and what doesn’t…which will help in future races).

I like the idea of velcro on the aero’s, but keep in mind that prolonged exposure to sun and high temperatures (like in a sweaty back pocket) can affect how the BGM works. Sun could cause the display to go dark for a while, and high temperatures could cause false readings or just a general failure to work. I’ve been unable to use BGM’s left in cars during sunny summer months before for that reason.

I LOVE my CGM. I have the MM Realtime. It came with a Onetouch Ultra-based BGM that transmits my BG to the pump wirelessly.

I stopped using the fancy features of the Onetouch Ping meter since I got a Dexcom, but it did have a neat feature of being able to bolus wirelessly to the pump. I think the MM version only sends over the BG, so you still need to fish out the pump from your pocket. It was perfect in the winter because I could stash the pump under layers of clothes and just bolus from the meter.

Bradford, I think you are WAY more coordinated than me!

Mike, I’m going to try falling back in love with my CGM. One question though…I had to turn off the wireless connection to my one touch meter when I was using the CGM so as not to automatically callibrate it. Has that changed w/ newer software versions? I have a new pump on the way since my warranty expired, and that would be a nice improvement.

Well tomorrow’s WNR (wednesday night ride) is the local “king of the mountain” so to speak…it’s a 36ish mi ride to see who’s who lol. I never try to test during that ride I just try to hang on to the group :wink: b/c like you, I’m not that coordinated!

The CGM can be useful, so I’d def try it out…but a fingerstick is always going to get you the most accurate info, of course.
When I was using the MM several years ago I had to do the same thing as you when I was using the one touch meter b/c it would auto send (convenient, but only if you’re stable…and when I was exercising all the time that didn’t happen often). I am not “up to date” on the latest from MM though.

I don’t think much is different with the MM CGM. I still have to know that if I expect a high, or if I have a big swing going up or down, that it could incorrectly calibrate the pump. But for me, my CGM is pretty accurate. I found the trick was to get a good, unused spot to insert it, and then only calibrate it when I expect to be close to 100mg/dl.

I know I’m not supposed to bolus based on CGM readings, but I’m fairly confident in it 99% of the time. I’ve had wilder swings with meters than with CGM.

“but a fingerstick is always going to get you the most accurate info, of course.”

Cycling (and other sports where testing isn’t too easy to do often) is one instance that I disagree with your point on this. A finger test only gives you one data point. Let’s say you do it while riding and it says 100mg/dL, what do you do? Unless you test again 15 or 30 minutes later, 100 could mean that you are dropping and need food/drink very soon to avoid that low, or it could mean that you are about to climb and eating would only result in a prolonged high which isn’t ideal for being active either.

The CGM on the other hand, even if it were to be inaccurate, shows the trends very well. And with the Dexcom at least, my experience has been that the accuracy is more than good enough for making decisions about eating and bolusing.

Ride nutrition is definitely an issue with me. And as a T2 controlled by diet and exercise, a CGM is not an option.

I recently saw a video (I think Mari Ruddy posted it to YouTube or Team WILD?) on testing while riding. It involved stowing meter, strips, and lancet device in a handlebar pack and at times holding the lancet device beneath one’s chin. She was using a One Touch Ultra Mini. I’m thinking that an Accu-Chek Compact Plus might in some ways be a better device for that, as it is large enough for one of those handlebar-mounts designed for your iPod or GPS device and you shouldn’t have to remove anything from there to test – built-in strips, attached lancet device, and all that. OTOH that would take up a LOT of handlebar real estate…

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.