Boy, today’s ride was uncomfortably humid. Not terribly hot, just humid. The kind of day where you start sweating when you open the door and step outside. The kind of day where your cycling gloves are soaked through before you’ve ridden five miles. And when the group takes a short break, you can take the gloves off and wring them out — and they drip moisture all over the road. Ditto your sweat band.
I found myself reaching for my water bottle more than usual today. That’s a good thing, because I tend to drink too little when I’m on the road. But both of my slightly-larger-than-normal water bottles were almost drained when I finished the 33 miles — about all I felt like doing. I had plenty of trouble keeping the group in sight today.
I also noticed the way other riders took their water. It seems there’s not just one way to drink from a bottle, but three distinctly different ways. I couldn’t get shots of all the different ways as we were riding, but when the ride was over I had young Alexander, who rode with us today (and who left me well behind), demonstrate.
The first way is pretty normal. You grab your bottle, and drink from it like you drink from a glass. Or a beer bottle. Most people seem to use this method.
But there’s a variation I often see, usually from riders with many years of experience. Saw a lot of pros in the Philly International Championship on TV today drink that way, too. They reach down for their bottle, but instead of keeping their thumb at the top, they turn their hand over so the thumb points down. That brings the water bottle to the mouth already pointing down.
But there’s a third way, that I’ve seen associated with European racing teams. You hold the bottle normally, but then turn it so your hand is on top of the bottle.
I once read about a team of French cyclists using the hand on top method, and figured what the hey, I’ll give it a try. It seemed that the water flowed more freely. Of course, that could be just my imagination. But I use this way from time to time, if I think about it while on a ride.
Personally, I’ve never liked the upside down method, but in my experience, cyclists who use it won’t drink any other way.
Ultimately, the important thing is to get the water in the mouth. So I suppose whatever works for you is the way to go.
Do you have a preferred method of drinking during rides? And if so, what’s good about it?