Who doesn’t love riding in the bright sunshine and the warmer temperatures? I know I do. Any excuse to get out on the bike in shorts and a jersey and I’m there. In fact, I used to say hotter the better until I went out for a 70 odd mile ride in 30 °C heat.
It was a few weekends ago and I saw the weather forecast and saw that it would be getting close to 30 °C heat here in the UK. Fantastic, I will get in a nice long ride and enjoy the lovely weather. With my route planned, my bike ready and the sun cream applied (I am sensible sometimes) I set off. Granted, it was a little later than planned but never mind.
The wind was low and the sun was high, perfect conditions for cycling. The only thing in the back of my mind was to stay hydrated. I had two bottles on my bike, one with energy drink and the other with fruit squash. I find that too much energy drink and my stomach starts to feel a bit funny. I had numerous sports bars, gels and even some oaty flapjack type thing with me too.
About halfway into my ride, I was feeling good, really enjoying the weather. The bike was running nicely and my legs were still feeling fresh. I was trying to be careful with my drinks as I needed to drink enough to not become dehydrated but still have some left for the rest of the journey. I have to admit I didn’t quite get it right and I was running a tad low.
With 10 miles to go, I stopped off outside a café to have a sit-down and to give myself a break. It wasn’t the first time on this ride and I can confirm it wasn’t the last either. I saw a few of my friends walking past and had a quick chat with them. They were off to get ice creams which seemed like the sensible thing to do on a day like this. As I was running low on liquids, I went inside and asked if they could fill one of my bottles with cold water. The lady behind the counter asked if I wanted some ice in there too. Music to my ears!
Once back on the bike, partially recovered and now armed with ice-cold water, I set off on the last 10 miles. They weren’t the easiest but I kept telling myself that it was only 10 miles and it wasn’t long until I was back home, sat in the kitchen with a pint of cold water trying desperately to cool down. I was half tempted just to pour it over my head!
I have to doff my cap to the professionals! They do more than twice the distance I’ve done in temperatures higher than 30 °C and then do it all again the next day for weeks on end. I may also have to revise my previous statement of ‘the hotter the better’. As much as I love to enjoy the sunshine and higher temperatures, I think there are times when it’s just too hot to cycle. I can’t believe I’ve just said that.
Still, after the ride I was happy and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Until next time,
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