Putting on my helmet even in 100 degree weather will put a smile on my face that a sledgehammer could not remove even if Thor himself was wielding it. The ride does something soothing that can not be described it has to be felt. It is about the only hobby that I have left that I am physically able to do. Being a type 1 diabetic (juvenile) will affect every plan to ride and every ride.
If you are a diabetic you know how exercise will make insulin react inside your body different and at best it is still unpredictable. Riding a motorcycle even just cruising Harley style will make your blood sugar levels erratic just like a good workout can. This makes good planning all the more important even for short rides
Here are some ideas for making the ride a little more enjoyable. First off, make sure you have enough of your diabetes supplies to cover more than 3 days, even for short rides. You always want to bring your blood sugar test meter with testing strips, insulin and medications to cover for a detained trip such as if the motorcycle were to break down and you could not get back home for a day or two. This goes even for trips that are just 100 miles away because you may not have someone to come get you if there is a mechanical problem especially on weekends or at night. When in doubt take extra. Keep the phone number to your pharmacy in your contacts on your cell phone.
Another good idea is to take along plenty of food or carbohydrate boosting snacks. My current stash is the gluco-shot glucose boosting mini drinks that are available in most pharmacies. They are cheap and much easier to take than the chalking glucose tablets. Another thing I can’t do without is peanut butter sandwiches. They are great for snacking or to raise blood sugar during a “low”.
You may be thinking, how am I supposed to haul this stuff around on a motorcycle? My solution was to pick up a small cloth mini trunk (see picture). It has a bunch of pockets and is easy to snap onto the back with the straps. It was pretty cheap but definitely gets some serious abuse. It has a mesh pocket as well that I use with my Frio-cooler mini pack to keep my insulin cool for travel. If you have not seen one of the Frio products yet, check them out here http://www.coolerconcept.com/ definitely worth the purchase.
Even with all the best planning in the world, things can and do go wrong. For those times here are some items to have on your person every time you leave the house: insurance cards, ID cards, credit cards or cash enough for a tow-truck, and a medical ID badge or dog tags. I chose a customizable dog tag that has my condition, emergency contact info and address on it. The dog-tags are stainless steel and I wear mine 24/7. The first thing a paramedic will do is rip your shirt open to get the monitoring equipment in place and they will more than likely see the dog tags. The last thing you want them to do if you are in shock is give you glucose, which is something they do sometimes to calm your system down.
Now with these planning tips in mind and after having done your normal motorcycle maintenance you are ready for a nice ride without the worry. That is what motorcycle riding is all about. Whether you are ripping up some asphalt or flying high on the motocross track, preparation will get you as close to a perfect ride as possible. The rest is up to you to enjoy.