Mini Tour number two done and dusted.
This is such excellent training. Even though I’ve been cycle touring constantly since I met Niel in 1983, I’m still learning tricks and ways of coping with things.
|Nelson on a beautiful summers day.|
Where did I go? Well, nowhere actually. A big unexpected bill came last week that took the dollars I had put aside for a week’s cycling, to pay for it. So I pretended to go touring. I loaded up my bike with panniers full of old shoes, containers of fluid wrapped in towels, a tent on the top of my carrier and a full handle bar bag, and off I went every day, doing rides of varying distances. Niel joined me for most of it, so it was good riding, good weather, and good company.
|Niel at the top of Spooners Range.|
My last mini tour ended after 5 days with heat exhaustion, but I’ve learnt how to overcome that now. It seems that when you are dehydrated, no matter how much sun warmed water you drink from your drink bottle, it just doesn’t sate your thirst or cool you down, but an icy cold drink bought from a shop, instantly hits the spot and refreshes you. Is it the sugar in the shop bought drink, or the icy coldness of it? I put my drink bottles and a third container of sweetened juice in the freezer overnight, and voila – problem solved. As the ice slowly melts – you drink icy cold fluid that instantly cools and refreshes you. It felt like a ‘eureka’ moment. True – when you are camping – you don’t have access to a freezer (unless you are in a well-equipped campground that has a kitchen). But most petrol/ gas stations sell bags of ice, McDonald’s restaurants have ice with the drinks dispenser, and bars and cafes will have ice.
|Frozen juice - Yum.|
So over the last year – I have learnt to ride 200kms with ease, solved heat exhaustion problems, I have learnt how to prevent ever getting saddle sores and chaffing (a combination of women’s hygiene pads and anti- chaff cream), and lastly but certainly not the least – the pain of oversized pinched nerves in the ball of the foot, bought on by ‘hot foot’ and excessive amounts of cycling. You use ‘Voltarin Emulgel’ cream(an anti – inflammatory pain killer) rubbed in when they first start to feel hot, wear your socks for as long as possible to prevent your feet chaffing, then dispense with the socks, use more emulgel and when the pain gets too much – use pain killers. Even in a 30 degree sunny day, pushing up huge hills for a ride of 12hours - all of the above will work. The only thing I still have trouble with is knowing what to eat when it is really hot and you have no appetite, and no saliva to chew on dry things like muesli bars. Fruit is good, but heavy and not very sustaining. Ice cream hits the spot every time, but you need a shop to obtain ice cream, and it’s not particularly good to eat it all the time. I’ve tried sandwiches with a moist filling that won’t go off in the heat of your bag or pocket, cold cooked sausages are good, and they don’t crumble as you ride along. Any suggestions are welcome. One bonus of having no appetite is a loss of 9kgs of weight in 5 weeks – I’m not complaining.
|Another hot day at Marahau beach watching the tractors pick up kayaker's and boats at low tide.|
Mini tour number 3 in a couple of weeks’ time. This time I might actually go somewhere!