Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Challenge Diabetes Century Group Ride

I hate how the weather can make or break plans. One minute it was calling for sporadic showers but nothing substantial. The next it was calling for a downpour. Either way, it ended up being nothing that was predicted.

I was scheduled to do a ride with a fantastic group owned and operated by one Chris Jarvis. Pro Type1 rowing Olympian and adventure seeker extraordinaire.  "I Challenge Diabetes" is his non-profit organization. It was really just a group of us getting together to do some cycling. We were meeting in Toronto to ride to Burlington. About a 50-60km ride so nothing all that long. Some of them were riding back to Toronto but I was planning to just ride to my car nearby.

Generally if the skies are opened for torrential downpour I’ll opt to wait out the weather or not ride at all. I literally waited until the last minute before deciding to go. I had trepidation as I was collecting all my things the night before. I had to get out to Toronto so if I was going, there was no turning back. I hopped on the train with anxiety in my belly. Anxiety in the form of coffee and forced oatmeal that had my stomach in knots the whole train ride. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. A group of people I've never met with bikes. I had no idea if I would be discouraged and overwhelmed by a fast pace or hanging out with the slower folks on big ‘ol mountain bikes. It was going to rain, no doubt about that, but at least it was warm. I can handle being soaked as long as I'm warm.

Pre-ride chitty chat while hopelessly staying dry under the highway. Photo courtesy of ICD.

There were 6 of us in the fast group. 4 guys, 2 girls. We rode in single file because it was pouring rain and we were in the city. The roads were messy with pot holes, traffic lights and chocolate milk puddles up to our pedals. I rode at the front for a rather large portion which was nerve wrecking. It was hard to see with the rain and we couldn't hear each other. It seemed we were all experienced road riders so we kept the pace somewhat moderate but slow enough to not lose anyone. Hand signals were a plenty. I slammed into a pothole at one point that felt really bad on my back tire. Not long after that we hit some unsurfaced road where I got a pinch flat on my front tire. We changed it out quickly and I was grateful that we had a support car with a full sized pump to make things easier. I guess I should start carrying a change of tube ;). Big time thanks to the guys having tools. I was still worried about my back tire though.

Drying out on the pier

Upon arriving in Burlington the rain finally stopped and the sun came out. We grabbed a coffee and socialized on the pier drying out and waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. A quick (and amazing) lunch break full of fresh fruits and veggies had us re-fueled. Some layers came off and rain jackets got packed away. Wet clothes were strewn about the sunny hillside. Some of the cyclists were riding back to Toronto and, well, I am so easily peer pressured so I joined them. I couldn't help it, the sun was shining and I wanted more riding. Not to mention I was having a good time with some great new people.

The whole group. Too bad some folks chickened out due to the rain because it turned out to be a spectacular day! (photo courtesy of ICD)

I love this creative photo Chris took. (photo courtesy of ICD)

Within the first 5k I could feel my back tire was majorly lacking in air pressure. We stopped and filled it up but by the next day the tire was completely flat. The ride back was much more enjoyable in the hot sunny weather. We were flying along at a very reasonable pace. Faster than I've ever been able to maintain and it felt super easy. Perhaps because it was mostly flat? Probably.

Oh and the diabetes, how could I forget about the diabetes? This was a cycling trip planned BECAUSE we all have diabetes. This just goes to show how much a part of our lives Diabetes has when we are able to ignore it’s existence. We all did great. I, personally, finished the day with near perfect BGs. No highs, no lows, just….. a perfect win! There were no other D’mergencies amongst the rest of the folks either aside from a slight low or two. We did get time to sit around and talk about it as we often do. I'm glad I'm not the only one that doesn't trust those pesky insulin pens to deliver a precise amount.

Yeah I know, you don't even have to say it! This is me on no sleep
I'm glad I chose to go despite not wanting to ride in the rain. I would have seriously regretted it if I skipped out. Sure I would have gotten some actual sleep but it was a small price to pay for a good day on the bike. The people I was with made the wet suffering a team effort and we were rewarded with a beautiful day in the end. We were lucky to have two support vehicles which made us feel safe and comfortable out there. Major thanks to those drivers, major. The rubber side always stayed down.  

The "fast" group on our way back to Toronto. Loving it! (photo courtesy of ICD)


  1. Sounds like a great ride! Now I seriously wish I were out riding on this fine Tuesday morning instead of being at work.

  2. I'm glad you rode, also! I always enjoy reading about it.


Due to low life spam monkeys I am forced to moderate comments and I hate it (But I hate spam monkeys more)