Summer is definitely here. Yesterday, we got in the pool for the first time this season. It was a bit later than we usually do, but it took a long time for the water to warm up this year. Last year, during the height of the pandemic, our pool got a LOT of use. I think I got in the pool more times last year than the previous 10 years combined. I used it quite a bit for exercise. Our pool is 40′ long, and it’s possible to swim laps in it, but you have to stop frequently to turn around. It wasn’t until last year, when we acquired a swim tether, that I really started swimming a lot. Swimming with a tether is akin to walking on a treadmill. You don’t go anywhere, but you can swim forever, and I now feel like I’m getting real exercise rather than constantly having to stop to turn around. I’m hoping to keep up the regular swimming this season.
I get the feeling that we are near the peak of this year’s Brood X cicada emergence. They are everywhere, and I’ve been spending a lot of time fishing them out of our pool. Unlike some other insects, periodical cicadas seem to be completely helpless once they hit the water. They can survive awhile in the water, but they can’t get out on their own. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve rescued. Once you get them out, though, they seem no worse for the wear. They really are fascinating creatures. If all goes according to the grand plan, we’ll be out of this house before the next emergence in 2038, so this will be the last year I have to fish them out of the pool.
I went out on the mountain bike this morning. Last year was my first exposure to summer mountain biking in a very long time, and I forgot how much more I sweat on a MTB than when biking on the road. I think it has a lot to do with the nature of the activity — it requires a lot of short bursts of exertion, the speeds are slower (meaning there’s less cooling from air movement) and sometimes I have to get off the bike and push for short distances. All of that adds up to a LOT of sweating on hot, humid days, and last year, I quickly learned that a single water bottle was not sufficient to keep me hydrated through a 2-hour mountain bike ride. Also, when riding technical single track, it’s a lot harder to find opportunities to grab the water bottle and drink. Put those together, and I found myself getting dehydrated and running out of energy frequently. This year, I decided to start using my Osprey hydration pack in lieu of a water bottle, and it has been a clear winner. I can drink whenever I want, even through technical sections of trail, and I find myself drinking much more often and staying hydrated, and I can complete a 2-hour ride without pooping out and with plenty of energy to spare afterwards. Today, with temperatures in the mid-70s and the dewpoint hovering just under 70, I rode for 2 hours and went through 2.5 liters of water.