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Type II

This past week I joined the more than 20 million Americans diagnosed with Type II diabetes. A shock to be sure – I mean, I carry an extra 20 pounds, love sweets, pasta, bread, and real coca cola, have a very stressful job, and some family history, but I’m otherwise healthy as a horse, had NO symptoms and bike 3,000 plus miles a year…

My question is this: How do other people with diabetes do RAGBRAI, with its carb-dominant food options and the need to expend a lot of energy? I wonder/worry about how to fuel for 85 miles and 4,000 ft. of climbing in 90 plus degree weather. I’ll make the changes to my food choices, lose the 20 pounds, take the meds, test the blood sugar, and work to do a better job at managing the job stress. I’d really like to hear from people who have diabetes aand ride RAGBRAI. And BTW, this ain’t my first rodeo – this will be my 18th RAGBRAI, going back to 1992.

Any suggestions are most appreciated. A private E mail if you prefer. Thanks!

7 Replies

lgriffin, June 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm

If you haven’t already done so check with your local American Diabetes Association chapter. They will be able to provide plenty of advice. Team Crude has been involved in the local Tour de Cure for about 6 years now by manning a rest stop and some of our team riding. Being on the local committee also I’ve met many of the people at the office here and they are there to help you with any questions you might have. It sounds like you’re on the right track already but there will still be many questions and/or problems that come up over the next few months. Take advantage of their expertise. After all, it’s not just your local office, they are part of a nationwide organization with tons of experience and I’m sure somebody knows the answer to any question you might come up with.

Good luck.


Bentongoing, June 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I am also a type II diabetic. I tend towards hypoglycemic(high blood sugar) but found when I am biking, my readings fall into the low-normal range (5.0 mmol/l which I think is 90mg/dl), so for me, the risk is not eating enough and becoming hyperglycemic, which is immediately threatening.
I would recommend taking readings before biking, then at intervals during your training session (before eating a snack and maybe 20 minutes later) and record also your physical condition (light-headed, strong, weak etc,) at the time of the reading. The idea is to get an understanding how your body is handling sugar levels and also a benchmark on the physical warning signs for high/low sugar levels. Last year was my 1st Ragbrai and I found I could pretty much eat/drink anything I felt like (within reason of course) and my blood sugar levels where pretty good. One thing to note, for me at least, immediately after a ride, my blood sugar will be down, but even without eating/drinking anything it will come up on its own in about 15 minutes as my liver tries to correct for what it thinks are low levels.

lgriffin’s advice is also very good, read up as much as you can…the ADA’s website (www.diabetes.org) has lots of info. But for me, the key is to understand how your sugar levels respond to physical effort and stress and plan eating/diet accordingly. By the 3rd day, I was only taking readings in the morning just to make sure things weren’t getting out of control. AND I GOT TO EAT SOME PIE!~~~


Bentongoing, June 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm

got that backwards – hyPERglycemic is high blood sugar (possibly suffering dyslexia too!)


drgeorge1, June 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I am a Tour de Cure rider in St Louis, a Team Red co-captain as well as Type II. I have found that with my meds I can eat pretty much anything within reason while training and riding distances since I am burning the carbs so fast. Like you have already heard, test daily and regularly during your rides. Keep a few glucose tabs with you in case of a sudden drop, that has been my problem more than high levels with rides.


Zinger, June 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Please make sure you have some kind of medical alert jewelry in case of a problem! My ex is diabetic, so I know the signs of low blood sugar, but on RAGBRAI, those same symptoms could easily be mistaken for something else!


Michrider !!!, June 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Please make sure you have some kind of medical alert jewelry in case of a problem! My ex is diabetic, so I know the signs of low blood sugar, but on RAGBRAI, those same symptoms could easily be mistaken for something else!

Excellent point Zinger!!! I don’t have any medical problem (other than insanity) but I always wear my Road ID!


barbara45000, June 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm

BRACELET……and that goes for anyone!!!!!


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