Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fluid Replacement During Cycling


This was my ride for today. I joined my buddy, Les Murray, to do the L'Etape preview ride today. It turned out to be a beautiful day for a bike ride. It was a sunny day, light winds, with the temperature at the start about 60, rising to 87 degrees at the finish. The first half of the ride was challenging with the first 33 miles being uphill topping out at Mt. Baldy (considered an hors category climb).

Throughout the ride, I had to keep reminding myself to drink fluids. The combination my rising body temperature and sweating due to the climbing combined with the increasing air temperature made it critical that I replace fluids. Additionally, Southern California is a dry climate and, with the low humidity, it was easy to forget that I was sweating. The wind can also play a factor in sweat evaporation, making it easy to forget that you are sweating.

I drank six large waterbottles of Gatorade and water. I finished strong and hydrated. However, I can say that wasn't the case with other riders. I heard guys say they were toast and we still had 10 to 15 miles left to ride. Others had leg cramps, symptomatic of low sodium due to excess sweating and not enough electolyte replacement.

Folks, summer is coming and, along with it, warm weather. Today's post is a reminder to not make a mistake and forget to drink, else you run the risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion or worse. Drink every 10 to 15 minutes and don't be afraid to stop and refill on your ride. Nobody will think lesser of you!

Be safe and keep the rubberside down!