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 Motorcycle Safety
 Aging and Disabilities
 Riding with Diabetes
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abbeylives
Male New Member
16 Posts


Dexter, MI
USA

Honda

84 vf500 magna

Posted - 08/18/2011 :  8:20 PM                       Like
I have owned my motorcycle for 8 years now, and am fairly new to the seriousness of it and to the maintenance of it. As I begin to discover the passion of riding and maintaining my motorcycle, I need to remain conscious of my newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes.

Are there other riders out there with diabetes? What complications have you run into on the road? What extra precautions do you take, if any? Please share your stories!

kacinpa
Male Advanced Member
802 Posts
[Mentor]


Lansdale, PA
USA

Triumph

Sprint GT

Peer Review: 4

Posted - 08/18/2011 :  10:20 PM
I have had type I diabetes for the past 20 years. I started riding again after 30 years away from bikes last year.

As you are fairly recently diagnosed, living with diabetes has not yet become "second nature" to you...give it time.

Being new to taking insulin and managing your blood sugar, you are more likely to have more low and high blood sugars than someone who has been managing the disease for some time. On the other hand, I know several folks with diabeties who have had it for quite some time who "slack off" in their control and get in trouble because of it.

In any case, my advice to you is as follows:

Check your blood sugar level before you ride, and if it isn't within normal range, delay your ride until it is.

Be sure you have your glucometer, test strips and insulin with you when you ride.

Since diabetes is new to you, I would be sure to stop at least once every hour and check your blood glucose level. Again don't continue until within normal range.

Be sure to ALWAYS (whether riding or just walking around the block) have a source of emergency glucose with you in case your blood sugar drops.

Make sure you have a medic alert bracelet or other means to identify your condition in case of an emergency. It is important for emergency responders to know you have diabetes so they don't start an IV with dextrose or glucose if you are unconscious or bleeding.

As you get to know how your body reacts to food and insulin shots it will get easier.

Hang in there and feel free to message me if you have any other questions or need a pep talk.
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Night Train
Male Advanced Member
1668 Posts
[Mentor]


Sydney, Nova Scotia
Canada

Kawasaki

2006 VN900

Posted - 08/19/2011 :  6:02 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Excellent advice Kacinpa. The only thing I could add to that is in respect to the people a diabetic rides with. If they are regular riding buddies, they should know about your condition so they can pick up on some of the signs that you are not "on your game". It has been my experience that at times one doesn't quickly realize that their levels are out of whack so a subtle reminder from a friend can serve as a reminder to check your levels and deal with it accordingly. My wife, as well as a number of people I ride with, are insulin dependent. She, and most of the others are very good at maintaining their diabetes but there have been times when I've noticed that one of them is drifting off pace, don't appear to be paying as much attention as usual, or get that far away look in their eyes when you address them. Usually when that occurs, a reminder to check their levels results in them finding a need for adjustment. Patience and understanding from your riding companions can be helpful and extend your enjoyment of riding.
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abbeylives
Male New Member
16 Posts


Dexter, MI
USA

Honda

84 vf500 magna

Posted - 08/19/2011 :  8:20 AM
Thank you both for your advice! I know that only time and experience will give me the intelligence that I need to be able to take diabetes on as "second nature" as you said. My safety is of primary importance and I am open to any suggestions as to how I can live my life and operate my machine in a manner that respects that goal.

I've worn my medical bracelet since the day I left the hospital and always have glucose tabs with me. My girlfriend who has been with me through all of this has been nominal and she is always encouraging me to take the extra steps to ensure that I am safe in any situation.

What scares, however, is how new I am to this disease. It has only been 4 months since my diagnosis and I know that it takes a lot more time than that to grow accustomed to my new lifestyle. However, I am determined to live a long healthy life!
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CaptCrash
Male Advanced Member
744 Posts
[Mentor]


Nampa, ID
USA

Honda

Phantom

Posted - 09/17/2011 :  11:30 AM
A couple of thoughts:

1. Carry your insulin, glucose monitor, and cellphone and spare sugar on your physical person do not put them in the saddlebags. Why? Because if you are in the canyon, crash, separated from the bike or incapacitated you may not be able to retrieve them from the bike. Having them on your person is the best course.

2. If, while riding, you THINK you're in trouble then you ARE. Stop immediately and check, it won't hurt to be sure. If you think you're in trouble you're touching on a reasonable worry--but, if you ARE in trouble remember that you're becoming impaired and the next thought, "Oh, I'm OK, probably something I ate" could be the result of impaired thought. Worried? Put the worry to rest.

I like PowerBars and Jolly Ranchers for sugar on a ride because they are heat resistant and have excellent shelf life. PowerBars are nice because they have longer term effects.

It's important to be very, very self aware and be proactive instead of reactive. Check your glucose on every stop, stay hydrated, and don't be afraid to stop and take a longer break if you need.
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SkootchNC
Male Advanced Member
1062 Posts
[Mentor]


raleigh, north carolina
USA

Harley-Davidson

road glide

Posted - 09/18/2011 :  6:36 AM
If you ride with a regular bunch of folks..... let them know you are Diabetic, and what symptoms to watch for.....
Friends will gladly stop more often, and for longer periods, if they know they are looking out for your well being.
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