Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Reminder: This running commentary starts with the first entry in October.
One way to ruin a perfectly good cycling holiday is to ignore daily hygiene. In particular: not washing your shorts and jersey between wearings. For this three week journey I packed three cycling sets and nine envelopes of Tide (designed for individual sink-washings). My plan was to wash every other day, just in case they needed two nights to dry. That was mistake #1. It should have been eighteen Tides and every night wash the smelly clothing.
Every traveler knows when you hand wash, you rinse thoroughly (maybe two or three rinses) to remove detergent residue, wring out the clothes, wrap them in a towel and wring and blot some more, then hang them up where they can have air circulating, preferably warm air. First, you do this AFTER you shower and clean yourself up. Mistake #2 was having three sets to wash in Moffat, our rest-day town. I washed immediately upon arrival, it took an hour. At the end, all four towels were quite wet, to the extent that they never dried out. My clothes did, but I had to skip a shower the next day for want of a dry towel. Ok, I could have used a sheet, so maybe I need more experience in this area.
Mistake #3 was not implementing my first idea of bringing the miracle rag I use to dry the car when I wash it. You know, the cloth that absorbs gallons of water just by being in the vicinity. If I do any more of these hand-wash-in-the-sink trips, I'll have a large one in a ziplock bag in the suitcase.
If you are not a cyclist, trust me when I say an ingrown hair or similar inflammation, in a sensitive area that makes contact with the saddle, makes for an extremely uncomfortable ride and needs multiple days to rectify. Take all precautions to prevent it in the first place: use a moisture barrier, good hygiene, and good quality shorts. Note: I had no such inflammations to detract from my enjoyment.

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