Friday, May 28, 2010

Why are pickups driven by jerks? Plus: a sweaty, crusty mess

Yesterday I made my first cycling foray into the Loess Hills east of Omaha. Following the rough outline of a route posted by Skinny Mark Savery, I crossed the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge into Iowa and then skirted the Old Lincoln Highway north toward Missouri Valley:

"Birthday" Redemske warned me that I'd face some traffic on the Old Lincoln, and I did: a red pickup full of teenage yahoos tossed something at me as they sped by, and two white pickups buzzed me. Evidently these motorists were in too much of a hurry to wait for oncoming traffic to pass, so they passed me at 55 without moving left AT ALL.

Why is it always pickups? 90% of my interactions with hostile drivers have been with guys driving pickups. Do I notice them because of their size--a larger and louder vehicle makes more of an impression--or is it the habits of the drivers? Do people who think they own the road tend to buy and drive pickups? Does the size of a pickup create a sense of entitlement? Do the gas bills drive the drivers crazy at the sight of someone traveling for free?

Of course, many drivers of pickups are courteous. But most of the cowardly jackasses who have nothing better to do than harass cyclists from the safety of their two-ton vehicles are driving pickups.

My Aunt Sandye swears that the size of a man's car is in inverse proportion to the size of his junk, and my old friend and teammate Amy Mackey, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, used to yell at aggressive drivers, "Nice truck! Sorry about your penis!"

*       *         *
Next topic: sweat rates, dehydration, and post-exercise hypotension. Yesterday, I rode:
  • 2.75 hours at base pace, or LE / Zone 2;
  • It was 89 degrees when I got home;
  • I drank 4 bottles of Gatorade, or 96 ounces, two of which were spiked with Endurolytes;
  • I ate two gels;
  • I felt NO bonk symptoms;I was fatigued, but not crashing from low glucose levels.  
When I got home, I:
  • noticed that I'd lost FOUR POUNDS! FOUR?!
  • experienced severe dizziness after getting up from a seated or prone position.
My jersey and helmet straps were crusty with salt. I mixed a recovery shake of fruit juice, frozen blackberries, glucose, protein powder, and salt, which helped stave off the dizziness. But even after drinking another 96 ounces of water during the next few hours, I didn't pee until four hours after getting home from the ride. 

My math indicates that I consumed over 1200 mg of sodium on my ride, but that I'd need another 96 ounces to offset dehydration. That's 8 bottles in 3 hours. How to carry all that? Any ideas on hydration / nutrition?

1 comment:

  1. Hey, how's this for a super late response?

    With regard to hydration, there's not much you can do. In all honesty, our bodies can only absorb so many calories and so much water per hour. I believe you can become more acclimated to the heat and such, but when you add in intense exercise, that kind of goes out the window. The first couple weeks of hot rides are always the toughest. Keep riding through it and eventually your body will adjust. It sounds like you're getting enough off the bike hydration (my biggest hurdle), so for now, it's just a waiting game.

    Just like the first few 50 degree days feel really cold in the fall after a blistering hot summer, upper 80s and 90° days are going to suck for a while. I know my last few rides have been miserable in the heat. But hey, at least there isn't 2 feet of snow on the ground anymore.