Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Water Bottles and Me

Greetings Readers

I never got back to the topic that I was going to address about my cycling in yesterday's post. I ran out of time yesterday and I thought I was going to be able to finish up last night, but that did not happen obviously.

So, let me start off once more - Water bottles.

I have water bottles galore. I have pretty ones, ugly ones, everyday ones, plastic ones, metal ones, different shape ones, different sizes and ones that I absolutely will not use.

As you can read I have many categories for my water bottles and I have that many in my humble abode.

I will tell you straight up readers I only use "plain Jane" water bottles that I only purchase at the local bike shop up the road. Performance Bike water bottles. The type nor size does not matter to me. Some color does matter to me, but overall these are the ones that I use only.

I got water bottles from all the events that I have ever ridden in. And believe me folks I have alot. Not to mention ones that I actually buy that look pretty. Yep, you read that right I actually buy water bottles that are pretty, but to me that is one of a kind. Like the Tour de France water bottle (Yellow with logo) and the Coca-Cola water bottle (red).

I have water bottles that I have never, ever used packed away in a box. I have some displayed on one of my bookcases. Such as my Ironman Arizona Water Bottle and another Tour de France Water bottle.

I like displaying the water bottles so when I have company and they ask about those water bottles I can tell them the story behind that water bottle since I usually have an interesting story about something. And yes some events have pretty neat looking water bottles. And I will display them.

However, there are some pretty ugly or "plain Jane" water bottles that I have gotten from some events. I would not even consider displaying those things. Matter of fact, since I do accumulate so many water bottles each year I have to give away some water bottles. There is just no room nor desire to keep any more water bottles that do not meet my standards of keeping them around. I usually give to my parents or friends.

I know, I know what you are saying. If I have excess water bottles why doesn't he use them as his everyday water bottles. Again, if the water bottles are not pretty, then why in the hell would I use them. I do not want to display nor give the impression that using those water bottles are okay. When in fact, they are not. Butt ugly.

Hence, that is why I buy the Performance Water bottle brand from Performance Bikes bike shop. If not on sale then the water bottles roughly cost 4 to 6 dollars. I do not think that is much, but then I do wait for them to go on sale then I buy them for 2 and 3 dollars each. Which to me is more than reasonable.

Here is another fact - I only keep a set of everyday water bottles for one cycling season only. Any longer than that, in my opinion, is just disgusting. What it comes down to - A water bottle is basically the same price as a new bike tube and we are always replacing them. So, that is my practice to change those water bottles every four month. Excessive? Well, not to me.

Disgusting? Well, most cyclist do not use water. We have our own drink that we like to use. Powerade, Gatorade, Cyclomax, my "pink shit" (that my x co-worker aptly named by supplement drink), etc. We cyclist do not use water. Every now and then we will use water, but for the most part we have our own particular drink we use faithfully.

With that being said; after a bike ride, somehow the drink just gets embedded into the bottle. I am not sure if the plastic absorbs the drink. Anyway, I can not really explain it but even after you wash, bleach the bottle, the smell of the drink is still in the water bottle. That smell just does not go away for me. Granted, it is a smell, but I do not want to smell that smell in a clean water bottle.

And the other reason why I use the Performance water bottles is that water bottles get scuffed up from the water bottle carrier and/or getting dropped every now and then. Also, some how bike "grime" or as I know "that black stuff" gets on the water bottle. After a while that water bottle does show that it has been used and gone through a war or two. Imagine that stuff on my pretty water bottles no way. After a certain time, I would hate to throw that water bottle way because the water bottle is no longer clean and could not get any more cleaner. That would break my heart losing a pretty water bottle.

I try to clean my water bottles when I get home, but sometimes I do not until the following day and by that time the excess stuff in the water bottle has been absorbed into the plastic and well that's that.

I usually use the larger size water bottle as opposed to the smaller size. The main reason is that I do distance riding so I need all the water that I can get. It is funny, because when I start out in the morning all the water bottles on my bike are heavier than the bike itself. Go figure that out readers. Messed up, but I deal with it since I have to have what I want to drink and not run out or have to go to the store to buy a bottle of what I want to drink.

Also, a common practice of mine is that I will freeze some water in the water bottle so it will turn to ice then I will add my supplement drink later so at least the ice will keep the drink colder for a long period of time. Yet, not always since water does expand when it freezes which in turn makes less room in the water bottle for me to put my drink in the bottle. Yep, that is how closely I measure how much I am taking and not taking with me on my long ride.

I usually carry two water bottles, but when I go distance riding I carry four water bottles and then the water carrier between my aero-bars. However, if I am just biking back and forth from work or riding a short distance then I will not carry a water bottle at all.

The picture on today's post is of me taken by me last week or the week before when the morning was in the single digits and I had to detour to the light rail station. I was cold, cold and how in the world I got myself to bike that morning I just do not know. I thought to post since I am going to delete this picture from my digital camera.

Final paragraph, I will not use a Water back-pack on my cycling ride. That could be another topic in itself and I will not go into detail on this post since I have made this posting long already. Thought to mention this since I was writing about Water bottles and technically this could be something that someone brings up - what about water packs. Oh no.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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