To be an effective, efficient cyclist and get the most enjoyment out of your cycling experience, there are many, many rules and tips.
- Always wear an ANSI-approved helmet.
- Shift before you feel the need.
- Pedal like you’re scraping dog shit off your shoes.
But the paramount rule is this: Don’t forget your water bottle.
Tonight was the first Monday-night group ride for the House of Pizza Fitness Team and I was pretty darned excited about it. It was a beautiful evening and I haven’t been able to get out riding with friends very often yet this year. So I rode hard to get home from work at a decent time and quickly took care of enough stuff around the house that I could ride without too much nagging deadbeat guilt. Then I dashed out the door to catch the group by 6:30.
I’d thought about a water bottle. Twice, actually. I’d just never gotten around to actually filling a water bottle and bringing one with me. And it didn’t occur to me until we were lining up to head out.
No biggie. It’s dry, calm and 70 degrees out. I can do this.
And I could have. There’s no grim cautionary tale coming here. I didn’t dangerously dehydrate and have to have IV fluids administered.
I just got thirsty.
And it wasn’t as pleasant as it might have been if I’d had a cool drink of water along. So when the youngest, rookiest rider of the group asked Eric Nacey if he had any valuable cycling tips, Eric was ready.
He flicked his bike up alongside me, handed me his spare bottle, looked at the kid and said, “Rule number one: Don’t forget your water bottle.”
That’s my friend. Eric Nacey: bike-maintenance guru, magnificent cycling beast, and hydro-philanthropist.