Thats a view near Sqaumish Canada taken by my world traveling pal, Eli. My friends are all in places like that, well some of them are riding across Ohio, and some are riding across Nebraska, and some are riding in British Columbia, but they are all away from home riding their bikes. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous, but lets move on to some good news.
June Rules! If you were to ask me my favorite month of the year it would undoubtedly be June. In June the weather stabilizes, the temperatures get warm, but not usually too warm, the days are long, and the bike rides all start.
Luke sold me the sole rights to cover his trek on Tour Divide and we are now a week away. Over at Trackleaders.com you can follow everyone whose officially registered for this completely unofficial race. Everyone is active now and over the next several days you should be able to see them converge on Banff from around the world. If you find the LR marker near Vancouver Canada then you’ve found Luke. The tour divide webpage is back online after being down if you want more information.
On the domestic scene I’ve ridden every day in June so far and accumulated 193 miles in the last 6 days. Tomorrow is the Superman ride in Metropolis IL. It’s the first organized charity tour I did when I was around 14 I think. It’s not a huge ride and the course hasn’t changed in the last 15 years, but its still a good time and should draw a few hundred people. I typically don’t ride the superman because I’m out on a tour this week but this year I’ll hammer it.
I rode a pretty cool route yesterday on almost all painted highways, including the amazing state highway 147 which is part of the TransAmerica Trail. I Could count the number of cars that passed me on this road on one hand. When I was about 15 miles into the ride and started feeling decent I gave myself the goal of riding the 50 mile route in under 3 hours. Not particularly fast, but it did have some bigger climbs and I would be facing a bit of wind. I had a secondary goal of never getting off the bike, in fact, of never even stopping. Back in his glory days Snake once completed a 100 mile ride without ever getting off the bike. He found relieving himself to be the biggest challenge and had to lean up against an abandoned barn in the county. I’m not quite ready for that level of challenge yet.
I was able to achieve both goals, though I had to ration my water near the end. I completed the ride on two “Fun Packs” of peanut M&Ms, one banana, and 42 ounces of plain water. Probably should have had twice that amount.
In more Matt news I’ve been experiencing something bizarre lately. I rode 60 miles Sunday and afterwards I came home and laid on the couch for awhile. When I got up I suddenly found myself blacking out. I grabbed the back of a chair for balance with my left hand I dropped the glass of water that was in my right hand. For several secounds I stood their on the brink of collapsing while everything turned black. This happens to me sometimes after a longer ride.
The problem is called Syncope which is the medical term for fainting. It has a wide variety of causes, but mine is associated with something most people don’t experience, low blood pressure. The problem is almost certainly low blood volume after rides from not eating and drinking enough during rides and then gorging myself afterward to make up for it. The last few times I’ve checked my blood pressure it was around 120/80, but I checked it once a few hours after riding and it was much lower. I’ve studied the most reliable resources on the internet, Wikipedia, and I have little fear for my medical well being.
Apparently healthy individuals may experience minor symptoms (“lightheadedness”, “greying-out”) as they stand up if blood pressure is slow to respond to the stress of upright posture. If the blood pressure is not adequately maintained during standing, faints may develop. However, the resulting “transient orthostatic hypotension” does not necessarily signal any serious underlying disease.
The most susceptible individuals are elderly frail individuals, or persons who are dehydrated from hot environments or inadequate fluid intake. More serious orthostatic hypotension is often the result of certain commonly prescribed medications such as diuretics
Sounds like I need to start drinking more than two bottles of water on my rides.