Ohh God it burns, when these little balls of salty sweat roll or drop right into the corner of your eyes.
It doesn’t happen every ride. Sometimes it happens when it hot, sometimes when it’s not. It’s like cancer or heart disease – sure there are things that make it more likely, but who is going to get it and when? Almost totally fucking random. We have all heard of that 95-year-old who smokes, drinks, eats bacon twice a day and hasn’t been sick a day in her life.
There’s just a certain combination of heat, humidity and wind that confirms every cell of sweat will fall into your eye.
My July 6th ride was the fucking worst.
Before it even started, I had acccidentally swiped just a little sun screen to get the burning going in the corner of each eye. In the first mile, every time I blew out, a stream of sweat would fly off the end of my nose.
By the 10th mile, the sweat didn’t make it to my nose. It nestled in my right eye. All these heavy drops would form on my forehead — 80 percent of them found my right eye. Another 10 percent fell harmlessly to the ground. The last 10 percent splashed in the middle of my left eye. I could feel and see them building up, clinging to my eyebrows and then:
Ohh, what a pain in the ass it is…”
Every 100 yards, I kept wiping my eyes, with my sleeve, with my glove. I even had a sweat band on my left wrist, but the angle was awkward, and it would only wipe the outside of my eye. The inside corner was on fire.
They say, “don’t drop your head and keep your eyes open”, and your eyes won’t sting.
“They” are full of shit.
That’s a recipe for giant puddles washing away the gentle tears and replacing them with dirty, salty, sweat balls. Balls that are closer to effluent than water.
Fat Biker Sweat
I know I sweat a lot compared to other riders. It’s part of being a fat biker.
I try shaking my head like a retriever to send the sweat spraying in various directions. That works for a second. Then the next line of sweat balls form on the ramparts and get ready to go “over the top.”
The Bear took me to spin class once. At the end, looking at the puddles below the bike, she said, “You need to bring at least 4 towels — this is embarassing.” I didn’t go back. Indoor cycling sucks.
By mile 15, a little dehydration had set in. The sweat beads were smaller. I couldn’t feel them forming on my forehead. Replaced by a dirty, moist layer that oozed over my face.
Rookies will get off the bike and wipe their eyes. That shit only makes it worse. Usually, it only burns for part of a ride. Eventually, the wind shifts or conditions change and the sweat rolls in a different direction.
Not this ride. Every turn brought more burn.
Mile 20, the sunburn was setting in. My checks and lips were “on fire” too.
I turned into the sun and there was nowhere to look that helios didn’t cover with a bright yellow and orange radiation that stung everything it touched: eyes, skin, even my hair “hurt”.
Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, I made the last turn for home. As soon as I got off the bike, I reached for a towel. I stuffed it in my face for 10 minutes.
The Bear awakened and came out and asked me, “How was your ride.”
“Ohh shit,” I said. “I think I’m going out earlier tomorrow.”
I did. Not a drop of sweat in either eye — who the fuck knows why…