Mountain Biking and Heat Stroke

Last week, my wife, sister, brother, dad, and myself all mountain biked the Minnesota River Bottoms Trail. This is an amazing trail, and recommended to all. My brother, Trevor, and I had a great time trying out some of the jumps and twisting around the singletrack sections of the trail and lightening speeds.

We all had fun taking the wooden rope raft across mouth of Nine Mile Creek to continue on the other side of the creek. We were also impressed by the giant old trees along the path. It was a great time.  Jessica and I plan on going out again tomorrow. We have a couple trails in mind, but I am leaning toward the Lebanon Hills trail in Dakota County.

You can check out more trails in the twin cities here.

Besides the great time that we had on the trail, I had an interesting experience. I had forgotten my water, but figured that I was not thirsty, and could survive without (first mistake). After completing the approximately 11 mile long course, we were all exhausted.

Unfortunately, our cars were all the way on the other side of South Bloomington. So, Tracey (my sister) and I volunteered to bike back along the roads and get the cars (second mistake). We biked along 106th street almost the entire way back. The street has some humongous hills and no gas stations so we had no water along the way.

Upon reaching 98th Street on the extreme west portion of Bloomington, we found a gas station and bought some gatorade. I downed the whole 32 ounce bottle in seconds (third mistake). It was refreshing.

We then got a call from my dad, saying they found a ride home, so we could just meet the rest of the group back at his place. So, no problem, Tracey and I biked the rest of the way to the parking lot. I felt a little funny by this time. I did not notice that I had not been sweating the whole second part of the bike ride (the 10 or 11 miles back to the car).

I drove back, and upon arriving at my dad’s, felt very weak. I got inside and asked for something to drink. At that point, I could not move. Jessica and Trevor must have realized that something was wrong, because they told me to lay down.

All of a sudden, Trevor said “Why is he not sweating?” and they realized I was in shock from heat stroke. So they put an ice pack on the back of my head, elevated my feet and put wet wash cloths on my head and wrists. This whole time, I was unable to talk or really move. It was scary, but at least they knew what to do (Jessica Googled “Heat Stroke”)!

I later was told that I should have drank more water in small amounts (duh!). I should have not downed the whole bottle of gatorade at once, and I probably should have gone to the hospital. But anyway, I am happy to be alive, and look forward to going on some awesome trails in the near future.

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