Q & A with Team Bike Beyond


Team Bike Beyond – 22 riders all living with Type 1 – biking from NYC to San Francisco this summer. We asked them your burning questions via Live Chat! Miss it? No worries! You can enjoy the transcript of the chat here! We had some amazing community members asking questions of our team members, who let us in on their thoughts and feelings in the run-up to the ride launch in June.


How do you know how your blood sugars and body will react to multiple days of high-intensity activity and does this make you nervous at all? – Mary

For me I think I can plan and plan and practice but nothing is like the real thing. I’ve been trying to do as much as possible with multi-day training, distance, elevation but in my experience things change so much! I’m not too nervous as I know I will be checking my levels so much and so frequently I’m prepared to deal with things safely as they arise.
I’ve actually been part of two other cross country cycling teams (I was the ONLY Type 1 on both teams) and I can say that it’s difficult to know exactly what your sugar will do on any given day. My approach was more being prepared for the highs and lows and having a game plan set no matter what happened.
School is just finishing up, so I haven’t had time to do multiple endurance days in a row yet! Finals are next week, and I hope to spend a lot of May doing back-to-back days to better simulate what this summer will be like. It makes me a little nervous, but as a T1D, I am used to the blood sugar rollercoaster and making adjustments!
T1D is a constant experiment. Training will be a must and I am certain this will be a different experience for all team members. Some of the various means of care and approach to control will be interesting to see.
Trial and error are a huge part of my training, but I know the more I trial, the less I will error. I’m still nervous about the challenging days to come, but I am comfortable in knowing that I am constantly learning and updating the manual to how my body functions.
It’s been a steep learning curve since we’ve gotten our Specialized bikes. I’m learning from scratch about the long-term effects of cycling on my BGs.
There is some research to suggest how our bodies will react, but every body will be different and require different levels of insulin. The plan is to have snacks and stops along the way, and to drink juice and water while riding on the bike. Most of the team wears a CGM, so we will be able to track what’s happening while we’re biking.
Why do people do this? – Lindy
Short answer: cause riding bikes with a bunch of weirdos for 4,200 miles is the most fun.
I always like to do things that scare me! And riding over 4,000 miles is something that is audacious enough that I’m not sure I can do it – which is exactly why I signed up. It’s amazing what you learn about yourself when you’re outside your comfort zone!
I am doing this because when I learned about it, I got upset that was even happening. I thought it was too dangerous and too risky and that anyone with T1D shouldn’t even THINK about biking across the country because it was impossible.
It’s for an amazing cause and I find it interesting that diabetes kills more annually than AIDS and cancer combined and you never hear about it. We are going to change that.
I realized that – in thinking those things – I was perpetuating the limits that society believes for T1Ds and that I was limiting myself from a potentially life-changing experience.
I’m with Mel! Something this big feels so incredible!! It pushes you and you learn what you’re cable of. There’s no way to understand individual potential without pushing limits – this is a pretty cool way to do it!
Such a great question! haha. For me it’s about doing what I can with this body. There may be a lot of challenges with doing something like this with T1, but think of how many people can’t be physically active that want to be. I feel like I owe it to my body to use it for what it is good for! Having fun, getting outside and pushing the boundaries!
I’ve always wanted to bike cross-country, but let T1D intimidate me out of doing it. Bike Beyond is the safest way to go about it! xx
When the bikers drop low, do they just keep riding or do they stop where they are and wait till they come up to a safe level?
When I was first diagnosed, I had no idea what it meant. Was I going to be in the hospital for a few days until I could get a pancreas transplant? Was I going to die? What if I couldn’t eat sugar again? Would this affect by ability to pursue my dreams? It was terrifying. I soon learned about many inspiring people living with T1D, and all the things they did in spite of this disease – even though that often involved a lot of hard work and perseverance. This year I marked my 5th diaversary of kicking diabetes’ butt, and wanted to celebrate by doing something CRAZY to inspire others who may be feeling lost and scared due to a new diagnosis!
My own reasons for doing this are constantly changing. I love pushing myself, mentally and physically, meeting new people, traveling, and I want to advocate for this cause I care so deeply about. I’ve had an extremely rough year and this team & Beyond Type 1 has been an incredible support system for me already!
Are there adequate medical resources accompanying you? Also, how will you guys spend the nights – all in one hotel or what? – Michael
Because it sounds insane and physically challenging- which I love, and I get to meet and be with a big group of other T1’s which is amazing. I often worry about being the only person with T1 but this will not be an issue! woo
We’re going to have emergency supplies with us! Lots of juice and glucagon! And we have some great partners and sponsors providing snacks to help us on the tour.
@michael we don’t have a medical team on the road with us, but who better to help a T1D than another T1D?
We will all be carrying our own Type 1 supplies and everyone will be required to carry a glucagon kit with them while on the bike.
We also will have a nurse cycling with us! And we have chronicled pharmacies and emergency medical services in every stop on our route. The team will be supported by vans as well – for help with safety support.
Speaking of logistics, we’re organizing with different cities to provide lodging and food (and showers!) for our people.
Are you guys planning on using the IG or a Snapchat of some kind to document this awesome adventure y’all are preparing for? I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to follow/stalk – Colleen
Colleen – YES! I’m the social media manager for Beyond Type 1. The team will have the snapchat at least once a week and they have their own twitter you can follow along! @TeamBikeBeyond

Is this the first time doing this or is it an annual thing? – Emma

@Emma – first time ever!