Yesterday, in the brightest of sunshine, the first 200km brevet in Bavaria (that I care about and went to, added for legal reasons) was on. Or up. Lots of “up”, actually.
Anyway. Here, let me post a fine map of the place (with the man and the thing).
This is a semi-topografical map from GPSies.com, which has the added bonus of being draggable, zoomable and stuff. Also, there is a “fly the whole track on google earth” option. Which sounds cooler than it is, sadly. But you can see fields and some slopes.
I mentioned the weather was good? Good, because I’m about to show off those pictures everywhere. Let’s start here:
It was a tad frosty when I got out there. -3°C it said. Which left thick and impressive crusts of ice on nearby cars. Didn’t care about those. Did care about the clothing, though, and wore my long bibs (which make me look like this, clearly, even though they are a different make and model). And long-sleeved jersey. And gloves. My spring/autumn gloves, which cover everything and yet still are not warm enough in the mornings. The worst of both worlds!
Now the trip itself was lovely, obviously. My technology – not so much. Let’s get the important things out of the way first: The pump and glucose meter worked perfectly. The readability of the meter in sunshine is rubbish, but that’s what hands were invented for (to create shade – obviously!).
The GPS tracker was supposed to provide me with directions and record the trip. And it didn’t do anything for most of the trip. Partially, because it was mounted too close to my handlebar bag, which uses magnets to hold the lid shut. Apparently that upsets my poor widdle GPS. Bah.
Also .. my lights didn’t work. And that is rather annoying. They were new and are generator powered (good), and they have a mighty sensor, that will automatically turn them on when it gets dark (good – in theory). However, it apparently also decided to turn them off when it got bright. And that is so remarkably stupid that the developer needs to be hurt. With something blunt. Repeatedly.
What happened, was that we were descending a hill (merrily) at safe and reasonable speeds (around 50km/h or so) in the total dark. And a car came up the hill, blinding us slightly and going past. And then my lights turned off. Leaving me in the dark, with no night vision, racing towards the treeline. Luckily, the other two people I was cycling with had functional lights at that time, so I tried to go where they went, until I could hit the button for “make it light up” frenziedly and repeatedly enough. STUPID! That light shall be returned tomorrow to the shop. Probably with some harsh words. Unless I calm down enough before then.
Oh … no pictures of the beautiful starry sky, because I was using a phone to take pictures, and let’s be honest – I could just draw a black square for the same effect.
As this was the first trip with the pump I was slightly worried about the performance, of course. Nothing wrong there. It worked. I set the initial basal rate to 30% of normal. Which worked perfectly. My blood sugar was dropping slowly, but I didn’t have to eat very much. Managed to start the trip at a level of 180mg/dl as well. Which is about perfectly what I had aimed for (and a fluke. I am not _that_ good).
Now – compared to last years cycling with a basal rate of 70-75%, that made a massive difference. I was not continuously eating without bolusing just to fight the low blood sugars.
I messed that up at the first stop as well. Assuming I’d go like last year, I just ate lunch. And didn’t bolus for it, because obviously last year I didn’t have to. Turns out that lead to a blood glucose of 266mg/dl about two hours later. Which I had not expected at all (learning effort here!). However, once that was out of the way, I just used my “Sports Bolus Adjustment” (50% off! On sale today!) for corrections and the next meals – and that worked brilliantly.
I did still get to eat stuff without bolusing for it. In total, rather a lot. 1.5 liters of coke (my preferred sugary drink, 180g of carbs), 3 cereal bars (40g of carbs), 4 Dextro-Energy Lemon Cake bars (these taste fantastic, the flavour “banana” is disgusting – 60g of carbs) and four slices of dark bread with butter and tons of salt on (I like this, it tastes nice and helps with my salt-loss: 70g of carbs).
Still a lot: 350 grams of carbs with no bolus whatsoever. But this is a rate I can handle. I even felt hungry at the rest stops and didn’t feel like “Ugh – I can’t eat any more of this sticky sweatness).
So in summary: 215km, 2785m of climbing, 12 hours+ of sunburn, 30% basal rate, sports bolus of 50%, basal rate set to 70% for 15 hours after the event.