Monday, January 17, 2011

Snow What's New?

I don't have a snow bike - yet. Scenes like this make me lust after one in a big way. I just have to work out a sensible plan of acquiring all the bits to build one. It won't happen this winter, but I hope to have one ready for next year. Winter is perhaps my favorite season, and I love to bike, so this will be a natural progression. A bigger garage is also in my future.....

I put my old mountain bike on the trainer to save wear and tear on my road bike. It's actually a better position for the road to nowhere rides. The weight loss is coming along as a result. I'm actually feeling a bit healthier than I have in quite some time. Our eating habit are slowly changing for the better, and as a result I have been able to cut back on that nasty fat storage drug, insulin.

So, you ask, why is insulin a fat storage drug? Well, take a bit too much, and you get hypoglycemic. To counter act this, you have to take on more carbohydrates to raise your blood sugar back to the safe range. Thus, you end up over doing the carbs, which turn to fat. Throw in some hard efforts exercise-wise, and you're on a roller coaster for days. Here's where the real dilemma comes in to play. Do I under dose and risk the damaging effects of high blood sugar, or go after normal sugars and risk going low. A conundrum, no doubt. I know many people can maintain a regular schedule of meals, exercise, sleep, and all of the other things in life, but I'm not one of them. A one hour ride can turn into four hours. Dinner may end up at eight instead of five thirty. I may not get that workout in that I was planning when I ate lunch.

Since there's no magic cure for diabetes, diet and exercise are the buffers against side effects. I have considered the alternative - weight loss surgery.  Gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and lap band all so promise. I think, for me, the sleeve would be the way to go. The only thing in the way of me doing this is that my insurance only covers so much. The overages must be paid in advance, and I don't have several grand laying around to cover it. Another project to plan out, I guess.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Trainer Time

Yes, it's that time of year, folks, when the weather outside is frightful ( if you don't have studs, that is ) and you're a masochist craving torture. That's Willow camped out next to the bike, waiting to see his master suffer riding the road to nowhere. I wonder if the Beetles were riding the roller when they wrote "Nowhere Man". On the bright side, every minute here is one less minute trying to regain form in the spring. Funny thing, as I write this, a thought hit me: Why don't I have my MTB hooked up instead of the road bike. I have a set of Specialized Fat Boys on the spare rim set ready to go, so why not put them to use. The position would be a bit more upright and I'd save wear and tear on the road bike.

I'd love to have one of the many dedicated trainers on the market, such as the Giant, CycleOps, or even the new LeMond. The folks down the street have the Lemond, but I haven't heard how they like it. The LeMond is a hybrid which uses your frame, but eliminates the rear wheel by having a built-in cassette, so you hook up you're bike like you just changed a wheel. Reviews have been positive, saying it's the most realistic ride feel, but the fan is way too loud. I have a fan drive trainer back in the early '90's, and it was annoyingly loud.

As far as the diabetes goes, it's still an uphill battle. Late afternoon and late night bouts of low blood sugar attacks are frustrating, to say the least. At least I recognize the signs and react more quickly than I used to, so recovery time is much shorter than it used to be. Here's a scenario as to what happens: You suddenly feel hot, even though the temp hasn't changed. Then, a clammy sweat breaks out. Soon, you get spacey, like you're no you, but observing someone else. If you let it go too long, you can end up in a comma. Or, though rare, die. My father nearly did a few months ago while driving. My folks were coming up Haines Road when this episode happened, and don't have a cell phone. My mom got him off the road when a passing cyclist with a cell phone stopped to offer help and called 9111, then he called me to let me know what was going on. I was only 5 minutes away, but by the time I got there, paramedics were already giving him glucose, but it still took quite some time to raise is sugar levels back to normal.

Another problem with these lows is that you get very hungry. Since your mind is in the process of shutting down, you don't realize how much you have eaten and over-do it, then your level goes way too high. From hypo to hyper, it's a vicious circle. When you go low on the bike, it's even worse. I once rode for an hour on empty, thinking to myself that I should stop and take an energy gel, but I couldn't make myself do it. Now, no matter what my reading is, especially if it's in the 80-100 range, I add a Hammer gel or two for safe measure. Reading Team Type 1's blog gave me some insight on this, as their riders tend to start a race at about 180 and add glucose on a specific schedule. It's better to be a bit high than bonking from not eating enough. Lessons learned, the hard way, by me on the road.

Now, back to the road to nowhere......