Today was slightly
cooler less warm than the past couple of days, but still expected to reach the upper 80s with pretty high humidity. I wanted to get in an easy 40-mile ride, and do it my way - no pushing, no powering up hills, easy pace, stop occasionally, drink a lot. After several recent experiences of cramps at 45 miles, I wanted to push the limit just a bit, but not go past it, and see if the above steps were any help. I chose a relatively easy 40 miles for this one, given the heat and humidity, a loop from home visiting Guilderland, Voorheesville, Altamont, and western Rotterdam, with plenty of opportunities to replenish food and drink and to bail out if the rains came.
In Voorheesville, at 15 miles, I ate a banana, not my favorite, but full of potassium, a necessary electrolyte. I also picked up a Gatorade for later. At 22 miles, in Altamont, I downed a sample package of E-Gel, an electrolyte supplement with more potassium and also a good bit of sodium. At 27 miles, I stopped at a kids' lemonade stand and chatted for a bit. They also nicely refilled a water bottle with ice water. All the while, I was riding easy, drinking plain water regularly, with an occasional gulp of the Gatorade I'd bought earlier.
Whatever I was doing right apparently worked. I arrived home with not even a hint of cramping, though the temperature was now near 90. I never reached the magic 45-mile point, and it also wasn't a very hilly ride, only 1,000 feet total, so the jury is still out. But I did order a box of E-Gel packets, and will continue the other behaviors next time out. Which happens to be tomorrow. 45 miles. Hmmm....