Utah Border-to-Border Ride: Day 7

"I'm tired, do we really have to ride today?"

Matt V. gets his 15 minutes of fame.

Pete and Matt V. brave the rain.

Drying off and warming up in the diner.

Brigham City and the rain droplets.

"Derek, please put that camera down and give me a hand here!"

Backtracking after the wrong turn.

"Let's get a drink in Honeyville."

Matt V. is warmed up and feeling good.

Last break of the ride, 26 miles to go!

Dave riding and smiling in Idaho.

"We just rode 500 miles to Idaho!"

"We're the strongest guys in the world!"

Matt V.'s wet clothes.

Date: Destination, Miles
4/1: S Border (pre-ride), 0 mi
4/2: Cedar City, 77.9 mi
4/3: Milford, 53.5
4/4: Delta, 74.1
4/5: Santaquin, 71.8
4/6: West Valley City, 68.0
4/7: Ogden, 42.5
4/8: Northern Border, 63.1
4/9: South Tow Center, 15.0
Total: 465 miles

April 8: Ogden to the Utah/Idaho Border
71 miles
35 mph max speed, 17.1 mph avg. speed

I woke up at 8:30 with some pieces of good news and bad news. Good news… today was our last day of riding. Bad news… it was raining, windy, and cold outside. Good news… my BG was 147, without any nighttime lows. Bad news… I will have to say goodbye to my new riding friends. Good news… another local TV crew wants to feature our ride and they want to interview me. Bad news… the TV crew will be here in 20 minutes and I have to be packed and ready to ride by then.

My interview went really well. I sat down on the hotel lobby couch wearing my "No Limits Cycling" jersey. The camera guy asked all sorts of questions about me, diabetes, the ride, and our mission. Kim also was interviewed and covered all the things I missed in my interview. After our camera time, the TV crew set up outside in the pouring rain to film us leaving for the day.

All the riders were wearing their full rain gear: waterproof jacket, waterproof pants, winter gloves, winter hat, and waterproof booties. Before our departure, the hotel staff and guests gathered in the lobby to give us a warm send-off. I stepped out the front door and was met with a blast of cold, wet wind. "What are we doing? I don't even walk around outside when it's like this, let alone ride my bike in it!" I thought to myself. "This is the last day. We're so close. How bad can it really be?"

Pete took the lead and started riding out of Ogden. It wasn't that bad. My jacket kept my core body warm. I had to be a little extra careful while riding, because the pavement was wet and slick. If I took a corner too fast, I could wipe out, just like Jan Ulrich during the final time trial in the 2003 Tour de France. Because our tires were spraying water like a sprinkler, we couldn't really do a pace line. Within 10 minutes, I could feel my butt getting wet from all the water spray. Gradually, my hands and feet were also soaked. The wind made things worse to the point that my fingers and toes were starting to feel numb.

I realized that my mission was to finish this ride as fast as I possibly could. Pete and I took the lead and really separated ourselves from the rest of the riders. At this point, my feet felt like stumps and I had to do something to fix the problem. I waved Derek to stop the SAG car. I ripped off my worthless "waterproof" booties, took off my shoes, wrapped my feet in plastic bags, and put my shoes back on. I made a fist and about a cup of water streamed out of my gloves. After a few minutes of riding, my feet started to feel a little better.

Just outside of Bringham City, Eric pulled up in the Bingham's Cyclery sag car and said we should stop and join the rest of the group. Pete and I saw a diner up ahead and ran inside to get out of the rain. When we walked in, everyone in the diner stopped what they were doing and just stared at us with disbelief. "Man, I saw you guys riding a ways back there," a man in overalls said to us. "Why are you doing this?" Pete explained the mission of the tour was to spread diabetes awareness. "Well, my friend has diabetes real bad. None of you guys has diabetes, do you?" the man asked. I answered that we all had diabetes. Shocked, the man replied, "See, he has it so bad that he has one of those pumps attached." Pete and I both pulled out our Cozmo insulin pumps, which produced an even more shocked look from Mr. Overalls.

