The Biking Cold

When we took our club ride Sunday morning, our area had just come off some good soaking rains that lasted much of Saturday. The forecast called for almost no rain chances Sunday, so I dressed accordingly. I wore a polyester base layer under my jersey and my lightest pair of arm warmers.

Once again, the forecasters were wrong. The temperature, which was 68 (20C) at the start of the ride, seemed to be falling as we reached our turnaround point. On top of that, the rain that was supposed to have moved out of the area paid us a visit again, in the form of mist.

After the first 15 miles, I was bathed in sweat on the inside, and wet from mist on the outside. (I suppose a treatise on the so-called “wicking” properties of base layers merits it own post at some point.) Coupled with the morning breeze, the wetness made me feel a bit chilly, arm warmers or not.

I felt good at the end of the ride, as I showered and wiped down the bikes. But by late afternoon, I could tell something was wrong. That telltale tickle formed at the back of my throat. I downed a couple of aspirin and settled back to watch football — no, Ryder Cup — no, football — no, Ryder Cup…we wound up sticking with golf, and I didn’t do my throat any favors by yelling at the American team as they blew a comfortable lead.

By bedtime, I felt lousy. It was by now a full-blown cold. My nose ran like a faucet, and I had that overall blah feeling. I got through a day of work Monday, slept poorly Monday night, and had an unpleasant day at work on Tuesday.

Tuesday evening is when I get a chance to ride during the week, because that’s the day I get home earliest. But I wasn’t in the mood for riding. I just wanted to eat that hot comfort food my wife had made for dinner, and sit back to watch TV. (I can’t believe that cement-footed Bristol Palin wasn’t voted off of “Dancing With the Stars.”)

Now my wife says she feels the tickle in her throat. And the dog has an ear infection, so she’s sleeping as much as possible. I know these seasonal colds are just things you’ve gotta put up with…but I missed my ride today. I hope I’ll be able to get out Friday evening.

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