Dry as a Tater Chip

Back in the late 80’s, during my CheersWest days (maybe someday I will do a post about those days… maybe) I had a friend named Denny O.  I never did learn what the ‘O’ stood for, he’d just introduce himself by saying “Hi!  I am Denny Oooooooooooooooo”  He had two sayings that would pop up seemingly at random.  One was “Have another donut, eh!”  Which he’s spot as he ran out into the field to play softball, or walking into CheersWest, or grabbing a piece of pizza.  To tell the truth, I never saw the man ever eat a donut…

The other saying was “I’m dry as a taterchip!”  Well it’s been 25 years since I’ve seen Denny O, but I adopted his second saying as my own, and have been using it ever since!

I bring this up, because rumor has it, Summer is coming.  Why do I say rumor, you ask?  Well yesterday, Seattle reached a blazing 51 degrees for the high temp.  That’s the lowest high we’ve ever had for this date and we were one of the coldest cities in the nation.  And of course, being Seattle, and being this close to Memorial Day Weekend, it rained most of the day.  (However, the weather gods smiled on me, and I had a dry bike commute home!  Good clean living I tell ya!) And for the lovely lady friends of mine who live in Georgia and Arizona, I am NOT complaining, nor would I trade my weather for yours! (Love ya ladies!)

Sorry, I digressed there.  As I was saying, warm weather riding is around the corner! (Ours will be here after 4th of July!) and that means hydration becomes more important, especially for those of us riding.  Not only do we lose moisture sweating, but breathing hard while exercising causes us to lose even more!

Now I have a rule, as if I am riding more than 40 miles, I start looking for a place to refill the water bottles as soon as I have started draining the 2nd bottle.  I haven’t always had this rule, and that’s when I learned what ‘dry as a tater chip’ really meant.

2008 was the year I logged my first mile in the 10000+ that has started this blog.  It is also the year of my only multi-day bike tour, the Oregon coast from Astoria to Crescent City CA.  (GORGEOUS and one day I will do a series of posts on the ride!  Do it if you get the chance)

Well day two, I had just gone through Tillamook, and almost finished one bottle.  When I saw the sign for the ‘scenic route’.  (Cue dramatic music!  Da Da daaaaaaaaa)  Well I had heard there were three small towns on this route, so even though it was hot, I figured I would fill up both bottles at once at some store on the way.

Well first off, I ended up getting OFF the route, and had no idea where I was.  I just kept heading south figuring I would get somewhere.  Second, there was no stinkin stores….  I stretched that 2nd bottle out as far as I could, but it was gone entirely too soon.  Third, the hills sucked!  I found the one hill I could not do without taking a break.  (Plus I almost got taken out by an old guy in a hat in a Winnebago (HEY!  I wonder if it was my dad?))

FINALLY over two hours and 25 miles of 80 degree riding later, I stumbled into a town and found a store!  I stumbled in, grabbed two gatorades, drank one while I was still in line, paid for both and downed the other.  Then I went back in and grabbed enough water to refill both bottles and stash an extra in my saddle bag!

Wanna know what’s funny?  Check out this picture:



This is the view from the end of my Century ride last Saturday, GORGEOUS!  Well back in 2008 sitting on the stoop, drinking my second gatorade, I was right across the street, in full view of this, and NEVER SAW IT!  That is how out of it I was!  As I walked up from the beach this weekend I saw the store, and recognized it right away.

So don’t ever let yourself get this way.  I now start with one electrolyte drink (powered type drink) and one water.  I keep that mix through out my rides.  I’ve found too much powerade without the water flushing the system can seriously mess with the innards.  For longer rides when I know I am heading for more remote areas, I carry the camelback with me for extra water.

I’ve been asked, how do you know you’ve had enough?  Well one thing I learned from old mountain guides in my mountain climbing days is “C & C”  You’ve had enough to drink when your “Pee is Clear and Copious” (sorry if its TMI, but its true…)  If it’s not either of these, you aren’t drinking enough, and dehydration can get you.

I won’t say I haven’t screwed up since then, shoot, my first bike commute last month I had to stop at Starbucks for water as I flat forgot.  But I am MUCH more careful, and have never been completely “Dry as a tater chip” since!  Drink em if you got em!

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