21 June 2011

Bike-commute day 41—to work

Tuesday, 21 June 2011.

Today Chuck had a colonoscopy, so I drove him to the treatment center, had breakfast with him at Hasty-Tasty Pancake House, took him back home, and then biked to work. The ride was good, but taxing at a record temperature for today. I've been a bit lethargic at work. I hope a large drink of water and juice will perk me up, prepare me for the return ride this evening.

Hydration —or rather, the lack of hydration—is a strange phenomenon. Dehydration can sneak up and leave you unaware that it is the cause of a loss of power. But you can force yourself past it, or take a sip that is enough to let you continue the exertion without quite replenishing the body's fluid needs. You can go a long period with just coaxing the body a bit more, and then just a touch more than that, pushing the dehydrated condition further and further beyond the edge. Then finally, suddenly the body responds adamantly that it can perform no more: full exhaustion, clammy flesh, lack of sweat production, and a gradual onset of real sickness that includes restlessness, overheating, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. This is nothing to toy with. It can result in heat stroke and death. And if you start force-drinking fluids early enough, you can prevent death, though you may feel like dying.

A provider of a regular training email, Chris Carmichael, has this information about hydration.

Ride conditions
Temperature: 86 to 91°F at 13:05, 88 to 94°F at 15:05
Precipitation: none
Winds: 5 to 10 mph from the south-southwest
Clothing: Skinsuit, ankle socks, open-finger gloves.
Bike: Lotus Legend fixed gear
Time:  00:41:48 for 11.98 miles
Heart rate: 141 HRave, 154 HRmax
Bikeway users: 11 cyclists, 7 pedestrians
Here is a playback of the ride.

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