Thursday, July 19, 2012

Anatomy of a Failed Ride

Last night's ride was an absolute beating.  I had the beginnings of a heat-related incident, mostly due to my own failures/and or stupidity.  I had stopped sweating and my core temperature felt like it was rising.  I was feeling some nausea.

Here's a list of contributing factors -

1.  Started off in a hydration deficit.  Due to some epic meetings during my work day, I was unable to hydrate in even my normal, albeit less-than-optimal fashion.

2.  Didn't take my Camelbak.  I felt like the ride was too short to pack it.  Instead, I relied on one water bottle that is not very well insulated.  Frugality fail.  *

3.  Wore my usual kit when I should have transitioned into lighter-weight stuff.  I wore the one jersey that I own (probably medium weight) because of the pockets because I wasn't going to wear the Camelbak.  Here's where my frugality almost bit me on the ass.  **

4.  The ride started at 6pm.  It was 100 degrees. 

5.  No parts of the ride were in the shade.

6.  I had a flat which took a while to change (I had to rely upon the kindness of other riders - I had all the necessary supplies, but none of the skill).  Tube change took a while.  ***

7.  Failure to listen to my gut which was telling me to turn around after getting the flat fixed.

8.  Wicked, hot cross-winds on both parts of the out-and-back.

9.  Failed to get adequate sleep/restoration the night before.  I've been riding for several days, consecutively.

10.  Didn't really have a strategy in place to deal with such an issue.  Felt like I had no choice but to keep going. 

* Am going to the lbs and buying an insulated water bottle TODAY.

**  Am going to the lbs and buying a sleeveless, lightest possible weight biking jersey  TODAY.

***Saturday night I'm going back out to stay with Talia and Noah.  Noah will be conducting tire changing seminars for me and Talia.  Neither of us feel like we could have done this in the field. 

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  The heat can kill you.



  1. Wow - Sounds like an intense and risky experience, Roxie, and eerily like one I had almost 2 weeks ago. My daughter and I went for a 5 1/2 mile walk at 4 p.m. after I got off work - temp was 99. Low shade, low hydration, and I actually noticed I wasn't sweating as much as usual but failed to make the logical connection. By the time we got back my legs felt like jelly. Plopped in front of the fan and as soon as I drank some water (drank on the walk, btw) I got terribly nauseous and felt a weird combo of flushed and cool. Took me hours to recover and a friend the next day said, "heat exhaustion". Glad you're okay and will be tweaking the safety measures!

  2. Oh Mercy - Thank goodness you're okay!

    I went out for a quick ride at noon (had to deliver a set of plans to a client, so I biked over) and it was already scorching then. I knew then that the evening ride with her Honorable would have been miserable. The Pea family did an after dark ride 'round the neighborhood with headlamps instead, but it was still in the 90s at 9:00 pm.

    Tire changing is an uber important skill. The boys have tire changing races, just for fun and bragging rights. Me? I only change them when I have to!

    Take care of yourself, Roxie and stay out of the heat for a few days.

  3. Yikes - I'm glad it wasn't worse, but it sounds like a conglomeration of bad events piled on top of each other. Heat is nothing to mess with, and living in such a hot area, you can't be overly prepared for it. I've gotten some comments from northerners wondering why I carry water on a short run, but unless you've experienced what we do, it's hard to understand. Take care and go with your gut from now know what's right.

  4. Glad you are okay! That is scary! Chill for a few days so you can fully recover. I'm jealous of the one-on-one bike lesson :) I need to learn that myself.

  5. My last ride (before today's) was bad news too. It was hot. Had asthma at the start and bonked too. So I've been hiking instead of riding. Today I went out for a ride. Didn't want to but glad I did. Much better experience! Heat's a killer.

  6. Oh lady, that's not good. I also pushed myself past my limits last week at Bootcamp. I think I had heat stroke... as I was nausea and throwing up all day afterwards. Ugh... the heat will and can kill you.


We'll try this for a while.