Will cycle only on busy roads now...



Feanor

New Member
Jul 21, 2003
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Greetings All!

Although some of you know me more for the lighthearted and comical postings (with a few technical questions tossed in) Last weekend I had a rather serious, though heartening, event that I wanted to share.

We've had a small heatwave pass thru in the last few days with the temperature hovering in the mid 90's. A constant breeze makes things a bit more comfortable, but warm is warm :)

I just bought a new pair of cycling shoes recently, and was extremely eager to test them out on a longer ride (my previous shoes were causing me discomfort and were of the older, regular SPD type). So, Sunday afternoon (after working madly to finish all the work around the house first) I made some final checks of the cleats and engagement, preflighted my bike, and headed out into the court to get an initial feel. I had fully intended to head back in after a few minutes to drink water and fill the water bottles before leaving and even getting a small bite to eat, but for some inexplicable (read stupid) reason. I felt too lazy to go back in and so I headed off toward my regular route; no breakfast, no lunch, no fluids...

The heart monitor read the temperature at 97 degrees, and I continued to roll along very enthusiastic about the fact that my shoes and feet felt great! It was a pretty leisurely pace, around 15mph average, but a slight headwind was a bit irritating...

After about 30 minutes I started feeling a little "tingly" in the shoulder area (I'd never felt that before) and though my legs felt great, and my feet even better, I felt little waves of dizzyness which I shrugged off as just a minor by-product of the heat.

at close to 1 hour I decided it was time to head back, but I wanted to see how the shoes felt under some more moderate strain (the ride had been almost flat the whole time). There was a traffic light about 500 yards ahead and so I decided to do my impotent impression of a sprinter racing for the line.

I started mashing down on the pedals as best I could and got going at a pretty decent clip in a fairly large gear. I held that to the best of my ability until I had to start braking for the light.

Coasting to a stop while huffing and puffing and sweating profusely I unclipped the right side and while waiting for light to change I was fiddling with my heart monitor, cycling thru the different readings. All of a sudden I started hearing ringing in my ears, and what look amazingly like little translucent fish swimming in my field of vision!

I looked up and they were still there along with a very strong spell of dizzyness. Additionally everything started to go dim, as if the brightness control on the TV was getting turned down. It was not a tunnel-vision effect but just a gradual dimming with the color washing to black and white.

I had just enough time to unclip the left foot and swing it over the bike before I semi-collapsed on my butt on the curb with my bike laying in the middle of the bike/right turn lane.

I ahd a tremendously strong urge to flop down on my back, but some irrational, delirious thought was in my mind that the sidewalk would be uncomfortably warm :p

So I leaned forward slightly and tried desperately to shake it off and stay alert.

All of a sudden there was another cyclist kneeling right next to me... I didn't see him come up or hear him call to me initially, but his "can you hear me?" statement sounded as if he had been trying to get my attention before I was aware of him. To me it seemed like he beamed down from the Enterprise right next to me...

He asked me if I was alright, if I had crashed... and I answered that I had gotten dizzy and kind of collapsed... at least that is what I think I said. He came back with his water bottle (after probably noting with surprise that, surprise, I didn't have water with me or on my bike) As I was into about my fourth drink, another rider came rolling up to a stop and asked if I was ok...

The first rider (I found out later his name was Leo) explained... The second rider nodded and took off his helmet and held it up like a makeshift umbrella so my head was in the shade, and that felt really good.

Just as I was thinking about getting up off the curb, a car came up into the right lane to turn (others had just swung wide) but this one came right up to us and layed on his horn for about 10 seconds...

The second rider turned around and yelled "F#%K-OFF!!!" and they exchanged words as this driver also swung wide (though not as wide as the others)...

At this point Leo helped me up and I sat down again leaning my back against a chain link fence. When I was sitting, he ran back over to the street to get my bike out of the lane just as another car came rolling up to make a turn. I thought to myself, "oh great! I'm the car drivers irritation-du-jour", but the driver, a younger looking guy, rolled his passenger window down and asked if I was ok...

I noticed then that he had a Yakima bike rack on the roof of his car...

After a few minutes I got back to my feet and walked around a little... I actually felt a whole lot better and at this point the second rider made sure one last time if he was needed, before he waved, said to be careful, and then continued on his way.

Leo and I talked a bit longer about how odd it was that it was so unseasonably cold before this sudden severe heatwave. I also told him the saga of my new shoes and the excitement over trying them, and how that supplanted logic and common sense before I left on my ride.

I let him know that I was heading home and that it was actually all mild downhill or flat so I would take it easy and coast most of the way. The other side of the street was also mostly in shade from the trees.

I assured him a few more times that I was really ok, and we both got our helmets back on and got ready to head out... He said that he wasn't going to remind me to always bring water, because this episode was a pretty good reminder (which it was and is :) ) and I let him know that with a chuckle of embarassment...

I made my way home slowly and as I was rolling up my driveway, it suddenly struck me that I could have passed out in the middle of the intersection, and I recollected how many cars must have passed me while I was almost prostrate by the side of the road before other cyclists and a car driven by another cyclist stopped to render aide...

I'm chalking this one up to important experience, and also to the realization that my mind can push harder than my body when I'm distracted...

From now on, I think I'm safer on the main roads where there are more dangers, but also more chances for help...

Have a good one all!

Feanor
 

The Joker

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Aug 8, 2003
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It's not a good idea to go riding if you haven't had anything to eat, I guess you know that now. hehe. if you feel faint, the best idea is to lie down and elevate your feet, this drains more blood to the head. I guess most cyclists would have helped you out though....apart from me - i would have swiped your new shoes and rode off quickly....;)
 

Memphmann

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Jul 6, 2003
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Originally posted by The Joker
It's not a good idea to go riding if you haven't had anything to eat, I guess you know that now. hehe. if you feel faint, the best idea is to lie down and elevate your feet, this drains more blood to the head. I guess most cyclists would have helped you out though....apart from me - i would have swiped your new shoes and rode off quickly....;)

That's a funny story. Yet shows us how stupid some people can be. I never eat before I ride in the morning. But remember my bottles.

I would have checked his pockets for $$ because my time is not free.....

Memph
 

Spider1977

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Jul 19, 2003
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That's a good story Feanor. I had a similar experience with the opposite end of the temperature spectrum, when I was in a rowing collision and my boat sank. The other crew rowed me to the shore and then limped back to the sheds. Left me high and dry on the bank and forgot to tell anyone to come and pick me up. Finally I was spotted and rescued, but had gone a bit hypothermic in the meantime.

Wierd experience when someone is talking to you and you can see their lips move and hear what they are saying, without really understanding anything. Anyway, like you it didn't take too long to recover. But I'm not intending to swim in a river in the middle of winter again!
 

jitteringjr

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Sep 2, 2003
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I always carry me cell phone in case of emergency. That way I can have my wife come get me if a need it
 

Geonz

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Jul 5, 2003
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Overheating and undereating are real tickets to trouble -- but *if* you learn some sense you don't have to have it happen. Like, for starters... when you get those little "warnings" you pay attention and for crying out loud you don't go without water in a heat wave. Your risk was probably as much in traffic as out in the open -- but, um, if you're riding in the heat without water and ignoring all kinds of hints... you're risk is pretty high anyway -- I've known people who crashed into trees and the like, and a buddy who still doesn't know what happened, just woke up in the ambulance.
SHoulda had that water bottle you were given... that was a sign from the heavens, didn't you know?
 

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