A recent one mile bike ride to the store left me soaked in sweat. It has taken until mid-July, but the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have finally hit that point where it is consistently, uncomfortably, hot outside.
This is not a huge deal, nor is it a commute killer, but it does necessitate common sense. I play psychological games with myself to help make sure I don’t overdo it. I click my gears lower and force myself to resist the faster! urge. Today, I filled two water bottles and turned my downtown commute into a drinking game.
Like a college party, summer cycling requires you to drink before you really want to. Not alcohol – I’m talking about water. Waiting at a red light? DRINK! Quarter-mile straightaway on the bike path? DRINK! Cute dog being walked through the neighborhood? DRINK! Or just drink every time you see another bike, whether on bike path signage or a real one.
You can make your own rules, just keep yourself hydrated. Water + electrolytes is even better. Longer rides mean that you had better be replacing ALL of what you sweat out, which is a lot more than water. Devotees of the whole foods movement should check out Lovely Bicycle’s recipe for salty lemonade. Personally, I’m downing powdered Gatorade mix – it’s cheap, easy, and it got me through high school swim meets and college ultimate frisbee tournaments. It also tastes like a guilty pleasure (aka Kool-aid), so I want to drink it. Perfect.