My skills are improving.

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In my pre-road bike, pink mountain bike-only world, water bottle cages didn’t exist. To hydrate myself I would pull over to the side of the road, dismount, pull my water bottle out of my backpack or pannier, drink some water, put my water bottle back in place and then climb back on my bike and set off again.

Water breaks, at least on routes that I use frequently became highly ritualistic. On my commute home, for instance, I had three traditional stopping places. Taking a water break at each location wasn’t mandatory, but if I wanted to stop for water there were only three places I allowed myself to do so. My options were: beside the farm with the constantly escaping livestock, next to the field of friendly cows and/or just before the hill into town.

But the old traditions have been laid to rest with the arrival of my road bike and its life-changing water bottle cage. It is a magical device indeed, allowing me to drink water at will without the need to pause my ride.

On my first trip on my new road bike, pulling the water bottle from its cage seemed more life-threatening then life-changing. And actually drinking from the water bottle while pedaling? Probably tops the list of most dangerous things I have ever attempted in my life. I was certain I going to crash my bike, I was wobbling that badly.

Once the agony of trying to slide the bottle back into the cage without crashing into the nearest ditch was finally over, I made the executive decision that in the future I would only attempt to drink water on quiet country roads. That way, if I crashed, at least I would crash in private, with some measure of dignity intact.

What a difference two weeks makes! Today, I pulled that water bottle out with ease, drank from it without breaking my cadence and slid it easily back into place with barely a glance.
I am practically a pro.

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21 thoughts on “My skills are improving.

  1. Guess I shouldn’t tell you then that I sometime TEXT and cycle at the same time? Not often, but my balance is amazing… 🙂

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  2. Ha this is great. I reached a milestone myself this weekend – first time pulling the bottle out of the cage, drinking and putting it back in at speed! (30 plus kph) It has taken me a looooong time to get there 🙂

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  3. Really no bottle holder all this time?! Well you’re now one-up on me… no I’ve always had a bottle holder (actually got two on this bike… could have three but that’s being silly and showing off), but my bottle is a regular water bottle, the type people throw away after one use (except this one I’ve had a few years)… with a screw top – that’s fun to open and drink from whilst cycling, especially in thick-glove-wearing-weather, I can tell you!

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      • I’m surprised I’ve not dropped the cap once to be honest… or ended up in a ditch. (I got into the habit of not doing the lid up tight when I fill it, which helps, and it can be opened drunk from with just one hand, so I don’t think that mad really :D). But I think it’s still a good idea to time the swigging considerately, like not while in heavy traffic or approaching junctions, I think I’ve always been mindful of this.

        I don’t eat whilst on the move though like some, I quite like to be still and take a moment to pause and glance around if I choose to eat whilst out.

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      • I agree wholeheartedly, taking a few minutes to stop for a bite to eat seems much more enjoyable then trying to eat while on the road. Not that I have ever tried eating while biking before….drinking water is the only thing I have attempted thus far!

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  4. Pingback: How long does it take a cautious person to learn how to ride no-handed? | Bike Like Crazy

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