Water. That’s the key ingredient that keeps us all alive. Without it, we’d all shrivel up and die and that’s a fact. Cycling in sunny Singapore has it’s challenges which includes weather, humidity and constant hot temps and keeping ourselves hydrated at all times is key to enjoying our bikes while we’re out in the trails.
As dehydration increases, there are some signs and symptoms that could develop. These include: thirst, restless or irritable behaviour, decreased skin turgor, dry mucous membranes, sunken eyes, sunken fontanelle (in infants), and absence of tears when crying vigorously. Symptoms of early or mild dehydration include:
- Flushed face
- Extreme thirst, more than normal or unable to drink
- Dry, warm skin
- Cannot pass urine or reduced amounts, dark, yellow
- Dizziness made worse when you are standing
- Cramping in the arms and legs
- Crying with few or no tears
- Sleepy or irritable
- Dry mouth, dry tongue; with thick saliva.
Dehydration occurs when the body loses too much water and is deprived of important salts. Dehydration can lead to serious medical conditions and can lead to reduced performance and recovery and, in the worst cases, reduced function and failure of the kidneys, brain and heart. So it’s vital that you avoid dehydration altogether and don’t play-play ohkey.
Here’s how you can stay hydrated throughout your day, wether you’re riding in Beetee or Track15.
#1 Drink before you feel thirsty
You should never feel thirsty during your ride. The best way to achieve this is to take constant interval sips (not gulps, later you all vomit hor) during your ride. Make a mental note, or you can set your casio, garmin, pro-trek, rolex, audimars piguet, hublot digital watch to go off every 5 mins to remind you to drink. And remind your riding buddies to do the same.
#2 Find water stations
Always know where the nearest water station can be found when you’re out riding. Here’s a couple that we know;
- If you’re riding Beetee (Bukit Timah MTB Trail): Water Cooler at Dairy Farm Carpark
- If you’re riding Track 15 and Chestnut South: Water Cooler at Chestnut Carpark
- If you’re riding in Pulau Ubin: Water fountain and Toilet facility at Mamam beach and Nordin beach
#3 Do a water parade drill the night before you ride
If you’ve served National Service, you know what this is about. If you’re planning for an early ride in the morning, drink at least 500ml of water before you go to sleep.
It would be dumb to go riding without bringing along any water or fluid and how much you carry depends on how long you plan to ride. A typical adults needs a minimum of 2 liters of water a day and when you’re sweating it out, it’s always better to drink slightly more.
So how do you carry your water? Here are some of the latest gear that’s new for 2017 that’s specific for keeping you hydrated. We think that some of these hydration bags and options are some of the best that you get to keep your fluids in check and here’s our top recommendations in no particular order;
#4 Camelbak Classic Hydration Pack.
This all-time fav is one of the more comfortable and basic riding packs you can ever need. Camelbak’s bladder is one of the best in the market and they’ve been producing riding packs for a loooooong time. With enough space for water, your phone, and some tools, this pack will keep you hydrated. Camelbak’s bladder is the biz, easy to clean, except for the hose. Best to get their cleaning kit if you want your hose not to look disgusting after a year.
#5 Osprey Raptor / Raven.
Great storage for size, light, 3-liter reservoir, durable, stable and it’s very durable. We’ve read reviews that this bag will outlast your bikes. It has a large main compartment, suitable for some packed prata with curry, and smaller pockets for your instagram device, ie, your phone la. Comes with bladder too!
#6 Evoc CC 10L
The EVOC CC 10l is an extremely versatile, compact and lightweight bike backpack. Despite its clean design, the pack features a large number of functional details for the most varied requirements. We’ve always liked Evoc packs!
#7 Camelbak Skyline™ 10 LR
It’s a full-featured MTB pack with a lumbar design that gives you maximum stability during aggressive downhill rides. The skyline has a lower centre of gravity that helps to keep the pack stable and reducing stress on your back. We think this would be awesome pack on full day jamborees across the causeway.
#8 Shimano Unzen 4 Enduro
Complete with a top quality two-litre Hydrapak bladder, and enough space for supplies for a full day out in the trails, the Unzen 4 is perfect for enduro racing! Waist harness is removable too.
#9 LOWE ALPINE Lightflite Hydro Waist Pack
This is currently my go-to pack when I’m out riding our local trails. Lowe Alpine’s Hydro waist pack includes a 500ml water bottle flanked by two zipped cargo pockets, big enough to fit my plus sized iPhone, wallet, some gels and a multitool. Wide straps and ultra light weight, this waist pack lets me be a Mat Rock on bike.
#10 Good old water bottles (you need bottle cage though)
You can always GO ENDURO! with just water bottles instead of using packs. Our road brethren have always survived with 2 bottles on their century rides, but then hor, it’s harder to find a 7-11 or a petrol station in the middle of Asrama. And if you’re carrying disposable bottles, don’t CB and litter the trails with them, k?
Remember, stay hydrated and here’s to happy trails.