The Beast from the East? 

 So, we are “suffering” a snow storm which the press has named the “Beast from the East”. I woke up this morning and looked out to see everything white and couldn’t even see across the street with how thick of the falling snow was. It looked great but the news was full about how it was causing schools to be closed and trains weren’t running….The country as at a standstill due to the weather, yet again! 

 Ready for anything!I have a opticians appointment though and me being me, my optician is a minor 52km away. For those of you who haven’t followed I don’t drive, at all. I once had a provisional license way back when but due to my wondrous twenties and my three times a week scrap ups by paramedics, I wasn’t ever going to be allowed behind a wheel. No loss though as while I’m more stable these days those days taught me that I don’t need a car, I have a far better form of transportation… A bike! 

 Bontrager MittsSoon suited up in my thermal layers, thermal snow boots and lobster mitts, along with a thermal balaclava. I’ve come to really like Bontrager kit for this stuff, I’ve used a lot of brands but the Bontrager kit is simply amazing. The balaclava for example just fits perfectly, no ridges under the helmet like I’ve found with Gore and Endura thermal caps and no bunching up like with Buffs with helmet straps, it just works and works very well. The boots, totally waterproof, incredibly warm and comfy. I can bang in 52km, walk around a city and ride home again and my tootsies were still nice and warm. The same with the mitts, brilliant if looking rather odd. Even on my phones touchscreen, they work brilliantly, far better than many thin gloves on touchscreens which are a huge surprise. Anyhow, this is sounding more like a product review which it isn’t intended to be. 

Bontrager Old Man Winter BootsThe ride was best described as “interesting”. It was like an old school turbo session with the resistance cranked up. Lancet got so much snow and ice caught under the mudguards that it was squeezing out like toothpaste from a broken tube. The resistance it gave though made for some slow and pressured progress. Lancet’s 37c rubber proved very adequate for the conditions and only slipped a little a couple of times (leaving cycle paths and once on a steep slope) but nothing a bit of repositioning of my weight couldn’t adjust for. She gripped as well on snow and icy tarmac as she flew on Ride London. I’m starting to think I won’t bother with narrow rubber ever again! 

Lancet enjoying the snowWith so much resistance with the ice and snow lodging into my mudguards and on the road. A headwind seemingly in both directions it made for a hard ride and my blood glucose showed as much. Even keeping my meter warm in my jackets chest pocket wasn’t helping it much as it kept having temperature warnings a couple of times. Throwing more and more fuel at me wasn’t helping either. 10km in I was down to 3.2 and keeping the fuel coming it just fluctuated from 2.8 to 3.4 for the entire ride out. The return trip started out at 7.4 but soon was down into the 2’s where it stayed. It was one of those where power output dropped massively and was more a spin my way home and keep the fuel going in.  

 Now four hours later, BG’s are hovering around normal levels and all that extra fuel simply went into the void caused by the “beast”. A touch day basically, but one of those random ones where weather and external conditions throw a spanner into the well-orchestrated mechanics you normally work from. Tomorrows another day! 


A new year is with us, and with the floods, bashed ribs and other craziness it’s really time to hit the training again. The roads are still pot hole hell, and the weather can be classed simply as atrocious so I need an alternative.

Before my JOGLE ride I trained heavily over the winter on a turbo trainer and used the Sufferfest videos. All very good but I had been reading only and had a friend mention how good Zwift was. Always up to play with something bike related, and even more so when it fires up my nerdy gaming side as well I downloaded it, sorted out the wiring and dived right in.

A couple of things though to remember about me, and a fair few of them seem to be something which many of us Type 1’s tend to get. That annoying habit of not giving up, and always trying to fight something. That must beat it attitude. Those can be good things, but sometimes it can get rather competitive, which was one of those reasons I’ve been trying to avoid Strava for many years as I know it won’t end well, and I’ll get drawn into something that will drive me up the wall until I’ve beaten everyone on it or fallen off a mountain pass trying.

So here I am, diving into this computer game come turbo training session…”Ohh a bike in front of me” I can’t have that, and another, and another and another…It soon get’s rather urmm firing on my competitive side and head down going for it. Sweating like a crazy thing, soaking the towel on the floor, fan cranked up to max attempting to cool me and me ploughing on and on into this.

Come the next day I tear into it straight after work. Lap after lap, back heavily into it but this time grabbing the GC’s Orange Jersey (for the none cyclists wondering this is the General Classification and the equivalent of the Tour de France’s yellow jersey, meaning I’m not the fastest hill climber, or sprinter, but I am fastest around the virtualised island). The next day, back in Orange again. The next day in Orange again. The next….Oi! they changed the track! And hmph! can’t get close to the jersey again grr!

Yes I know, utterly crazy and far too nuts for a “game”. But must admit the training I am loving. One of the best things I’ve ever played with. Good ol’ ACDC loud on the speakers, fan in the face, and head down charging up a mountain. Brilliant training tool!

