Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-11-08, 05:32 PM   #1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
donheff's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
Bikes: Specialized Tricross Comp
Posts: 1,309
Hauled away in an ambulance

Well, I had an inauspicious start to the season. I went out for my first group ride today. It is described (probably accurately) as a casual, flatish route, with some hills thrown in for interest. From my wussy condition I would describe it as a rolling route with some moderate hills - just what I need to get in shape. At any rate, the ride started out fine, the first leg was about 11 miles to a brief stop to regroup. The second leg went to about mile 24 with a stop at a rec center. As I rode this leg I realized the group was probably riding at about 2 mph over my average. We looked to be averaging maybe 15 MPH. That is pretty mild by standards hereabouts, but my wife and I take our time and enjoy the scenery so I was pushing things a bit. 50+'s Grampster (tcl20010) dropped back to motivate me and his cheerful company kept me moving along. As we topped the last hill and entered the rec center I felt a bit tired but not too bad. I figured I would drop back and take the last leg a little slow.

Unfortunately, I sort of passed out at the rec center . So I sat down but the dizzyness and spots in front of my eyes remained. I was going to rest for a while and then continue on by myself following the cue sheet in a half hour or so. But after about 10 minutes with no improvement the cooler heads around me prevailed and called an ambulance. The EMTs said my BP was in the dumpster and they measured my pulse at 190 (that is higher than my max and I had been sitting for 15 minutes - I suspect their device misread, but I was way out of sinc). At the hospital they found me quite dehydrated. A bag of juice in the veins and I popped back to what feels like normal a little later.

The lesson for me is to build up slowly until I am in better shape and to watch the fluids. I will drink more, and learn about electrolytes -- even for short rides. The funny thing was one of the EMTs was back at the hospital a little later and dropped by to chat. Seeing my regular BP and remarking at the 24 miles we had ridden when he pulled me he said "you are in great shape for a 60 yo." I told him he should have checked out the bunch of folks he didn't have to pull - most of them were older than me and were barely breaking a sweat. Heck, Grampster rides out about 8 miles each way from DC just to join the group ride.

I plan to join this ride again in the future but I will do a little conditioning first. One episode like this adds a little interest to the day, a second would get old
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 05:42 PM   #2
Spokes man
Senior Member
Spokes man's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Memphis
Bikes: 2008 Specialized Roubaix Elite Compact, 2004 Giant Cypress, 1981 Specialized Sequoia
Posts: 246
Good cautionary tale . . . thanks for posting it.

Such a bonk-gone-wild could happen to any of us, and it will serve as a reminder for me to watch my pre-ride nutrition and fluids. Glad it turned out well for you.
Spokes man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 05:59 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hemet,California
Bikes: Giant OCR2, Motobecane Fantom Trail, Specialized Hard Rock, Giant Nutra
Posts: 621
Glad you're ok. Hydration is very important, especially when pushing your limits.
ad6mj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 06:05 PM   #4
Kurt Erlenbach
Senior Member
Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Space Coast, Florida
Posts: 2,423
HR 190? Holy smokes - my heart would be flying out of my chest at that rate. Glad you're OK - take up drinking next time (water, that is).
Kurt Erlenbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 06:21 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,955
Next time lay down (not sit) and put your legs up. I'd bet you would have recovered fully in 5 minutes.
Camilo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 06:21 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 4,866
Glad you're okay DH. Might be wise to run this info by the family doctor on your next visit...which should be tomorrow.
Louis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 06:21 PM   #7
Senior Member
doghouse's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Middle Tennessee
Bikes: 1974 Schwinn Super Sport, 2003 Trek 7500FX and 5500
Posts: 263
Glad to hear you are okay AND that you ride with a great group of folks who truly care about one another!
God bless you all.
doghouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 06:54 PM   #8
Jet Travis
Ride Daddy Ride
Jet Travis's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Villa Incognito
Bikes: 1983 Trek 720; 1983 Trek 620; 1989 Gi Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra; LeMond Victoire; Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro
Posts: 2,648
Originally Posted by Louis View Post
Glad you're okay DH. Might be wise to run this info by the family doctor on your next visit...which should be tomorrow.
Listen to Louis. I've never known him to steer anyone wrong. Except maybe the thing thing about pedal float.
"Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer
Jet Travis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 06:56 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: S.E. Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,737
I, too, am glad that it was nothing more serious & that you were with people who were thinking straight.
BSLeVan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 07:06 PM   #10
Let's do a Century
jppe's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Bikes: Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace
Posts: 6,484
My goodness-makes for a terrific bike story! Really glad everything turned out okay. Grampster rides tons of miles a year and I could see what a challenge it would be to keep up with him when he puts it in cruise control.
jppe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 07:10 PM   #11
Member in good standing
rogerfisher's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Madisonville, Kentucky
Bikes: Specialized Allez Elite
Posts: 38
Thanks for the note. How we tend to forget a simple thing like water. We all need reminding.
Again, thanks...and I'm glad you're doing OK!
rogerfisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 07:11 PM   #12
Red Baron
Senior Member
Red Baron's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: On a Road in Central Bluegrass KY
Bikes: Not enough
Posts: 1,249
Good Post DH - If I overdo it i get dizzy if i stand up fast , got it checked out (suggest you do also) Dr said my body telling me to slow down and RECOVER -

