Motorcycles and diabetes, share your stories, techniques, etc.

By pancreas_fail! Latest Reply 2014-08-28 13:59:52 -0500
Started 2009-04-13 22:42:29 -0500

Just thought I'd start a post for everyone who rides and has to deal with diabetes.

I've only been on a pump for a while and am just now starting to ride the bike with it. Other than trying to keep the pump cool and firmly attachedm I can't say that I've had to change my riding style much. I'm concerned that once the summer heat sets in, I'll have a problem keeping the pump cool. Has anyone else dealt with this?

I look forward to hearing everyones stories/responses.

21 replies

lorider70 2014-08-28 13:59:52 -0500 Report

6000 miles on the trike since getting it a year ago. Thinking I made a good decision to get it. Ride every day the weather permits (and some days I get caught in the rain). It's all good when I'm in the saddle…

lorider70 2013-08-15 10:00:22 -0500 Report

Trike is working out remarkably well. Took the wife out on it yesterday…her first ride in two years and her very first on a trike. I've gotten used to the different handling a lot quicker than I thought I would and all is well with riding again.Great feeling…

lorider70 2013-07-24 12:50:38 -0500 Report

The "new" trike style motorcycle is working out really well. Had to have the shifter modified a bit so I could reach it well, but other than that, we're good to go…hopefully for a lot more years now that the weight of the bike is no longer a problem. Very glad I kept looking until I found something I could handle. Riding has a theraputic effect for me; been in the wind too long to give it up I guess.

lorider70 2013-07-17 09:38:55 -0500 Report

Traded my Lowrider on a Kawasaki Vulcan with a Tow-Pac trike kit already on it. Having never been on a trike before; the first venture landed me in my neighbor's yard across the street…then back across the street and into my own yard. Finally got it ON the street and road it in first gear around the neighborhood for a few hours without further incident. Last two days have seen temps near 100; so haven't tried it again yet. Not at all sure if I'm going to like this or if I will be able to retrain myself to this totally different handling. I'll give it a month or so and if it doesn't fall into place I'll just swap it for a golf cart and join all the other old fogeys around town…lol

lorider70 2013-05-19 11:33:07 -0500 Report

As of this morning the bike is up for sale. Just not safe to manhandle it around in the garage or at stop lights and such. Decided not to venture into the trike format since they are expensive and I don't know if I'd like one and there are none in my area to really try one. Just thinking about selling it makes for a very bad, bad day.

lorider70 2013-04-16 15:37:21 -0500 Report

I tried horsing the bike out of the garage a week ago. Took a while; and a close call or two; but finally got it out and took a 40 mile ride. Getting it out of the garage took nearly as long as the ride did. Putting it back in the garage was also a bit of a challenge; but not as bad as getting it out. Not sure how many more times I'll get away with this; but still actively looking for a three wheeled solution. Just can't bring myself to give it up. Kid thinks I'm a stubborn old coot I think.

lorider70 2013-02-22 13:40:45 -0600 Report

I'm a type II, currently on oral med and diet. diagnosed in 1989. I have ridden motorcycles since 1957. Current ride is an '02 Harley Lowrider. Problem is, the last few years I have had increasing difficulty backing it out of the garage or into a parking space, or any move that requires pushing it. I considered going to a trike (too expensive) a Voyager kit(no way to get it installed) so I am regretfully probably going to have to give it up. I will try it again come spring; but I am not optomistic about it ending well. Neuropathy, and arthritic knees and spine are the problem(s) and I can't figure out any practical way around it. Any suggestions?

