Hydration and the Zen of Cycling

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A quick reminder from a guest blogger about the joys of drinking enough on your rides (even when it’s cold out and you don’t think you need it):

Image Credit: CJ Julian. Spokesbear: Brian Jillson.

Hola Furry Rideorinos! Several riders have written me about this weekend’s training rides saying “whoa nelly, did I bonk!” or “the cooler weather fooled me into not drinking enough” or “I was cramping while riding which has never happened to me before.”

Electrolytes, Hydration and proper nutrition are so super important.
DRINK SO MUCH that you need the restroom at every rest stop. My general rule is to drink at least one of my 16oz bottles every ten miles – and even more if I‘m prepping for a climb.

I used the rolling hills between climbs to purposefully rehydrate. Sipping almost on a cadence. Hydrating like that will not only keep away the bonk – but being properly hydrated BEFORE a climb will make you a stronger climber with greater endurance while doing so.

Try drinking steadily as soon as we start? Red light? DRINK! Stop Sign? DRINK! Don’t worry about running out – we’re riding in areas with lots of county parks or 7-11s or Starbucks that you can pop in, buy some water or even refill your water in a restroom. DRINK DRINK DRINK!

At this point in the season, I often see one behavior that you might keep in mind. Oversprinting. smile emoticon Most rides from here until the event have one or two or even three climbs – and when you get out in the flat, there is a tendency to gear up into the hardest gear you can muster and trying to be a bullet in the flat or rolling hills. You might consider bringing it down a notch or two – because oversprinting can quickly deplete your electrolytes, and then, you bonk. and because you are in the flat, you are going to tell yourself, nah, I’m just tired or it’s not really a bonk. Trust me, it’s a bonk.

One of the biggest reasons I preach “it’s not a race” is because if you make it a race, you’re going to lose sight of the basics and bonk. and bonk HARD.

Bonking is totally avoidable – but only if we drink, keep up our electrolytes, make smart food choices including carbs for our body to burn on the bike and stop regularly to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves.

Ride Safe my furry friends!!

— Bob McDiarmid

Here are a couple links to posts I’ve written about hydration:

Your Bear


2 thoughts on “Hydration and the Zen of Cycling

    SouthPaw said:
    March 4, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    This is an interesting read. The word “bonk” is mentioned 8 times in the article but not a single mention of what one can do to really address it (it’s far more than just drinking, plus if it’s just water you’re not going to address the bigger issue). No mention of what it really is… depleted glycogen or why not every “OMGbonk” is actually that (exhaustion, over training, etc.).

    ramanboucher responded:
    March 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I define bonking, with reference, at: https://bearalc.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/eat/. The blog has lots of references to what to do about bonking, as the article outlines: hydration required both water and electrolytes.

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