At this point, Kim walked through the door from the rain. "Wow, this really stinks. We really need to stick together, it's hard riding by yourself out in this rain." We waited a few minutes for the others and tried to get warm. When the rest of the group arrived, I started to feel the chills from my wet clothes. If I didn't start riding to get warm, I could be in some serious trouble. Pete, Kim, and I then took off towards Bringham City. I was shivering, my fingers were numb, and my feet were stiff. Derek pulled along side us and said that a reporter was waiting for us in Bringham City. I didn't care about the reporter and really wanted to keep going.

As we rolled into Bringham City, the reporter took pictures of us riding. Kim and Pete did the interview and Derek met me with some newly purchased dry gloves and waterproof/windproof socks. I put on the dry gear and kept riding. At this point, it stopped raining, but the wind was still blowing, and the bank's time/temp sign read "34 Degrees." After a few minutes of riding, my hands and feet started to have feeling again. In the distance, I could see a patch of blue sky breaking in the clouds. That small sight gave me a burst of energy and I was ready to finish this ride.

Pete and I were riding together again and we came to a fork in the road. Pete turned left and I followed. He organized the route, so I thought he knew where he was going. After about 15 minutes, we realized we were going the wrong way. I was a little annoyed that we had to turn around and go back the way we came, adding 5 miles to this cold, wet ride. After 30 minutes, Pete and I caught up with the rest of the group. I spent a few minutes riding by myself to reset from the wrong turn incident.

I then noticed something striking on the ground. It was my shadow. The sun was starting to come out! Another surge of energy came over me. It was amazing how something so small could lift my spirits so high. After being chased by a few angry dogs, I was met by the SAG vehicles at a four-way stop. A few people wanted to stop for lunch. Even though the sun was out, my clothes were still soaked and I didn't want to play the shiver game again. Besides we had only 25 miles to the Idaho border. We all decided to veto lunch and ride.

After another wrong turn, Pete, Dave, and I were on the I-15 frontage road, riding North to Idaho. The road started to get a little bumpy and then turned into a dirt road, complete with gravel and mud. We were on road bikes with treadless skinny tires and rigid forks. It was a challenge to keep my balance and keep a decent pace. The mud really slowed the bike down and started to build up on my brakes, chain, and cogs. Relief came over me when I saw the dirt end and the pavement begin again.

That stretch of pavement lasted about 100 yards and then back to the muddy gravel. This pavement and muddy road cycle continued for the next 7 miles. To add to the fun, I was now completely covered in mud from head to toe, from my spraying tires. My limits were really being tested, right up to the end of this ride. Derek drove in front of us, which gave us a nice compact path from his tire track. It was a little easier to ride in the mud. A stretch of pavement started, Derek pulled along side and said there weren't any more mud sections.

Feeling dirty, wet, exhausted, and annoyed, I continued to pedal alongside Pete. We rode over some rolling hills and in the distance, I could see the road starting to turn into a major climb. "Great, another climb… I'm not sure if I can do it." I thought to myself. Just then, I saw Derek's SAG car stopped and he was out filming. Across the road from him, I could see a green sign, but couldn't make out what it said. As we got closer, both Pete's and my eyes opened wider. It was the Idaho state line! Pete and I picked up the pace and sat up straight in our saddles.

We crossed the state line together and gave each other a big high five! A huge sense of joy, excitement, and relief overwhelmed me. The rest of the group was way behind us and probably just finishing the last muddy section. We rode back to meet up with them and crossed the state line together. After some celebration photographs. We all quickly changed out of our wet and muddy clothes into some warm and dry replacements.

I can't believe I did it! We rode over 500 miles across the state of Utah, through mountains, deserts, rain, wind, and sunshine! There were times I didn't think I could finish, but I dug deep and pulled myself through it. We all overcame a huge challenge and helped prove that there are "No Limits" when you have diabetes.

On Saturday, Pete, Kim, Dave, and Matt S. will ride into the American Diabetes Expo in Salt Lake City. They will talk about the ride and promote the ADA Tour de Cure. I will help give a talk on exercise and diabetes at the Stanford Pediatric Diabetes Symposium.

BG, Carbs, Etc.

Because of the intensity of today's ride, I ate about 50 % more carbs than I had during the past few days' rides. I didn't bolus for any of the carbs on the bike. My BG at the end of the ride was 145.

Matt's Daily Numbers, Freestyle CoPilot.