Training Ride – Learning Recovery

Well, as some of you know I’ve a “little” bike ride coming up starting this Saturday. So before all that, thought I would bring up a little training I did today mostly trying to figure out hydration still and recovery levels. I did a 78 mile ride yesterday fully loaded with my bags and camping kit, and also carrying four bottle of my own mix of sports drinks and hydration tablets (each bottle of 750ml tends to pack in 90g carbs, I used to run higher but am needing more hydration currently). BG wise pretty solid in the 6’s (117 ish in US money) and 7’s (135 ish) which is nice and solid with the pump in 30% basal mode but for the final 10 miles where I dropped like a stone to 2.8 (50) mostly due to a sneaky hill…ok not so sneaky but that hard climb seriously dented my levels, needing a pause and some gels. Anyhow, all good so far.

Today was actually a visit to my DSN (CDE in US money) to pick up sensors for my ride. I only took two bags today though to save weight, and also space for the box I was to receive and another bag for my waterproofs just in case. I also decided to cut down on my drinks to only three bottles.

To make the train I had a very early ride out to the station at 6am. I woke with a 6.6 (119) which I was quiet happy with, did my usual ride breakfast of a bowl of muesli and half dosed it as usual. All was fine till about 10 miles in with my levels dropping rapidly down to 3.2 (56) so I hit my drinks early and suspended the pump completely for 20mins (was at usual 30%), and kept on drinking all the way to the station arriving after a rather nice sprint for the final few miles with a 6.4 (115).

Got off the train 45mins later at 3.2 again grr. So hit the drinks…and then hit McDonalds! ok yeah I know but I have a thing for the breakfasts. Half dosed on the breakfast, and an hour later am back up to 5.6 and back on the bike heading for where my DSN currently this day (not in the hospital I usually visit, 15miles away). A very nice explorative ride, have very little experience riding in cities and was nervous, but got to where I needed to be. Still drinking as riding, and find myself in the clinic back down to 3.2 again! So drinking away I am again. Getting rather annoyed about it so turned the pump down to 10% from then on.

While with my DSN, I mentioned the fun I was having with my recovery levels. I kind of wish I hadn’t as it didn’t go down well, and she was almost going to call for an emergency meeting with the consultant (endo in US money) which I hadn’t time for anyhow. She gave me a serious lecture on hypo’s can be dangerous and what I’m doing is blinkin’ nuts and can’t believe I’m crazy enough to do it solo and unsupported. Also a bit about me being rather flippant about lack of fear of hypos…urmm hang on, usually I’m being asked if I fear them? now it’s also a no no to not fear them?! pfft. Anyhow had to promise I would email into the hospital daily while on my ride so they can keep tabs on me.

My quick pick up sensors and escape visit wasn’t in the end that quick. But when out I got the main road to the coast, and then had a nice ride up a coastal cycle path before switching over to ride along a canal. The sun was out, my levels were behaving again. All was good. Saw some fantastic goslings, and ducks playing, and so forth. Wasn’t fond of the canal water, but the ducks seemed to like it.After this was a slog along some main roads, never fun being surrounded by high speed traffic. But when that got left by a small country lane stretching up a very lovely hill I was drinking away at my carb drink when it dawned on me I had 50 odd miles still to go and I had only one bottle left….ahh! I remember that at the bottom of the hill I had seen a sign for a cafe…so off I go down the hill once more. Saw the sign but it was going somewhere I frankly wasn’t going to look for. But right on the corner was an old school grocers. Fruit and veg outside in boxes. Brilliant!

Now with a bunch of banana’s in one of my bags I was sorted again. And back at the top of the hill again I rewarded myself with one of them. I was suffering I felt from hydration again so took a detour into a small village looking for a village store and managed to find one which was great. Stocked up with chocolate bars and my empty bottles refilled I was off again. I downed a bottle while in the village and could really feel the difference when back on the move again.

The snag was, when I start feeling good, and even with blood levels behaving, I can tend to come up with daft ideas. Such as this lovely steed downhill with a steep uphill right after it, and a very nice wide cycle path beside the road….oh and due to the descent all the cars have a speed limit of 50mph…oh they didn’t have one of the signs on the bike track 😀 Flat to the frame, top cog, steaming it down the hill and almost making it to the crest of the following one. Loved it!

Blasted through the following town, and the road traffic was stuck in traffic lights while the bike track was nice and clear, but for one guy with a shovel who I slowed down for…only to get over taken by some woman steaming past me…grr. Ok, that wasn’t happening! So come the next 7 miles of stupid flat out racing with this lady on both road and bike tracks. I must admit it was fun, but by the time we split off I was thinking it probably wasn’t the wisest of ideas if only to try and keep my legs for what’s to come.

