Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tour de 'Loo

No, we did not ride around a bathroom.

Okay so the last time we spoke about the two wheels I was all adamantly against racing again. I'm pretty sure we signed up for this event after I threw the racing towel in. Did you catch the “we” I threw in there? A non-bike racer, racer Ryan did it with me.

These “tours” are not races but most people treat them as races. I wanted to go ride it with Ryan because he was keen to “try” a bike race at some point and this gave us the opportunity to do it together because it was a mass start. Mass start meaning everybody goes at the same time. There were three distances to choose from at the Tour de Waterloo. 40, 70 and 130km. We rode the 70 because it would still be a challenge but not murder us.

The start line

I gave Ryan a basic run-down of how to ride in a massive group of cyclists. Ryan has a lot of experience on bikes but none in a group race atmosphere or a mass start. These kinds of starts scare me because you are dealing with experienced racers as well as recreational riders. Some of those riders were on mountain bikes and granny cruisers. That kind of mayhem is what causes crashes and it made me seriously nervous. My goal was to stay towards the front where the good riders would be until the mob of cyclists thinned out a bit. This was one of those times where I felt better about Ryan just following me and not letting me out of his sight until we settled in.

The time and kilometres ticked by at an unnervingly fast pace. We hauled ass going from group to group. We’d pick a wheel to draft, catch our breath and then zip out and find another wheel to suck. At one point Ryan was pulling and I was on his wheel. I gassed myself and moved over to take a breather when I noticed a huge group of 15 or more cyclists were all drafting in his lead. I was so proud.

The course was beautiful. Lots of rollers on nice country roads. The corners were all well signed and there were cops stopping traffic at every intersection. We made a point to thank them as much as we could. There were even a couple ride thru rest stops with brave volunteers. It may have cost us a little extra but it was so well worth it. This was a really great organized event. Not to mention the incredible feast afterwards!!

My body was not up to par, however. It was the day or two before my period. Sometimes I get unfathomably fatigued at this time and unfortunately this was one of those kinds of months. I had trouble the day before just staying awake and I was getting light-headed all day. Digging the energy out of my body during the ride seemed to come and go in waves. It wasn't easy for me. The weather was fucking hot and humid and I LOVE fucking hot and humid. I absolutely and completely HATE cold weather riding so this was ideal. I’d rather have sweat dripping into my eyeballs any day. I didn't hydrate at all the day before or the morning of. Really, because I wasn't expecting we’d be trying to “race” it, which we more or less ended up doing. My legs started cramping ¾ of the way through which only got worse and worse regardless of how much I drank. The damage was already done because I was dehydrated before we started. I know that kind of muscle cramp is from dehydration.

The last 10km or so was rather difficult. The heat was not a bothering factor to me, it was mostly just the muscle cramps. Ryan was struggling also and I'm pretty sure I drafted off him for the entire last chunk of the race. By this point it was hard to find people to ride with because the cyclists were so spaced out. We laughed, we loved, we rode. It was awesome. Every minute of it was awesome. I loved that we could participate in something like this together.

As for the diabetes, it was amazingly well behaved. I've been working on a system for the past week or so. I've been using HoneyMaxx that I picked up last weekend at the Guelph Triathlon in one of my bottles (the other one being plain water). I alternate sips from both bottles while riding. Previously I hated anything in my water. Gatorade and all other sports drinks leave my stomach feeling less than stellar. They also give me major mouth pasties and cause me to be even more thirsty. Stuff like that also has a tendency to give me some reflux and that's just nasty. But if I don’t have carbs in liquid form I need to consume them in gels and chews. HoneyMaxx is lighter on the carbs and not as nasty sweet on the stomach. I've been using it and having GREAT results with minimal reflux but it still creeps up my throat from time to time. I had tried some Hammer Perpetuem which is a bit more tolerable than say Gatorade but not by much. It's flavour is strong and the carbs are too high even when diluted.

My BG was in range (7.6mmol/l, 135mg/dl) pre ride. I still had some breakfast (with reduced bolus) and insulin petering out but only took 12 instead of 16 units of Lantus that morning. I made a doofus mistake though, I had strips and insulin in my jersey but forgot my lancet and meter in the car. DORK! I discovered this err 20km into the ride when I wanted to test. During the ride I drank the entire bottle of HoneyMaxx (20g carbs) but consumed nothing else. I know I should have taken in more. I finished the 70km with a BG of 4.9mmol/l (88mg/dl) which is damn near PERFECT if you ask me! I was thrilled and actually quite surprised. I considered myself lucky it didn't end worse 'cuz it totally could have.

I avoided almost all lows for the rest of the day and lowered my Lantus at night from 10 to 6 units. Everything was peachy until I woke up at 4:30am with a 2.6mmol/l (46mg/dl). That’s so minor compared to what it could have been.

All around we had a beautiful day together. I was so nice to “race” as a couple for a change instead of watching the other race. We were quite pleased with our results given the goals (or lack thereof) that we went into this with. Yeah we could have ridden harder but the intention was not to kill ourselves. I know I was holding Ryan back for a large portion of it and he is going to kick some serious ass one day on the bike.

70km (43.5miles), 553m elevation gain (1815ft).

Ryan feasting
Overall: 95/216
Age Category: 13/23
Sex: 80/151
Time: 2:27:55
Avg. Speed: 28.4km/h (17.6mph)

Overall: 94/216
Age Category: 5/11
Sex: 15/65
(same speed and time)

The distances and speeds are negotiable though. Ryan’s Strava recorded an avg. speed of 30km/h and a distance of 74.4km. My Strava clocked a 73.3km at 29.6km/h. Then my Garmin says 71.5km (I didn't hit start until a km or two into the ride) at an average speed of 29.9km/h. It’s all relatively minor but it matters yo! Satellites are apparently untrustworthy :).

No flats, No crashes, No BG highs or lows. 
Just happy cyclists.

...and we made up a hand signal for poo on the road.  (It was menonite country out there where horse drawn carriages almost out-number cars)


  1. Nice! It's always awesome when things just work out(as you know if I were in your situation - no meter and all - I would probably consume everything in sight and end up in the 300s) WAY TO GO!! :D

  2. You guys are awesome! Glad to read about you being back out on your bike. :-)

    P.S. Ryan's tats look so badass.

  3. Nice! Sounds like a good time. I'm glad you had fun "not racing."

    This sounds a lot like the gran fondo I did last month. Not a race except everybody wanted to be at the front, it was timed, and they e-mailed standings to everyone afterward. Yeah, definitely not a race. :-)

    You're going to have to show me the hand signal for poop on the road.

  4. Love that photo you you and Ryan! Glad you could get out and enjoy the ride again.


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