How The Heck Do I Get That From There: Biking Hydration Issues

Yesterday was an extremely busy day for me, I started out the morning at 5AM, ate and digested breakfast then went for an hour or 3 mile run.  During lunch I completed my swimming and to top it off, in the evening I went for a quick couple of mile bike ride.  A fairly full day! The more I ride Zero, my bike, the more confident I get in handling and pedaling the bike. Besides muscle endurance for pedaling though, I realize I have a few other issues to work out.

So far, I have not ridden for long distances.  But I dehydrate easily and have found I need something to sate the thirst.  Well there are two options when you are on the bike, the first being stop, get off the bike and take a drink and the second being drink while on the bike.  Well, I must be the most uncoordinated person in the world as I have not figured out how to master the juggling of steering with one hand and get bottle and drink with the other.  The one time I tried it last night ended with me in the bushes as the bike careened out of control. I was going slowly and it did not happen as nobody was there to see it happen.  I walked away with a simple scrape and long moments of head scratching as I realized I need to figure this out.

One solution would be to get a water bladder to wear on my back with a hose to allow easy hydration.  Not a bad solution  even though these are often shunned by the cycling elite, but, from what I have read, most triathletes use the bike section as a time to get some gels or eat some food. So obviously I need to learn the skill of riding with one hand and getting fluid and drinking with the other while moving at a decent clip.

Another thing to learn and to master, guess I will have to find a parking lot or deserted place where I can practice this till I get the hang of it.   Probably good to practice riding with only one hand for a bit till I feel confident in my ability to steer while doing other things on the bike.   Everyday there is always something new to learn and figure out. In my old life, the couch potato life, it was easy, insert but on couch… pick up remote and turn on TV… begin wasting away!  I digress…  Til next time.



  1. I recommend practicing anything new on the grass in the yard – you can’t hurt much falling on the grass. If the ground is too soft, often the case with a road bike, try it on a trainer in the house, where you can’t fall. You can get used to going through the motions without risk of injury. Finally, speed is your friend on the road. It’s actually harder to jerk the wheel when you’re moving faster. To start, stop pedaling and reach for the bottle, eyes on the road, pull the bottle, then replace it. Only when you get used to the reach do you go take the drink. Small steps first. Before you know it you’ll be reaching, drinking and replacing without missing a beat in your cadence.

    1. Good suggestions. Adding reach and grab practice sessions to my riding. Unfortunately I don’t have a trainer available, but I can at least practice one hand steer and reaching in an are where there is grass to break the fall. Thanks for the suggestions.

      1. My pleasure.

  2. trikatykid · · Reply

    I believe I wrote about this in the beginners guide to triathlon. If not, I need to add it. I was afraid of the water bottle at first. And now I’m a master but it’s taken a long time and diligence to figure it out and gain confidence.

    Do not buy the Camelbak. Bad habits ensue.

    You don’t want a lot of your weight on the handlebars. Tighten your core and keep the majority of your weight on your saddle. This will make letting go with one hand a little less noticeable in terms of steering. Keeping your eyes on the road and reach down for your bottle. Stop pedaling I you have to but keep moving.

    Practice this. Endurance will come over time. As will speed. And better fitness. But if you don’t practice the skills they won’t come.

    Hydration is uber important so you’ll want to prioritize this skill.

    Believe in yourself!

    The day I realized I could reach down, drink, and put the bottle back without thinking about it or stopping, slowing, or freaking out… I should have won a medal.

    Same goes for you. You’ll figure it out!

    1. Yes I will, I got time. As you know I use this blog to work out my issues and voice my training process and evolution. Good suggestions. I am sure once I figure it out it will get a huge posting on this site,just like the day I feel super confident about clipping into my pedals! The bike is my newest challenge and boy there are issues there. Bet by the time I get to next March I will be mentally a pro.

  3. I’m not training like you are…so I don’t have any great advice. 🙂 I do drink about 8 oz. prior to my 7 mile route…at the halfway mark I stop and put my feet on the ground and drink another 8 or so and then finish the bottle up when I get back to the house. Yeah, real exciting stuff here. ha ha

    1. I hear you. The problem with stopping is having to clip back in and the fact that I had to stop. Its a trick to learn. LOL

      1. ichoosetolivestronger · · Reply

        I can’t ever see myself being a clicker … but hey, I’ve already surprised myself being on this journey at all, so who knows?? There are about six of you that I follow closely and sometimes I think .. yeah, I can do that.. a triathelete, a major trail hiker and a spin class teacher, etc.. SURE ! Let’s DO this!

      2. You can do anything you put your mind to, you have proven that already!!!! The cleats can be frighting at times, but the power you get and the ease of pedaling without the feet coming off is great. Lets Do This!!!!

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