Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Sound advice for when the hot weather returns

From "Cycling" by The Right Hon The Earl of Albemarle, and G. Lacy Hillier, 1896.

A man need not become a teetotaler, or, on the other hand, take to alcoholic drinks, because he cycles. If he be a water drinker, well and good, let him remain so; he will ride a bicycle none the worse. If he takes a moderate quantity of beer or wine at his meals, it will do him no harm.

Excess in either direction is dangerous, and alcohol between meals is always bad. With regard to tea, coffee, cocoa, and such like beverages, experience must teach each individual what is best for himself. The great bulk of present-day riders are devoted to tea ; some of the best racing men even drink it at dinner, and it does not appear to do them any harm. 

No absolute rule can be laid down as to what should be taken to drink between meals while actually riding on the road. Some simple non-alcoholic beverage is generally chosen, such as milk and soda water in equal proportions, the juice of a lemon squeezed into some fizzy water, soda or lemonade, or mixed with cold tea without milk or sugar. 

Stimulants, such as brandy or whisky and soda and the like, are always bad, and should never be indulged in even if the rider be exhausted. He will be whipped up for the time, but after covering a few miles the inevitable reaction must set in, and leave him far worse than he was before. This rule also applies to long-distance races. Many a rider's chance in such a contest has been ruined by injudicious friends plying him with alcoholic stimulants. Great quantities of fluid should never be swallowed at one time. Such a practice spoils digestion, and does not effectually quench thirst. 

Drinks, again,should never be taken too hot or too cold, and it should always be kept in mind that "Quibus intumuit suffusa venter ab unda, Quo plus sunt potae, plus sitiuntur aquae" (The more you drink, the more you want).

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