Don't laugh: I couldn't grab my water bottles on my TT bike. Me, the girl who competed at the UCI Gran Fondo World Champs. How could this be?!?
About a year ago, I rode with a bunch of women on a @bicycle_network ride and two women in our capable group couldn't ride and drink at the same time. Kate, our fearless leader, guided them through the process by breaking it down:
Given the water bottles on my TT bike were mounted behind me (gotta be aero, baby!), they presented two additional challenges: I couldn't see them and, to pull them out of their cage, I had to pull them up and AWAY from me.
With Kate's words in my head, I practiced pulling out my water bottles with the TT bike mounted on my trainer. The action was unnatural but after twenty+ attempts, I could sip water in my living room.
It was time to add steering to the mix. For that, I headed to my local velodrome but a large empty parking lot would work, too. Once I had a comfortable pace going, I reached back and pulled out a bottle. Feeling cocky, I skipped a couple of Kate's steps, took a good gulp and tried to put it back. Big mistake. I pedalled four laps of the velodrome single-armed, blindly trying to find the slot for my bottle.
Aaaughh. I was tempted to pitch the bottle in the grass; who needs it anyway?!? The problem was: I did. In a couple of weeks I was going to do a half Ironman and being able to hydrate during that 90km bike was crucial. By now, another rider had pulled up alongside of me. "No, it's further back. Go the right," he encouraged me, acting as my eyes. I still couldn't find it and then, suddenly, I did.
I went back to Kate's step-by-step method and, at the end of two hours, I had a 90% success rate. My cute riding socks say "Joy rides" but real Joy is being able to drink while you ride.
Like most cyclists and triathletes, I'm striving to improve my ride. That means increasing my power, which seemed like a such a fuzzy thing until I saw this:
I sweat; my clothes s.t.i.n.k.
Yes, I wear antiperspirant 😂. Yes, I try to wash my workout clothes the same day I sweat in 'em 😅. But, over time, some of my beloved items have acquired a certain...umm...reek that washing doesn't remove.
The solution: soak them in 1 part white distilled vinegar and 4 parts cold water for 30 minutes before washing 💦. This was just one tip I gleaned from "11 Ways to Get The Sweat Smell Out Of Your Workout Clothes" by Kristin Canning at the Women's Health Magazine website https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/a27059552/how-to-get-sweat-smell-out-of-gym-clothes/
So I tried it. I mixed 2 cups of vinegar and 8 cups of water in a plastic bucket. It wasn't a lot of liquid (I didn't have any more vinegar on hand) so I soaked my clothes in batches. Then I tossed them in the washing machine. I added two-thirds my usual amount of laundry detergent (less is more when it comes to cleaning workout clothes as Kristin mentioned in another tip) and washed them. And woohoo!🤗 - it worked.
Read her article to learn more about how to clean those high performance fabrics.