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Staying Hydrated

Often people will ask, how do you ride all day for weeks on end? Don't you get tired?

Sure you can get fatigued at times but ride fitness comes with time and you develop ways to manage your health on the road.

There are many elements to that but one of the most important is hydration particularly in a hot climate like Vietnam. By the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. Regular drink stops are a way to combat this but are not always conveniently located especially in remote areas. Some will take a bottle of water but it gets hot soon and not all that refreshing. Kept in an insulated bottle is better but this all takes up space and space when touring is a premium.

My preference is a waterbag on your back. Camelbak, as a brand, many years ago marketed themselves very well to make these popular with many different adventure sports men and woman. In competition or leisure, whether on land, water or snow you could stay hydrated on the move.

You might ask, is it that important?

In my opinion, it absolutely is. Being able to take regular small drinks keeps you fresh. If you become dehydrated your brain along with the rest of your body isn't working to maximum efficiency and just one bad decision on a motorcycle can have very serious consequences. Our job is constant situation appraisal and decision making and it takes focus to get that right consistently.

Cramps are also a result of dehydration. The two most common on a motorcycle are leg or hand cramps. Legs can be quite painful and hard to get rid of but a hand cramp at the wrong time can compromise your ability to effectively control your bike. A hand cramp cranked over at the apex is not ideal.

It's obviously hot at times here and although most of us wear airtech riding apparel we are losing more sweat than we realise. Water helps replace that but water alone doesn’t do the entire job. Particularly for minimising the likelihood of cramps we also need to replace salts. I use Oresol powder or tablets every day and throw in a Berocca for flavour and a vitamin and magnesium boost as well. Both available from any chemist and not expensive.

The water back bag itself starts under 1M with replacement bladders and hose around 400k if ever needed. If you've got a friend or family member into any type of adventure pursuit it might be a good one to go under the Christmas tree.

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