Saturday, September 18, 2010

Back on the bike

It has been about a year and a half off my bike. Last week, I decided to bike commute instead of driving. Hence the bike-specific Trek pack with back ventilation (holding work clothing). Had to look long and hard for my custom bicycling shoes, primary (Di Notte) and backup (Blackburn Flea) lighting. Yep, it has been so long I've forgotten where I stash my bike gear. Other fumbles were I had to use primary AA cells in my Di Notte headlight, my NiMh rechargeables were 6 hours away from being recharged. My Powercontrol head unit from the SRM powermeter was not taking a charge. I hate when I have to send that overpriced unit back to Colorado for servicing. Damn, have to do without data for this commute. Mind you, it's probably a blessing I don't see the numbers.

Temperatures were in the mid-90s to 100F (about 35C-38C). About 32 miles round-trip. Listened to Squeeze on my tiny new iPod Nano (6th generation) on the trip down. Showered at the gym and went to work.

However, by about 5pm, I was suddenly seized by what I thought was a mid-afternoon malaise. Downed two espressos from my Nespresso machine in my office. Headed out the door at 6. Suddenly I noticed I was crawling along in my small chainring. I diagnosed a delayed bonk. Stopped at a Circle-K, downed a 32oz gatorade, and resumed pedaling towards the foothills. But things didn't get better. In fact, they got quite a bit worse. I had to climb in my 34 x 26 gear on a moderate but long hill. I revised my diagnosis to be dehydration and electrolyte depletion.

That night, I threw up. Next day, I had an all day headache and high fever. Couldn't hold solid food. Lost a kilo.

I guess it was the Bicycling Gods way of punishing me for being off the bike so long. To be humbled on your own commute.

It's funny, I never expected to have problems completing the commute since I kept it simple and just spun, never encountering an aerobically-challenged moment during the commute. But I only had iced water, nothing to replace the electrolytes. Not a smart thing to do when it's still effectively summer, temperature-wise. Also having run 10K on the treadmill the previous evening probably didn't allow my muscles enough time to fully replenish its glycogen stores.

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