Just like the title suggests; and then there was rain, more rain and even more rain. When I did my Junction ride it was March 29th and it continued to rain and rain and rain almost during the entire month of April.
But during that time I went around and started thinking about things to do to make my rides easier and more enjoyable. One of the problems I was having was the lack of photographs. I pack my camera in my pannier bag which means that I have to get off of my trike and get out my camera and then if I want to take pictures further down the road I have to either stop and get off my trike or else I have to carry my camera and wrap my T-shirt around it to protect it. That does cause some problems because my tummy is still kind of round and things don’t balance so well on my tummy. I know some of you might be thinking why doesn’t she just use her cell phone camera but my cell phone is packed in my pannier bag as it is playing the music on the Bluetooth speaker, so once again I would have to stop my trike and get off of it to retrieve my phone. I have a few pictures but because it is a pain to get the camera out, I’ve not taken very many pictures which is weird since I love photography.
Another problem I was coming across was when I would wipe the sweat off my face and in the long run I was wiping it sort of raw. I was using a hand towel and just wiping in a quick action across my face or the area that was dripping and this in turn was making my face feel very raw. So I was going to have to figure out something soon because once the rain stopped I wanted to get back out on the road.
I know that the hot summer time was coming on so I would need to get something to keep my head cooler so off I went to REI to figure out something. There I found a nicer pocket size wipe and I asked about keeping cool. I was directed to a scarf that I wet down to keep cool but I really didn’t like this idea too much because I have long hair, down to the middle of my back and there is a lot of hair but I can’t wear it in a regular ponytail because it bugs me since I have a back to my trike seat. So I have to pull my hair to the side and braid it then I wrap a cloth around it to keep some of the dirt from the roadway out of my hair. Since my hair would be on the side, the idea of going around with damp hair was not appealing to me so I had to thank the guy and started to move on.
Then he said that he knew of a Century rider and he just saw him in the store and he took me over to the Century rider. We talked for a bit and I learned a few things, one of which is that I need carbs when I’m out on the rides and not to worry so much about how many carbs I’m taking in because the odds are I will burn through them quickly. He gave some suggestions for types of Gu gels and even some carb chew candy which would keep moisture going in the mouth.
He suggested putting a drink bottle in the freezer and keep it handy to cool down the body such as putting it behind back or on certain points but to be careful because applied directly on the spot it will bring down the body temperature too fast and that will not be a good situation. So I picked up an insulated squeeze bottle of water which will be put in the freezer prior to my rides.
The Eric, the Century rider, suggested a bag be attached on the boom so it would be easier for me to get to things and we looked at them and found one that we figured would work for me. It was a great idea but I quickly learned on my next ride that it wouldn’t work for me. You see I have large thighs, very large thighs and have always had large thighs even as a child when I used to actually be underweight for my height and age. So I quickly found out on the next ride that reaching down between my thighs was not comfortable and was kind of hard for me to do. I later returned it not only because it was not easy to reach but the velcro straps were not wide enough to fit around the boom of my trike and so the pouch fell off while on my ride but I managed to catch it with my big fat thighs, see fat thighs are good for something.
We talked about wipe rags and a good way to use them without irritating the face and then we talked about caps that go under the helmet. I opted for one of the caps that had the rubber piece across the forehead area, making the sweat drain off to the side of the face and into my hair. This would turn out to be one of the best suggestions because I sweat so much and it tends to roll down into my eyes and it really burns because the sweat is mixed with the suntan lotion which really stings, I’m sure you have all experienced something like that before.
So now I have a insulated squeeze water bottle, a wipe rag, a boom pouch (frame bag), a cap and some GU and carb chews. So you would think that I would be ready for the next ride…well unfortunately it was not for a long time to come.
I’ll keep you up to date on things, the bag didn’t work out and so I returned the bag, the cap, wipe and GU worked out but I’ve had a hard time using the carb shot which is kind of like a gummy bear only in square shape. Guess I’m past the gummy bear stage.
I found a gel that is suppose to take the place of GU that follows along the Paleo/Primal way and I’ve yet to make it but I need to get organized and make it so I can make any minor adjustments to make it more palatable for me…or not. As of this writing I still haven’t made it so maybe I will do it before my next ride.
One thing Eric said was that I should have the frame bag close by so I can readily put the suntan lotion on my face because I sweat rather profusely and tend to wipe it off but unless I wear a fanny pack I can’t get to my lotion very easily unless I stop my trike. Oh and if you’re wondering why I don’t wear a fanny pack, I tried that a few times and I think the idea of carrying that across my tummy area just threw me off while I was riding so I keep my fanny pack around to hold my cell phone so I can hear my tunes while mowing the lawn and for when I go walking for exercise.
It was an expensive visit to REI but I picked up quite a few tips and suggestions and now all I need is for the rain to stop so that I can start riding again.
I will say this about Eric, he is a gold medalist in a few Century rides which is great but I don’t think I’ll be able to do a Century ride or at least do one any time soon. So now if the rain would just stop then things would be better and I could get off my duff.