And yes, my bloods were back down to 3.4 and I was back to nibbling on a banana and my remaining energy drink. And there in front of my was the big climb. Every corner, you see more, every crest has another one hidden behind it. It was a relentless slog and I was crawling up it. Passed my endless cars…up till I neared the top and they were all lined up…I gently rode past them all and got to the front of the traffic lights and sat with a security van who passed me 20mins before. Had a good drink of both water and carbs, and took off like a complete nut down the hill. Part of me wanted to say reserve my legs for the next hill, but after the long slog up it, no way was I not going to really enjoy caning it down the hill. Another slow climb before home, and another great blast down hill again. Got home with legs feeling pretty good, able to keep a nice solid pace when not on the climbs, and bloods at home being a quiet respectable 6.4 (115). Guess I will see what my recovery tomorrow will be like though…

Colds Meh!

Still got my cold, although it seems to be abating a little bit anyhow. Bloods have been silly numbers all weekend and done nothing but fire in correction injections to lower it to “normal”. Not to much luck either. Tonight got it down to the high 8′s so thought good enough, time to get a ride in. So a nice quick ride around the lake. Nothing major and just a little bit of rain.

By the time I got to Grange my bloods we’re really happy with being out! Well if a 1.8 (6.2 is where it’s meant to be at) can be called happy that is. No wonder my legs were feeling drained. Suspended my pump completely as I was probably still running off the insulin from dinner time anyhow, so no need to have even a little bit more. Downed a load of energy drink and pootled trying not to push things hard back home with the bloods back up to 8.0 by the time I got home.

Still sniffling and suffering a stuffed nose. But at least for the moment the bloods are hovering around normal levels for now.

If I can’t get out…

Thought I would come up with a kind of solution to my lack of training due to the cold. Least the weather today is raining again so not really missing much with that, but the miles I am missing. So out came the turbo trainer and spent a good four hours putting some miles in while watching a couple of movies. Pretty gentle ride really as I’m still having issues breathing with the cold, but it is much better than yesterday. Bloods remained at a pretty reasonable level throughout and that was with no corrections, no lowered doses due to the exercise, and no extra food or sports drinks. Guess it shows how much this cold is knocking my levels high if I can ride for that long without it effecting…kind of worryingly so really!


Wonderful! The best day we’ve had in ages. Sunshine, hardly a cloud, and very little wind. Was looking forward to get some decent miles in and wake up with a bad head, bloods in the 18′s (the should be around 6.2)! and with a snottered up nose and sore throat and having problems breathing.

It’s taken all morning to try and get it down…if getting it down is classifiable as 15.2 that is. No energy like this, and this is not the kind of training I need!

Always an Adventure Part 2

Well…dinner was delayed. Seems I couldn’t order any dinner till 5.30pm, which OK was a 45mins wait which was the best solution since I felt I needed it.

The long delay in Ambleside of 90mins and the wind was still as nasty as it was beforehand. The long slog climb up Dunmail was nasty with the headwind in my face all the way, so much so by the time I reached Thirlmere I decided to duck behind it and hide from the wind for a bit even if it did mean I was adding an extra couple of miles.

It was nice, very quiet without a single car. That made up for the added distance in itself just about! But best of all the wind was much more pleasant being sheltered by the trees until I reached the dam wall. The wind was seriously blasting while crossing, and continued to do so all the way home.

On a nice day, that ride would of been brilliant I think. The canal, the lakes and the views. But with the headwind sapping all the way it sadly really did pull on my all the way. But these are learning experiences so that’s all good!

Always an adventure…

There is something nice about every ride and that is they are all adventures. Small or large doesn’t matter, but they all have a tale to tell.

Today has had loads of lovely little things. There was the suicidal rabbit this morning which ran between my wheels and scared me for a moment. There was the police sniffer pups in training which were a lot of fun. The gentle ride along the canal, the little kids with the ducks and the narrow boats. Me getting hopelessly lost in Kendal with its one way system. The train crossing, never ridden over one of those before. And the headwind on the way home, causing huge white horses on Windermere making it resemble the sea more than a lake.

So while I wait for my dinner in Ambleside I sit enjoying the sun looking forward to the ride home…

First test ride with bags

Before work this morning decided to load up the panniers and go for a ride around the lake. Learned a fair bit really, mostly about how bad my packing is at getting the weight overloaded on one side, but will work on that one. Overall speed wasn’t that bad, but acceleration was dreadful. But the biggest lesson was fuel uses (blood sugar), used significantly more than on an unloaded lap of the lake. Obviously this is going to take in more thinking and testing to find the sums to work out what my new carb intakes going to be. But currently looks to be a massive increase over a normal ride. Will keep you posted on what I learn.


Well, it’s been delayed but my first trip to visit my DSN (Diabetic Specialist Nurse for those not in the UK) in Morecambe this year. Always find Morecambe a bit strange really in an locked in the 1970′s kind of way it feels, with a kind of place you expect to find Basal Falwty dealing with guests. Must admit though, one of the highlights of any visit for me is the fantastic WRVS cafe in the hospital. It serves the best toasted tea cakes in existence…NOM!
So, anything much to discuss today? The usual really I think.

Morning and afternoon BG being on the low sides and see what a second opinion other than my own about my fixes will be good. And to see if I can wrangle a few spare parts would be good. Will say more later 🙂