Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A little better this evening.

Things went a little smoother this evening. First off, I had the smaller of my two water bottles in the freezer all day while I drank copious amounts of water from the larger one while working. When the time came to leave, I filled the larger bottle with as much ice as I could cram into it, and the rest with water (and a little more ice to replace what the water melted)

It was about 92 degrees in the shade upon departure, but it felt a little less humid. I focused on spinning low gears on the sections of headwind and hills that caused me problems last night. By the time I hit Rosedale, the ice was gone in my first water bottle but the water remained cool. I kept drinking small quantities frequently even though I didn't feel thirsty. By the time I hit Antioch, bottle 1 was done for, and it was time to start on bottle 2, which had a core of ice left in it, but had otherwise melted to become cool, refreshing water. It was 3/4 empty and tepid by the time I got home, some 6 miles after I'd broken it open.

I think I'm finding my groove. This heat, however, is truly a sadistic character. Its companion, the sun, is no less malicious. I haven't had to endure these conditions on a bicycle since the whimsical days of my teenage juvenescence. I am now nearly 65 pounds heavier than I was back then. I thought that some of the September afternoons were kind of warm when I first started riding my bike from the bus stop to my apartment. In retrospect, those temperatures were maybe in the low 80's.

With a slight change in attire, I managed to tackle even three-below-zero temperatures not that long ago. It involved using some moisture-wicking thermal base layers. I'll be damned if I get scared off by impending triple digit temperatures, much less the mid 90's we're experiencing this week. Yet again, it's time to give in and adapt. I picked up the closest thing to a roadie jersey that you'll probably catch me in this year. Technically it's a moisture-wicking running shirt. It's really thin, really comfortable, and really light. It also fits me like my usual t-shirts so that I don't scare people with that lycra look. Trust me. You do NOT want to see me in form-fitting lycra.

If this shirt works out for me, I'll probably pick up a few more. Just call me Roadie Noah. *sigh*


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the guy I saw yesterday afternoon (mid to uppper 90s) pedaling down one of Newport News' busiest four-laners shirtless and hauling one MONSTER backpack. Not sure what THAT was all about.

Noah said...

Like this guy? This backpack was gargantuan.

amidnightrider said...

I use racquetball shirts. They are loose fitting and wick. I do wear lycra shorts but carry a pair of light cargo shorts to slip on, when I get off the bike.

Apertome said...

I have two cycling jerseys and several more normal-fitting wicking shirts. I particularly like the Columbia "Titanium" shirts, but they are a little expensive ($20). I also have some similar, but cheaper, shirts from Wal-Mart, and they are pretty good, too.

I've really gotten away from cotton clothing as much as possible. It's worth it.

Warren T said...

I get too hot in cycling jerseys. I don't mind the soaking wet tee shirts because they get hung up to dry out of the way both sides of the commute.

You're doing the right thing freezing one bottle completely. Last year at this time we were pretty consistently around 102° for the ride home. Ten minutes in the ice will be gone...

Don't worry, you'll make it. It will feel pretty brutal at times but you'll feel like you accomplished something. Like I said the other night, keep your eyes open for mis-aimed sprinklers!

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