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October 27, 2016
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DiaGeeks on Wheels

One of the highlights of Memorial Day weekend in these parts is the four-day Tour of Somerville series of bicycle races. For those of us with diabetes, it is also the one time each year that we can be certain of Team Type 1Sanofi turning out, as Sanofi's headquarters are located right there in Bridgewater (the next town over). It's a series, and meetup opportunity, which I look forward to all year.


As it turns out, my retail job once again meant missing out on meeting up with Phil Southerland and many of the Team Type 1 riders.


I've never managed to catch Friday's Manville Madness criterium; it's a bit late to get out there and back and still make dinner. (It's even more time-prohibitive when my sister is still getting adjusted to living in New Jersey and The Other Half and TCM is playing Patton.) Saturday morning was spent running errands with and for my sister, thereby missing the Hills of Somerset classic, won by Team Type 1's David Lozano. (I've been told David's final two-kilometer breakaway at the end of the race was something of legend.) I finally got to the races on Sunday, riding out to the Bound Brook Criterium. I missed Josh riding Juniors on Sunday, but he found me and told me he was racing Monday instead.


Eventually, I caught up with Justin, Matt, Strad, and Paolo of the Team Type 1 devo squad. I'd met all but Paolo a new addition to the team previously (Matt and Justin in 2010, and Strad either then or in 2011). In between discussing the weather, the cost of living, and the Red Rider program (I was, of course, wearing the jersey!), I spied Matt's iPod and asked whether or not team sponsor Sanofi had provided the team with their new bgStar meters yet. (They hadn't; Matt was still using his Freestyle Lite.) I mentioned that I wasn't sure if I should trust mine, as it's given me a slew of lower numbers than correspond to my last Bayer A1C Now test (which tends to be lower than the tests from my doctor's office). That said, I mentioned that the Bayer Contour USB gave me numbers that were lower yet. (Go figure.) I also asked if Matt had heard of the Glooko cable, which allows you to upload Abbott and One Touch meters directly to your iOS device. (Glooko has just announced an infrared cable to connect to Accu-Chek meters.) While I knew I wouldn't be able to stay for Monday's races, I'd planned to get to Somerville and check in with the gang at their usual outreach tent before I had to head off to work, and I promised Matt I'd bring along my iPod and Glooko cable for dGeek Show and Tell.


The boys raced hard during their criterium, Paolo getting into the break and staying away for some time, but having to quit due to cramps. After the race, the team decamped for their hotel while I took off for home.


We got started a bit later Monday morning than intended, ending up with a longer search for parking than we'd have liked. Still, we got there in time for the end of the parade, and well in time for the vendor/street fair. First stop: the corner of Main and Bridge streets, on the green, where the Team Type 1Sanofi outreach tent had been located for at least the past three years. Imagine my surprise to find that tent filled with folk handing out Ferrero sweets (Tic-Tacs, Rocher, Raffalo, Rondnoir, and Nutella). On the one hand, it made sense, since Ferrero stepped up as title sponsor for this year's Tour of Somerville, in honor of their co-CEO, Pietro Ferrero, who had died in a cycling accident the previous year. Still, Sanofi was one of the title sponsors and still no outreach booth? The only thing visible about Sanofi was an announcement that they were a title sponsor for many years, and that they provided the inflatable kiddie rides and the petting zoo (all of which were manned by volunteers from outside the Sanofi umbrella). I wasn't too surprised to not find the team tent in the area with the tents from the local teams in other years, that tent was well out of sight of the festivities but no Phil, no devo team with trading cards and autographed water bottles, no Sanofi-labeled mini bottles of water?

After heading half of one way around the course, and most of the other way, without any luck, The Other Half texted that he found the team tent just off Main Street. I came back to find it largely unmanned. I took the time to head back across to the vendor tents, make some contacts in the peer health community, as well as possible sponsors for next year's Tour de Cure, and head back just in time to find Matt lounging underneath the Team Type 1 tent. I got to show him the Glooko cable and log book, as well as the handful of other diabetes-related applications on my iPod. We're both in agreement that on the Android side, at least for now, On Track is the only application worth keeping.


After a bit more unsuccessful checking around, I met up with my sister and The Other Half in the local Dunkin Donuts, where Strad and Justin were trying to avoid the rapidly-increasing heat and humidity. A few introductions, an indication that apparently the rest of the team would not be around until I would already be at work, and then we parted our separate ways.

Not only did I miss Phil and the rest of the team, I missed Morgan Patton placing third in the women's race. (Congrats, Morgan!)

Here's to more success this year, and hopefully more encounter time next year.

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