So, I\’m back in Portugal, at home. I potter out on the bike as I like doing that.
I\’m not, of course, at nearly 50 years of age, a \”serious\” cyclist. I just like pottering along though the countryside for 20-40km because, well, you know, I find it fun.
Yesterday and today it wasn\’t fun. I just couldn\’t make it up hills that I can normally ace. No, I had plenty of liquids, wasn\’t going too far.
Am I ill or something? Some horrible lurgy draining my energy? I have that cancer already that is going to kill me?
I had thought it was a little warm today so I looked up, after my failure, the temperatures. Where I am it\’s 35-40 oC.
Hmm. Perhaps I should check the temps before I go off pedalling, not after? Or even just look at the animals (5 cats, 3 dogs). If they are hiding in shady corners, maybe a fair skinned Englishman should not be trying to peddle up Portuguese hills?
Also, how much cycling do you do when you are away? I’m guessing not much? And then you expect to do the same as when you are cycling regularly, definitely not wise.
I speak as someone slightly older who is always being told-off by his wife for exactly the same thing.
Tim adds: I was cycling while away. Same sort of distances too.
I don’t think it’s got much to do with age. When it’s hot and you’re cycling you need to drink a lot, that’s all. The airflow cools you down so you don’t realize how much you’re sweating.
On the relationship between cycling and health, I am particularly pleased to see contextual adverts appearing for http://www.cyclesurgery.com !
Mad dogs and Englishmen…
Tim adds: Even I’m not that stupid. 4 pm…..
Tim, being much younger than you I can let you know this happens to others as well.
The thing that usually drubs me is too much of a swing in altitude, going from training in desert to training in the alps leaves me knacker-ed.
Felt much the same as yourself last week. Can’t say I do your distances but my little folder’s not really suited to it. (That said, it’s got over 4000 km on the clock now). It was OK round town but oh boy was the last 100m climb painful. Wasn’t till I wheeled the bike into the lift I realised the 10kg of shopping in the pannier bags had been holding the back brake on.
Hills? Try living in the Sierra Nevadas. The average slope up there was 10%* & the short trip to the town bar involved a total change of altitude of 200m. Could sweat an entire afternoon’s beer on the return leg.
*Supposed to be the steepest gradient in Europe. 3500m to sea level in 35km.
Be careful with the water, especially if you are restricting your salt. There are more deaths from drinking too much water than from drinking too little. See http://cockroachcatcher.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/london-olympics-marathon-hyponatraemia_5.html
Tim adds: Indeed. I heavily salt my food when I am in riding mode. And I don’t drink water: mixed fruit juice and water. So I’m getting (some) salt and sugars.
Well, if you weren’t carrying the goods you’re trying to peddle, you could probably pedal with less effort.
Shame, if you’d have made it home in record time you might have got to bone Sheryl Crow.
Tim, I warn you now that, after 50, everything, even a cold, brings bloody cancer to mind.
Or even ‘Worsto!”
I used to cycle 200km a week in the French Pyrenees. What I found was that the heat did not affect me as much as not having slept well. Also traveling tired me out more than i imagined – something to do with all those microbes in the plane air con system. always took me a few days after a trip to be firing on all cylinders.
I estimate that I climb about 1% slower for each additional degree Celsius above some comfortable temperature. I am probably fitter, but not younger, than our host.