Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To Camelbak or not to Camelbak..

That really is the question. Since it has been years since I have been into mountain biking I had forgotten what its like to have to stop to drink only to stick a sandy bottle into your mouth. Oh, the joys of crunching sand in your teeth never get old, but I am wondering if there is a better way? I used to have a camelbak that I would use on every ride. This seemed like the perfect solution since it is really hot here in Florida most of the time and I tend to sweat. The problem is, I have gotten very used to not having a backpack on when riding. Something about having a hot backpack on my back while trying to navigate tight switchbacks, or navigate up a steep incline, does not seem very inviting. Then again, neither does running out of water after an hour and a half. I drink - tons - of liquid. I am not exagerating when I say that I drink at least a 24oz bottle every 45 minutes or so.

When I do 3 or 4 hour rides in the summer on the road I carry two bottles on the bike and one in a jersey pocket. Oftentimes I will stop and get more water to make sure I don't run out. It may be paranoia caused by the very awful feeling of running out of water that causes me to carry so much liquid. Not long ago I was in the middle of nowhere with no water sources within 45 minutes in a particularly baking and treeless portion of western central florida when I realized I had no water left. Im not sure if either of my two dear readers have ever experienced the cold chill, exhaustion, and desire to lay down at the side of the road that comes from dehydration in 100 degree weather. If you haven't - don't. That day, thankfully, I found a house and borrowed their hose to fill my bottles.

So - all of this begs the question - why not a camelbak? I was looking at the Camelbak Lobo model:

Probably wont get it in eye-searing orange, though. Still.. I don't think I like the idea of wearing a backpack. The pros seem to outweigh the cons, though: No sandy teeth.. No running out of water.. no need for a seat-pouch.. I can drink water while moving.. Could I fill this thing with Accelerade? Should I fill this thing with accelerade? I love the caffeinated goodness of Accelerade but I like having water AND sports drink with me. Would 100 oz of water and 24oz of sports drink be a little ridiculous? They do have smaller Camelbak models. Maybe I should look into a tiny little 50oz model for water, then carry my 24oz bottle for when I take quick breaks. I don't know about you, but I find it very difficult to navigate through singletrack and pull a waterbottle out of its cage at the same time. I will ponder this a while.

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