November 16, 2010

The outpouring of support since my announcement to race the Tour Divide next year has completely blown me away.  Thank you so much for the emails, calls, and txt msg's.  I will keep them all in mind as I begin to take the next steps towards that end goal, and will have them playing in my head during the ride.

For the past week or so I have been really concentrating on the logistics of insulin delivery, insulin supply, and continuous monitoring while racing on the Divide.  Event rule number 2 makes this a large problem to try and overcome:

"To complete Tour Divide a rider may resupply food/equipment, rent a room, launder clothing, even service their bike at shops on route. The goal is to ride unsupported between towns, and function self-supported when in towns. Services utilized must always be commercially available to all challengers and not pre-arranged[1]. No private resupply, no private lodging.

Tour Divide strives to be an 'equal opportunity epic'. Whether doing an Individual Time Trial or tackling the Grand D├ępart, TD requires that every rider—from those living along the route to those living on other continents—have an equal playing field. Therefore, outside assistance[2] with navigation, lodging or resupply (especially receipt of supplies from a non-commercial shipper) is prohibited. Equality in emotional support: Only route town locals may visit with, cheer on TD thru-racers. Out-of-town visitation to the GDMBR mid-race from family or friends—even if only a remote possibility for rider rendezvous—is prohibited."

You can check out all the rules for the the race here: Tour Divide Rules

So this first thing I am really trying to determine, is how to carry enough insulin, were to ship it to during the ride, and how to keep the insulin "healthy" during that process.

I use, on average, 41 units of humalog in 24 hours for a non-ride day.  If I factor in 12 hours a day at a basal reduction of 60-70%, an over night (camping) reduction of 30% for sensitivity, and the fact that I will not be bolusing for nutrition while riding I may only use 15-20units a day.  Maybe less.

I currently use 300u reservoirs in my my Cozmo pump. (The pump is a whole other issue that I will get to later - chiefly how do I obtain a spare to go with me?  I need to change to a new insulin pump solution for sure).  That would roughly give me 10 days of insulin in the pump.

A friend is engineering a nylon "sleeve" that fits inside my seat post to hold spare insulin while I am on the bike.   It seemed that this was the best place to put it for protection in case of crashes and offered the greatest security.  If I can carry 3 reservoirs in there, then that should give me 40 days worth.

Another option is to ship some insulin to a PO Box in some town along the route before I leave.  This way I know where it would be and I wouldn't have to carry it all.  However, I am not sure of what condition it would be stored in or exactly what day I would arrive.  Maybe just go to a pharmacy in the larger towns, and transfer my prescription there.  Continue that along the way until the end?  That might not be great as it could take 24-36 to transfer it, and, if I do that 3 times, that is 6 to 9 days of waiting for paperwork to process.

Along with this concern is how it will last while stored on the bike.  Temps can (and will) go to extreme variations as we cross high peaks were it could be freezing and snowy, to desert floors were is might be blazing hot.  I can keep it from freezing by moving it closer to my body, but I am not sure how to keep it cool enough to keep it active while in the warmer conditions.

Luckily I don't need an answer today, but I DO need to start to iron out a procedure that I can use during my fully loaded test rides in the upcoming months.

These problems are totally solvable, and will, most assuredly be solved.  It is just doing it in the most efficient way possible that can proof elusive.  :)

On another note, there is uber strange weather we are having here today for sure!   Hopefully the sun is back out so the greenways and doubletrack trails can dry by tomorrow night's ride.  Otherwise I will be, gulp, running.  Running? (Did Tony just say running?)