Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And This Brings Us to Bottles

Here at JBarCycling, all readers are appreciated, especially those who make the occasional comment or actually contribute something like the following succinct observation.This from an anonymous reader whom we will call.......hmmmmm......need to make up something far him, "Mike Collier":

"Being an avid reader of your Jbar Cycling blog, I have noticed a developing trend. It seems that you are fixed on subjects that begin with the letter "B". Like Birds. Or Bugs Or Bags. Although I will admit that you have apparently made an effort to resist using "B" words in some cases where they may well have worked. Like "Friends don't let friends show their Butts". Or "Boasting about my 25K!!!" One can only assume that the next post will be about Bottles. Or Bottom Brackets."

This so-called "Mr Collier" seems to have identified a pattern in my subject matter, though I would not be caught boasting about the 25k nor would I waste a perfectly good opportunity to use a powerful euphemistic phrase like "show their ass" in a uniquely apropos and literal sense.

I would, however, shamelessly take the "B" ball and run with it.

During the winter, just about any old water bottles will do. I've got a couple that have a little leaky dribble thing going on, and I avoid them on cold days, but otherwise ambient temperature is fine, the rides are usually shorter and we don't sweat much, so little thought is required.
That changes for the season just about right now. The temperature out on the road will soon be pushing triple digits, I'll be sweating at a rate of about two bottles an hour, electrolyte replacement becomes a concern and that angry heat reaching up from the asphalt seems to own the very air. So, wouldn't a nice, icy cold drink be pleasant?

It's possible with a couple of Polar insulated bottles and a little planning. Polar bottles hold a little less volume than conventional bottles (24 oz vs. 28oz in tall bottles), they are well worth the trade off when the Arkansas summer comes calling. The planning part involves partially filling the bottles and placing them in the freezer. They are best propped at an angle, because if you lay them on their side, the lid freezes in place and if you stand them up, you can't squeeze the solid cylinder of water in the bottom of the bottle. The relatively large solid chunk of ice, when topped with cubes and water, can stay cold for a couple of hours on the hottest day. I usually fill them a third to half full for freezing, though when packing for a long summer ride, I'll freeze one near-full and use it for a third bottle carried in my jersey pocket.
Sports drinks get the same treatment, but because of the salt and other ingredients, they melt faster than plain ice. I still find it works better to mix a half bottle of drink, freeze it, fill the bottle with cubes then top off the liquid.

I also take every opportunity to add ice and, like water stops, have known locations along my road routes where I can score. It can make all the difference in your comfort and performance when the heat is on!

And thanks for writing, anonymous "Mike", and I'm sure that I'll be moving on to "C" words soon enough, as the C's are a target rich environment. D's may run a little thin as there is not a lot to say about downtubes since shifters went STI.

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