Don’t Kill Yourself

The last few days have been brutally hot (more on the way tomorrow). This can be quite unpleasant if you can’t find something to pass the time.

I like to pass my time by riding my bike for a few hours each day. Even though I put in about 250+ miles a week on my bike, this heat can still have dangerous effects, even if I’m properly hydrated.

But there’s a problem. It’s July, which means it’s Tour de France month. And even though Lance Armstrong isn’t racing this year, the July-only riders are out in droves, wearing their Discovery Team or US Postal Team jerseys or full kits and heading out for a ride to “be like Lance.” If it gets people on their bikes, I’m all for it.

Yesterday I rode up Lookout Mountain Road from Golden to Genesee. It’s not a terribly long ride, but it is pretty steep. Add the fact that Friday was a “mountain” day in the Tour, and the poorly-trained, July-only riders were out in droves, emulating Lance, Floyd Landis or whomever. They were all near death.

I passed a group of old men, tired and out of water at the side of the road. I passed at least 5 severely overweight gentlemen huffing and puffing and out of breath — and most of them didn’t even have water bottles, let alone water filled in them! I saw a young kid, clearly not ready to ride up Lookout. And then on the way down more ridiculousness: more old men, more out of shape middle-agers, and all huffing and puffing up the mountain.

Why? I didn’t see any ladies attempting this stupidity (there were some female riders, but all of them were strong cyclists). All to “be like Lance?” To climb a hill? In this heat??

I thought for sure I’d have to call 9-1-1 for a couple of these people who were about to go into some bizarre heart failure.

Denver folks: Do yourself a favor (you riding is of no consequence to other riders, we’ll just pass you) and make sure (1) You’re in a state of health that can handle your heart’s increased stroke volume while climbing a massive hill; (2) Have adequate base training before you attempt this foolishness (even Lance rides the flat stages); (3) Stay properly hydrated; and (4) Make sure your physician clears you for such exercise.

And remember, for those of you trying to loose weight, spiking your heart rate that high for such a short period of time does little. Stay at our below your lactate threshold (again, speak with a physician, coach or trainer) on longer durations. Hill climbing when not in shape will only hurt you.

I’m just looking out for you. I love the fact that you’re riding. But ride smart. Clearly you’re not.

1 Comment so far

  1. dvd (unregistered) on July 16th, 2006 @ 10:06 am

    Better yet, do what I plan on doing and get a lazy man’s bicycle and just take the Ski Train if you feel the need for a touch of wilderness.

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