Sunday, December 19, 2010


Two separate subjects connected tenuously by my weekend cycling. First, the early warning signs. Saturday, after three hard days of workouts, I felt grumpy. We might say out-of-sorts, but definitely low on energy. Now, this can be caused by lots of things, but my second clue was when I went outside. Even though I had on a sweatshirt, the 55 degrees, sunshine, slight breeze felt cold. Past experience has shown that when my body cannot quickly adjust to a chilly temperature, then quick corrective action must be taken to stave off illness.
Within minutes of returning inside, I had taken 1000mg vitamin C and started brewing ginger tea. In addition, I used my Neti pot, then gargled with salt and soda. Those are my usual responses. The other response is inactivity (otherwise known as resting). BTW, I had gone outside to get a feel for the weather so as to pick out the proper cycling gear for the afternoon ride. Needless to say, as I reclined I could see a perfect cycling day slipping away. However, better give up a day than to get sick.
Can't say whether or not I was really getting sick or just needed to rest, but in any case, Sunday morning came and I was ready to ride my usual route. I delayed two hours to allow the temperature to rise from 30 to 39 (when I left the house, 46 at my start place). And this brings me to layering.
A healthy body has no problem keeping warm, given proper clothing. Today I had on a long sleeve base layer (REI), jersey, and my wind jacket (plus tights and long fingered gloves). The wind was out of the south, stronger than yesterday, so I was in for an hour with it in my face. The wind jacket I intended to shed when I made my turn to the west. But, and I stress, you have to know when to divest excess layers. After four hills, only 35 minutes of riding, I could feel the moisture finally beginning to build. As much as it pained me to do so, I pulled over on an uphill and removed the jacket. If you don't remove the layer early, you will be stuck wearing it because you don't dare take it off when the other two layers are soaked.
In the two hours, forty minutes of riding, the temperature only got up to 56F, so the tights stayed on. I had regular gloves, but kept the long-fingered ones on for the whole ride. They kept my hands nicely warm for the first two hours, and were not a problem for the last part. Had my hands been sweating, I would have exchanged them.
Summing up: yesterday's rest and ministrations combined with good clothing selection resulted in a fine ride today.

No comments:

Post a Comment