Good luck!
**Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**
Red Baron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 07:23 PM   #13
Mojo Slim
Lincoln, CA
Mojo Slim's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lincoln, CA
Bikes: 94 Giant ATX 760, 2001 Biachi Eros, 2005 Giant OCR2 Composite +
Posts: 2,229
Spokes Man said it -- a cautionary tale. Eat before you're hungry. Drink before you're thirsty. I appreciate your post. I think I might have just slunk away. Those of us on the 50+ forum might be in better shape than your average senior, but not immune to over doing it, ignoring signs, etc. Thanks again.
Truth is stranger than reality.
'96 Giant ATX 760 MTB
'01 Bianchi Eros
'05 Giant OCR Llimited Carbon Fiber + upgrades
Mojo Slim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 07:37 PM   #14
Senior Member ??
Beverly's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Englewood,Ohio
Bikes: 2007 Trek Madone 5.0 WSD - 2007 Trek 4300 WSD - 2008 Trek 520 - 2014 Catrike Trail
Posts: 5,094
Glad everything turned out okay.

Thanks for the reminder to keep fueled and hydrated. It's so easy to forget these items.

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
-- Antonio Smith
Beverly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 07:44 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 3,305
Glad to year you are OK, DH!

PaulH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 07:58 PM   #16
The Grampster
tlc20010's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: Eddy Merckx SXM, LeMond Buenos Aires, Cannondale Road Warrior 1000 plus a couple of comforts (Specialized Crossroads and Giant Cyprus) and a beater mtb for around town.
Posts: 657
You were doing just fine until we stopped at the rec center. If I had any sense at all, I would have been reminding you to drink more. My bad. Fortunately, the paramedics knew just what to do. A little D5W and recovery was on its way.

We sure hope you will come back to the Weekend Warmup. You add lots to the group. And keep drinking.....
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
--Ben Franklin
tlc20010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 08:03 PM   #17
cranky old dude
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,259
Glad you're alright. Thanks for sharing and reminding us all of
the importance of taking good care of the engine.
cranky old dude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 08:05 PM   #18
Senior Member
buddyp's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: washington dc
Bikes: derosa, bianchi, fuji, panasonic, jamis
Posts: 311
Monday the high in DC was 46. Today it was 82. Be careful out there with these sudden warm-ups. There's a good chance your body isn't ready for it -- I know mine isn't
buddyp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 10:12 PM   #19
Surly Girly
Yen's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 4,113
That must have been a scary moment! I'm glad everything turned out good. +1 on the advice to run it by your doctor.
Specialized Roubaix Expert
Surly Long Haul Trucker
Yen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-08, 12:38 AM   #20
Fred E Fenders
fthomas's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Again! Philippines & S. California
Bikes: Jamis Aurora Elite
Posts: 1,454
Glad you are OK and we all can learn a lesson!

PS: Glad to see you posting Yen - Prayers are still with you!
F Thomas

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
fthomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-08, 02:02 AM   #21
Time for a change.
stapfam's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
The most severe case of Bonking and dehydration I have come across. Hopefully it can be put down to that.

Don't be put off by this one event. Train a bit more-Eat better before the ride- and drink a lot more on the ride. So a bit more "Training" before the next ride.

Give it a week or so before you push yourself that hard again on a ride- but get out soon- get some miles in to check out no lasting effects- and start a bit of interval traing. Normal ride but find the last 200 yards of a slope and sprint it. Then fully recover before you try another one. This will get the body used to a bit more speed- occasionally.

Glad to see you have recovered well- but check yourself out before you go out with the fast boys again.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-08, 04:21 AM   #22
Has opinion, will express
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 14,566
I think the lesson is to not ride other people's pace when you know you might overdo it.

Group rides can be quite nasty in their outcomes when one concentrates hard on keeping off the wheel in front, maintaiining line, and generally keeping an eye out for changes of pace that rehydration is almost forgotten. It is *very* easy to leave the bottle in the cage because just reaching for it can put the bike slightly off-line. Plus breathing becomes so fast, that to take a swig can upset the rhythm.

A heart-rate monitor and check of average speed can provide good clues as to how hard the riding is taking one over the ideal pace, the HR monitor in particular.

Anyway, good thing you are OK, and will pay moe attention to rehydration on future rides.
Rowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-08, 11:03 AM   #23
The Smokester
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,410
Glad to hear of a positive outome on this. Maybe build up a little more gradually? Best of luck.
The Smokester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-08, 11:07 AM   #24
...into the blue...
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes: Thorn Nomad 2, LHT, Jamis Quest, ....
Posts: 434
I agree w/ Don that the ride is much more "rolling" than it is flat (though the worst hill is at the very end :-), and 35 miles long. Further, this ride occurred on the first warm day of the year, where the temp hit 82. Altogether all sorts of reasons to think that hydration was probably the culprit.
quester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-08, 11:20 AM   #25
Senior Member
Thread Starter
donheff's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
Bikes: Specialized Tricross Comp
Posts: 1,309
Thanks for all the well wishes. The doctors at the hospital told me to go over this with my regular doctor, as did several of you here. I will do that next week. I will also build up slowly and learn about nutrition and hydration. I recently got a heart monitor -- should have been wearing it. All in all I am feeling back to 100%. I retrieved up my bike this morning and was tempted to go out for a spin but my wife is having none of it. Instead we are going to the Air and Space IMAX out by Dulles to see Shine a Light, the Rolling Stones movie, on the giant screen :-)
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:29 AM.