Biker’s Nausea: Tips to Avoid Tossing Your Cookies on the Trail
by Tiffany Hanrahan
Mountain biking is an extreme sport; it’s not for the faint of heart or the easily-upset stomach. It’s extremely fun, but the ride is a bit bumpy, and riders are known to get tossed from their bikes as well as ‘toss their cookies’ on the side of the road.
Stay calm and read the following to outrun biker’s nausea.
Out of Shape
It would be quite a feat to keep your bike in the garage for nine months, engage in zero training, and ride like a pro at will. However, humans get out of shape and need to condition their bodies before re-engaging in extreme sports.
If you find yourself out on the trails, lagging behind your friends and wishing for death as your body becomes riddled with agony and pain, it’s because you’re out of shape. That doesn’t mean you’re overweight or non-athletic. It means you have not conditioned your body for mountain biking.
Start slow, and choose less challenging courses at the beginning of the season, allowing your body and muscles time to acclimate.
Out of Water
Water is essential to life and even more vital when you’re doing something extreme like mountain biking. Depending on a number of factors (how rested you are, the temperatures on the trail, what you’re wearing), you could get dehydrated quickly. Since mountain biking is an extreme sport, you may push yourself harder, thinking that you’re being weak or experiencing a moment of fatigue – a big mistake.
Pushing your body creates nausea at best, turning to heat exhaustion at worst. Heat stroke comes on fast, deranging your body’s chemical composition. It’s common with diabetics who have low or high blood sugar who grow nauseated; the same happens to bikers who don’t bring enough water and get overheated.
Drink in intervals (4 ounces every 15 minutes). Also, avoid drinking alcohol for 24 hours before a long ride. Get plenty of rest and be sure to eat.
Too Much Food
You need your energy for a long ride, yet there’s a fine line between energized and overstuffed. If you want to hold down your cookies, bacon, eggs, cheeses, and whatever else you had for breakfast, don’t emulate a Thanksgiving feast, stocking up on added calories.
It’s better to eat the night before the ride. If you’ve put too much in your stomach, and feeling the feast creep back up the esophagus, get off the bike, in the shade, and rest your body for at least an hour. Resting is not optimal for radical riders, yet it’s better to take time off than lose your lunch in front of your friends.
Protect the Head
Nausea is sometimes a symptom of something much more serious, such as a head injury. Protect your head with a helmet (made for mountain biking) to avoid concussions and irreversible head trauma.
Being extreme does not mean abusing your body or pushing your limits as to attract nausea or worse. Get plenty of rest, drink water, avoid alcohol, and consume most of your calories the night before a big ride. Companies like Park City rentals who help people book adventure holidays are happy to assist their clients with the kind of activities that are most suitable to them. So if you are unsure if the activities you have booked for your holiday are suitable for everyone in the family, best to check beforehand.
Tiffany Hanrahan’s favorite mode of transportation has been by bike since she first lost her training wheels as a child. She often blogs about her training routines and tricks for enjoying life on a bike.