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Before this all goes completely off-topic (the diabetes topic, that is), I thought I’d share my bicycle cycling experience on the two brevets I did this year. Complete with insulin types used and stupid mistakes made and everything. Might come in handy for someone else looking into it. Possibly. At least I’ll be a bad example.

Part 1: 200km Brevet “Along the Altmühl River [6]”

Insulins: Lanthus basal, Novorapid bolus. ICT with one Lanthus injection in the evening.

The trip started on a fine Saturday morning. I reduced the basal injection the night before (around 9pm) to 75% of normal [1]. The morning after I had to get up at stupid-o’clock to travel to the starting point. A large breakfast with loads of tasty carbohydrates was consumed – with slightly more Novorapid to cover for the lack of basal insulin. Morning blood glucose wasn’t too bad, actually, which surprised me with the reduced basal rate. After that: cycle to the train station, hop onto a train and check the blood glucose levels, approximately 1.5 hours after breakfast – a duigusting 220mg/dl (12.2mmol/l) was the result [2].

Commence heroic correction (yes, that was stupid)! Meet up with all the other strange people, who enjoy cycling until it hurts, for a common breakfast at the starting line. Another blood glucose test found 80mg/dl (4.4mmol/l). Which I considered a bit low, just before sports. The correction for the “low” consisted of three pieces of cake – without a bolus injection, which turned out to lead to a high blood glucose during the morning – which isn’t that surprising, in hindsight).

Start of the actual event was at 9.15h in a large group of cyclist in front of a backdrop of black clouds, sunshine and a strong tailwind. Up to the first control (places to stop and get a stamp at – to prove you went the right way) I then had to keep correcting my way too high blood glucose (I used Novorapid at 1 I.E. per 50mg/dl(2.8mmol/l) reduction – which is identical to what I use outside of sports [3]). I attempted to test my blood glucose on the bike with the Accucheck Mobile taped to my top tube – which didn’t work. At all. The lancet device requires two hands. We did, however, stop occasionally allowing me to test. For the record: The highest blood glucose tested during the beginning of the event was 500mg/dl (27.8mmol/l) [4].

After roughly 75km (46 miles) my blood glucose had dropped to 120mg/dl (6.7mmol/l) and no further corrections were necessary. The speed at which we were travelling was set to about 24km/h (14 miles/h) – brevets are not a race, more of a friendly cycletour – so I felt quite happy at this blood sugar levels.

At that time, I fell back to my normal feeding plan for cycling. Which is not ideal for weight loss, but I’m all for the “can’t have everything” motto. Approximately every 45 minutes I consumed 40g of carbohydrates in ;