JSJB 2013-02-22 14:48:00 -0600 Report

I also ride a motorcycle and because of this condition I am having problems walking it back into the garage. My biggest fear is dropping the bike while out on a ride. There were a few times when I thought it was going over while stopped at a light. My ride is a 94 Road King and like you I am giving it one more summer and if I am still having problems I will have to sell it. Oh I am 70 yrs old and sometime I forget if I shifted or not. Sooo better safe than sorry. It is bad enought having this condition and controlling it but I will not let it be the cause of a serious accident leaving me paralized. Safe Riding and Keep the Shiney Side Up.

lorider70 2013-02-22 14:58:01 -0600 Report

If giving it up becomes my only choice it will still be a difficult decision. My wife stopped going with me two years ago since I didn't her on it if I did drop it at a stop light etc. I have considered a smaller, lighter bike, but will wait and see how things go this Spring. I, like you, do not want it to come down to an accident that injures someone else or myself. I'm hoping for a solution soon. We'll see

old biker
old biker 2013-02-22 15:38:53 -0600 Report

I wish both you guys the best. I have been riding for 50 years now and turn 67 this year..I know there is going to be a day when I am going to have to put this to rest. When that day comes, I'll just tell myself the bike got to old to ride anymore :-)

JSJB 2013-02-23 05:23:15 -0600 Report

Better to say it that way than to say "sell it". They say weather you ride it or not never get rid of it because that is when you will be kicking yourself in the backside. I spent 6 years riding E to W and N to S. Been through all lower 48 and that bike has shown me good times and I met great people. I knew a day would come when I would have to either give it up or just be more carefull when riding. Now that I am retired and know someone high up in the Honey Dew Co., ;-) I might get a chance to ride it to the nearest trout stream and relax.

cyncyn 2009-07-09 21:37:58 -0500 Report

This is great! I don't have diabetes, but am a caregiver to my MIL and son. Neither are on the pump. So far, just meds!
But I do know, what is means to ride. We ride every chance we have. All of our sons do also. Alot of times, it's all of us together!!
Good luck with the temps and keeping your insulin cool.
Your idea, with the bag and coolant at the tank, sounds like that would work. Keep us "riders" posted please.


pancreas_fail! 2009-07-09 18:31:30 -0500 Report

I've been riding since April with my pump in the front pocket of my jeans (RS Taichi Mesh). I have not experienced any problems that I would think could be contributed to overheating the insulin. All of the riding has been in the North Texas heat.

I'm not saying that it is perfectly safe, but I haven't had any problems! ;)

lipsie 2009-05-16 13:21:58 -0500 Report

I don't ride, but this is a interesting question to me for some reason…keep me updated, just curious…if you don't mind. Nice meeting yas! Sheila

lorider70 2013-02-22 18:58:18 -0600 Report

Basically ; we're all trying to adapt and conquer rather than just give up a nearly lifelong enjoyment.

2009-04-18 19:02:20 -0500 Report

I ride with my pump, have been doin it for alittle over 2 years now! Only thing I've had to do differently is unzip my leather from the bottom up, or put it in the breast pocket. As far as keeping it cool, unless you wear a air conditioner on you, there is no way! I haven't found the insulin to degrade any, keep the resevoir out of direct sunlight, by covering it with your shirt if the resevoir is pointing up, I guess. I've never had a problem with it hangin on either. Let me know if anything I've said has helped.

Ride Safe!

pancreas_fail! 2009-05-16 10:38:27 -0500 Report

Thanks for the info.

I guess my greatest concern was how much impact the temperature would have on the insulin, as there is no way to really test it. I'm currently in north Texas where it can get a bit warm. So I guess I'll just do what I can to keep it out of direct sunlight and watch my dosage and blood sugar and see if any changes occur (indicating a weakening of the insulin).

A contingency plan I have is to get a longer lead on the infusion set and drop the pump in my tank bag with a gel pack or something that would help cool it.

I'll be sure to update this thread with anything I find out.

old biker
old biker 2013-02-22 15:24:36 -0600 Report

I like your contingency plan..Where there is a will there is a way. Reminds me of a friend I had years ago..He built himself a real rat of a bike..When he was done he had no where to mount the battery, So he just put it in his saddle bag and ran the leads to the bag