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« Hasta la Vista, Baby | Main | More Goodbye Tears + "Dada's poops are stinked up!" »

First-ever Mountain Bike Ride during Heat Wave Impairs Cognitive Function

Mountain BikingAt the coffee shop yesterday, I let my rock-climbing buddy (Tom) talk me into a mountain bike ride (my first ever). Unfortunately, yesterday brought a record-breaking heat wave.

It was sooo freakin' hot. Tom estimated 105 degrees on the trails where no breeze blew. We didn't get started until after noon, finishing 3 hours later » smack dab in the heat of the day. (We stopped twice » once to fix his broken chain, and again later to repair my flat tire.)

This was the most physically stressed I've ever been. I actually noticed myself suffering impaired cognitive function. For example, while Tom fixed my flat, he told me to drink more water. So I walked over to *his* bike and picked it up, thinking it was my own.

Wasn't until I pulled out his water bottle from the holder that I realized I had the wrong bike. (Our bikes look nothing alike.) I mean, this was obvious .. to anybody with an IQ above 60.

I also had trouble recalling simple bits of info, that would normally be second-nature. So my memory was affected. But at least I was aware of my impaired condition. In a way, it was cool .. cuz I learned something about myself (and my limits).

The *hills* are what killed me. Seemed like they'd never end. We climbed one after another. Relentless. Punishing. Brutal.

••• today's entry continues below ••• 

Tom has a GPS watch, which also functions as a heart-rate monitor (along with measuring several other metrics). He says we climbed a total of 1,932 feet (adding together all the hills .. that's 600 meters for our European readers).

At the halfway point, I started getting dizzy (not a good sign). Luckily, the route we took had all the hardest stuff (steepest hills) in the first half. Tom called it » the Phat Tire Loop (10 miles).

The El Moro park where we rode is actually part of Crystal Cove, so it's difficult for me to find a good link/map for you. But it was hot, dry, dusty, with no shade. Most sections of the Phat Tire Loop had little (if any) breeze.

I never sweat so much. The t-shirt I wore is hanging outside. It reeketh mightily. Far too funky to bring inside. Dead animals smell less-offensive. I'm considering burning it.

I should mention that Tom is in great shape. For example, he has ranked in the top 5 on GeoLadders (out of more than 800 biking enthusiasts enrolled there).


GeoLadders (btw) is a very cool site, where (for $90/month) hard-core bikers (like Tom) can upload their rides from their GPS watches. Rides posted there earn points (based on length, elevation gain, and level of difficulty).

Yesterday's ride, for example, earned him 30 points, which is how you move "up the ladder". His wife says he is completely addicted. (His wife went for her own 40-mile bike ride yesterday .. on the road, not mountain biking.)

Later, we sat back (in his air conditioned home) and were able to review the ride. The GeoLadders software calls up Google maps, and allows you to monitor how your heart rate fluctuates at different points as you progress along the trail .. while you watch the little thumbtack-shaped blip move along the map.

You can even compare your own progress (along with heart rate) to that of other riders who have posted the same ride. It appears as if the two blibs are racing one another .. along the map .. even tho the rides took place at different times, or on different days. Very cool technology.


Tom's heart rate max'ed out at 177 .. but only cuz I slowed him down. He said it normally hits 190, and has been high as 203. "I start getting tingly at 200," he said with a grin.

Tom is very encouraging and supportive. "You're doing great," he said many times. "You're a natural athlete." He gave me several e-Gel electrolyte packets (their motto » HARDER FASTER LONGER) which he says are the best (it's goop .. very weird texture in your mouth) .. and had me drinking water like a fish.

He also kept pouring water on my head (the water quickly became warm, then hot, as our ride progressed), saying, "I don't want to have to carry you out of here." (How embarrassing that would be.) He called this morning to "see if you're still alive."

Breed only with those who smell good

We discussed a million different topics along the trail. When I told him, "I've never sweat so much, nor smelled so bad," he mentioned an article he'd read, which described how our attraction (or repulsion) to how a particular member of the opposite sex smells .. is based on genetic flaws .. that are either similar to (or different from) our own profile of genetic flaws.

As you know, we want to mate with someone who has *different* genetic flaws than our own. This is the principle behind inbreeding. Breeding with someone with a similar genetic profile will *amplify* flaws (bad juju).

In other words, if a member of the opposite sex smells particularly good to you, that's a sign they are genetically favorable to mate with .. and if you find they smell bad .. it's a sign they have similar genetic flaws, and therefore would make a bad breeding mate.

I found this interesting, cuz one of the first things I noticed about the bug's mom, is how good she always smelled. Never once has she ever smelled bad (to me, anyway).

In fact, the thing that really attracted me to her .. was the time she called, saying she'd just gotten out of yoga, and was all sweaty and stinky, but had checked the movie schedule and said we could make it if we left right away.

A girl who would pick me up for a movie after a sweaty work out .. that's exactly what I was looking for. (Somebody whose priorities extended beyond superficial.) Most girls wouldn't even let me in the door until they'd finished applying their make-up and coiffed their hair. And yeah, she smelled good, even all sweaty.

Come to think about it .. it was the same with Julie. I remember (first-n-foremost) after our first date how good she smelled. I remember calling friends and telling them, "The thing that really sticks in my mind is how *good* she smells. I can still smell her now."

So, according to Tom's theory, we would've been genetically compatible and made 5-star babies.

Moral of the story » if you're considering breeding with someone, find an activity (like mountain bike riding during a heat wave) to get 'em good-n-sweaty, then snif 'em closely. If they smell good, feel free to multiply. =)


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How about a personal trainer installed in your Mobile Phone? check out Heart rate monitor and fitness advisor
Just Perfect!

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