The Other Kind of Drinking Game

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. 



2 comments on “The Other Kind of Drinking Game

  1. I was doing some research on what to wear for commuting to work via bike and came across your tips. I just started biking for a week now and live 2 miles from work. Because of where I live (Phoenix, AZ), I am not going to wear long pants in the summer. Here’s my tip if you find it useful. I wear a nice t-shirt and bike shorts. When I get to work, I swap out the bike shorts for a skirt, change the shoes and throw on a pearl necklace. I do get a little sweaty but not enough to be concerned about. In an office with AC, that’s over in a matter of minutes. For the winter (and yes, it does get cold here), I was wondering if there was a coverall sort of gear that I could just put over my entire outfit. We’ll see what I can figure out. Love your information – thanks.

    • It’s awesome that you’ve already dialed in an outfit strategy that works for you – thanks for sharing! Bike commuting in winter is very doable (even here in Minnesota), but it does take a little extra thought in the clothing department.

      I wouldn’t go the coverall route – think more about lots of sweat-wicking layers (doesn’t have to be as sporty as it sounds). Thin layers are great because you can remove them when you need to. I love wool knit dresses – wool rocks. I also often layer long underwear under pants and take it off when I get to work.

      Two miles might be a tricky commute to dress for. Most winter biking advice will talk about how easy it is to overdress and get sweaty, which makes you colder. However, at two miles, I think I would err on the overdressing side. Unless you ride really fast or have a very inefficient bike (in which cases you’ll warm up faster), by the time you start to sweat you’ll be there. Insulate you feet and hands well, and you’ll figure the rest out pretty quickly!

      I’ll be posting more about outfits this fall – there’s a dearth of good information and products out there. In the meanwhile, I leave you with these tips from some cyclists here in MPLS: http://greaserag.org/user_blogs/lowrah/winter-skill-share-recap-clothing-and-comfort-with-carly/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: