Riding in a Furnace

Convinced myself to get out on the bike. It was noon. It was 98 degrees and felt like 98 percent humdity. You could cut the air with a knife. This ride was going to be much like rides I took on the road in the picture. Nothing like rides through the Florida swamps to acclimate one to a sizzling July in St. Louis. Only this ride included a few hills and more traffic.

The ride was good. It was challenging physically and mentally. Took an unconventional route that brought me to a good oasis at 1 hour. I was ready--really ready--to refill my water at the convenience store. Had a slight headache and figured I was probably a bit dehydrated at the start of the ride. Bought a--get this--64 oz cup of ice water from the soda fountain for 25 cents. Yes, they sell 64 oz styrofoam beverage buckets now.

I sat in the shade of the store canopy and doused myself with the leftover water from my second bottle. Then, feeling like Baby Huey, I took the 64 oz cup in both hands and relished the ice water. Had to hold the damn thing with BOTH hands! I filled up my two hot plastic bottles with the ice water and got back on the bike. The 30 minute cruise home felt good. What a difference 10 minutes in the shade makes, along with the head and torso cooled with water internally and externally.

The human body can do marvelous things, if cared for properly. I kept my head and didn't do anything stupid; didn't try to prove anything to myself or anyone else.


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