The morning was more beautiful than anyone in Tucson expected. It was warm, not rainy and only slightly windy. It was a good start to what the weather people had predicted to be a not so great day. It was a great day for the Tucson Tour de Cure (at least it looked that way when I woke up.)
My blood sugars had been steady throughout the night so I was in prime position for a wonderful ride. I was very excited. I hadn’t been outside on a bike since December, this ride was long overdue and it was my first Tour de Cure of 2010. It also happened to be a ride that I missed out on in 2009 due to illness. I had a date with this ride.
But then I broke my ride, before I even started it…by eating a CarbBoom (as was planned) but not taking any insulin for (NOT as planned). When the ride started my blood sugar was almost 400. This is not where anyone wants to start a ride, in fact, it is HIGHLY (heh, get it, highly) not recommended. But I wasn’t gonna fix it and ride later, I was gonna fix it and ride now. Which I did, and that made for other problems down the road. I took a nice bolus of insulin (slightly reduced from my normal correction to account for the riding I was about to do) 5 minutes before the ride started.
The ride started and I fell in line with several women I had been talking to earlier. I stayed with them cycling at a beautiful pace of 20mph for the first 10 miles. I had to stop at the 1st rest station that most people bypassed. I stopped because at about mile 7 things just didn’t feel right. I was fighting to breath and was feeling like I was going to vomit. I knew my blood sugar was catching up to me.
At the first rest stop my blood sugar (30 minutes after the almost 400 blood sugar) I had dropped to the mid 100s. It had dropped dangerously fast and I was feeling the effects of that drop. The peeps at the rest stop could tell to, and I love them for jumping to help me even though I didn’t take the help (I’m overly independent sometimes.) It was at this rest stop that I met this awesome woman that I didn’t get the name of (failure to fully communicate on my part). She has had diabetes 47 years. This is completely impressive to me because I always hear about how the goal is to make it 50 years with diabetes. And here she is, coming from a time where they couldn’t test their blood and had to boil their one needle, and she’s made it 47 years and she’s still on injections. If I can’t make it 47 years with all the technology we have, something is severely wrong. I asked her about the needle situation, I asked if she had to use it till it was completely horrible to use and she didn’t remember how the needle situation worked back then. I always like hearing the stories of people that have had diabetes since the time when next to nothing was known about this disease. They have awesome stories.
When I was done socializing, I ate another CarbBoom, washed it down with some water and waited for a few other cyclists to come in before I started on my way again. I don’t like riding solo. There is comfort in being with people that actually know the area we’re riding in. It turns out that I had dropped to the front of the back of the pack because the Tour de Cure Marshalls pulled in with a couple of cyclists. Now, this was new to me, Tour de Cure Marshalls, because I’ve never seen them before on any other of the Tours that I’ve done. They were following the last riders on the route, which is awesome because that meant that people knew where the last riders were and that the back of the pack didn’t have to fear being the back of that pack. That made me more comfortable. It also made me give the Tucson Tour de Cure a big thumbs up, but I’ll blog later about all I loved about the Tour and the stuff that I wasn’t so impressed with, this right now is all about me and the ride Of course, when is it not all about me, I digress.
So, I’m riding this next leg to the next rest stop, which I think is 15 miles away based on what the peeps at the first rest stop told me. But they weren’t quite sure. And there’s one person in front of me that I can see (we left the rest stop together but I couldn’t keep up with her) and there are no people behind me that I can see (but they’re back there). I’m still not feeling well, but I kept going. Lucky for me, the next rest stop was only 5 miles away and as I’m riding up to it, Penny, a person I had met the night before, she’s turning around. Which is awesome because I knew I wasn’t going to make it 60 miles at this point and I would have someone to ride back with.
So, I holler at her and she waits for me. I get my blood tested and I'm now 99. I'm still dropping. I take another CarbBoom and I join her and 2 others (Colleen and guy, but I can't remember guy's name). And we start our 15 miles back. This is where the ride was just mostly lovely, we had a tail wind...did I mention that I had a head wind for the first part of the ride, because I did, and now it was a tail wind. Good stuff, and it was kind of down hill. So we don't stop at any rest stops which was fine and we had a couple things happen to us that put a smile on my face.
The Golf Cart
We're riding along, going straight, no intentions of going any direction but straight and Penny almost gets taken out by a golf cart. It was as though the guy was trying to race us to the bike lane because he didn't want to get behind us. It was an old guy (that's no excuse for anything) and he wouldn't look at us, and he was trying to speed, and we're yelling at him, but he never responds. We passed him.
The Honking Truck Driver
About the time we're on a road and we lose our bike lane, we're still riding double, but we're tight. This truck comes up fast behind us and just lays into his horn. No bueno. It was uncool. But he got talked to by the cop that was just up the road directing traffic for the ride and when I passed him the cop was telling him about how at minimum if drivers honk at cyclists they get a citation. That excited me, you never see that happen.
So, we finished the ride as the winds were getting real evil. Which was awesome because I wasn't riding in evil winds.
After the ride I got an awesome massage, before last year at the NC Tour de Cure I never got massages because I'm ticklish and now I'm a fan. I'll try not to giggle as they're massaging my shoulders and neck. I'm a fan because it really helps loosen up my cramping or near cramped muscles.
While I was getting my massage I thought I heard the words “tortilla soup” so I popped my head up and said “did i just hear the words tortilla soup” and I got told that I was hallucinating and that no one had said anything about tortilla soup. It became the joke during the remainder of my massage. But then! There really was tortilla soup and I wasn’t hallucinating after all.
And, I actually stuck around and ate, which is rare for me because my stomach is always jacked up real good at the end of a ride and I never want to eat. But this time, my stomach was golden since my blood sugars had leveled out and I didn’t put anything other than CarbBoom in there. So I ate, and I enjoyed it, and the company at the table and I had a great time socializing. I made my rounds, talked to just about everyone in a Red Rider jersey and then some of the people I had met the night before. Oh! And I got a gift, but that’s a story for another post because it’s so awesome.
And so I leave you with this accidental but cool pic.
P.S. If you’re wondering about the logistics of the ride: how the route was, the aid station, support, etc…don’t worry, you’ll get that soon enough, it was just too much to group it in with my story