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I am wondering what people think about someone on insulin riding a motorcycle? I hate the idea of giving up my Harley but I have a young family and it seems extra dangerous for someone who is susceptible to low blood sugar. I don't know that I would detect it with the noise and wind.


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I think it's good to think about yourself and your family in a practical way, Justin, but my thought is that you don't have to give up your motorcycle, but just work a bit harder to be sure you are in range. I would test before you ride and correct if you are even marginally low. If you are going on a long ride, I would stop and take a break to rest on a regular basis. Of course, carry low treatments with you at all times. Another option would be to get a CGM although I understand they are not exactly accurate, but do give you an idea if you are trending down.

You have an excellent A1C and I don't believe the hype that all people in the 5's do it at the cost of excessive lows. But if this is the case for you, you might have to be a bit more flexible for your rides. I also wonder if keeping your basals a bit higher for a long ride (remembering that the time should be about two hours ahead) would also be warranted?

Unless you have frequent, fast drops in your blood sugar, that you don't feel you have a handle on, I feel you can ride safely with some extra precautions.Those are my thoughts, but perhaps someone who rides regularly can give you their own experiences.

Oops, I meant "test on a regular basis" not "rest on a regular basis"!

I ride and for me I treat it just like I do with a car. I test before and often and I never ride when low, always wait to come back into range. All the thought I think everyone should give to riding a motorcycle plus all the thought for driving with diabetes...

Thank, I never really think about it before driving since I have a daily commute of 100 miles round trip. I expect/hope I would feel myself going low when driving but may not on my bike. I keep candy in my car just in case.

How often do you go hypo? Are you hypo-aware or hypo-unaware? How often do you "forget" to carry enough emergency glucose with you to treat a low (i.e. have to scramble to find something at a store or vending machine?) Are you willing to test and treat before you ride? Are you willing to stop and re-test every thirty minutes or so? (I dropped from 130's to 36 once in twenty minutes...it happens.) If you started dropping fast (maybe not even low-low yet), would you be able to control the bike?

Motorcycles scare me to death (I've seen too many hurt people) so I'm not one to give a completely objective opinion, but as you're a father and husband, I'll let my last question stand for itself (please excuse the drama):

How good is your life insurance?

I have lots of life insurance and lucky for me I got it before I was diagnosed. I am new to this and very new to insulin. I have never gone low because I am LADA and still make some insulin on my own. I guess we'll just have to see how it goes over time.

I ride my bicycle on 20-30 mile rides a lot in the summer and just pull over and test. I can sort of tell by how fast I'm going when I run low though, as I run out of gas. Motorcycles are *extremely* dangerous however I work for an insurance company and my old boss has a nice Harley he rides all over the place. He has extra insurance, just in case.

I think that it's not a bad idea to look into having a ton of insurance (liability, UM/UIM...) if you ride motorcycles, bicycles or even a car. If you don't get in an accident, you win. If you get in a serious accident, and have a bunch of insurance, it may still suck but there's something there for you. Unless you just drive off the road into a tree? Which is what the life insurance is for?

Stopped riding when my kids where at home but as soon as they where out of collage I started riding again...I have been cost to cost without any problems but the vibration, wind, and fatigue will mask low BG so it's a good idea to test at fuel stops and take extra breaks.

There is a certain amount of risk that goes with riding a motorcycle...If you think insulin makes the difference on whether you live or die you have been kidding yourself.

I have been on and off motorcycles and scooters for fifty years and I have not heard of a single person crashing and dieing because their BG was low.... JMHO

Well...I wonder if anyone has done a study on that? I do know a couple of guys who ended up with compound fractures when motorcycling while...ahem...impaired.

Of course we HOPE we'll never be impaired, but what if we are?

Thanks for the feedback

"Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence."

I am not the driver of our motorcycle, but I would never give up riding because of diabetes if I were. I test before I drive my car, and test before I ride even as the passenger. Nothing wrong with pulling over to test whenever you feel it necessary.

It hasn't stopped me from riding, But I have good awareness of low BG and would feel weak with enough time to pull over before things got out of hand. I carry candy in a small tank bag and test often.
I think this is a decision that each person needs to weigh their own risk on, if you have problems with severe low BG you may want to avoid riding or take extra safety measures such as pulling over and testing more frequently or purposely running your BG a bit high during the ride.




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