Tuesday, March 8, 2011


In know when you ride a bike a bit you can begin to feel a bit buggered, especially after a hard days ride.  What happened to me on Sunday was just a tad different, but it was obvious to me that I was struggling from a very severe case of fatigue.

I had gone to bed about 1.30 in the morning and even though I had had a few drinks I certainly did not feel that I had had to many.  On Sunday morning I left Whakatane just after 8 and started the journey back to Auckland, as in my previous post I went past Rotorua lakes and into Rotorua.  It was here that I screwed up a couple of corners, nothing serious , no wrong side of the road stuff, but enough for me to realised that perhaps I was a bit tired.   This was not just a case of "not being in the zone", but a serious lack of attention.   When I got into Rotorua I had a coffee and some breakfast and carried on.  

About an hour later as I was on a particular boring piece of road I could feel my self all but falling asleep.  Now, I no enough about danger signs that I had to do some thing about it.  Seriously falling asleep. I had never felt that way before, not on the bike anyway.

I ended up pulling over and having a nap under a tree for about half an hour, once back on board the bike I travelled for about another half hour before stopping at a cafe and buying some water.  It had occurred to me that I had not drunk any water since the day before, alcohol the night before and a coffee in the morning would only add to the effects of dehydration.

And here in lies the moral of this brief blog, being tired is one thing , suffering fatigue from a lack of sleep and water is another quite serious issue.  When ever I have travelled with my partner they are pedantic about carrying water, and every time I stop it is shoved into my hand, so I never really think about it.   Hydration is not just for elite athletes.


  1. Good point. I haven't yet worked that out either and continually forget to bring water. Summertime here is unbearably hot and humid and I have a friend that puts her camel back in the back protector pocket of her jacket. Keeps her cool and the water near to hand.

    I have verily felt like falling asleep on the bike. It wasn't from dehydration tho. It was from sheer tiredness! Glad you took a short snooze. Those usually help.


  2. I am glad that you caught yourself 'in the act' before anything serious happened. I have had this feeling of fatigue once, and it scared the living daylight out of me when I was trailing off the path. We have to remember that motorcycling and being exposed to nature is much more demanding than driving in an air conditioned cage, and we need to keep our bodies in good working condition. Excellent posting!

  3. Sonja; It was the first time I have reallt felt buggered! It was very weird. I have learnt that common sense is a big part of being a biker.

    Lori; I would imagine you would have to be very careful in the summer, our summer has been the hottest for 100 years, and normally I always take water, for some reason this time I was just lazy and it didn't cross my mind. When you get dehrdrated you just don't think clearly.

  4. I'm often lazy with carrying water as well, but actually made a point of carrying some every day on my recent Snowy's run. What made me drink though was that there were so many bugs around that every time we stopped I cleaned my visor with a chux and my water, then had a good old slug on the water myself. Ordinarily the bottle would have just sat in the bag unopened.

    Interestingly, the guy who came down on day two of our ride had commented beforehand that he'd had a lousy night's sleep and I suspect that may have played some part in it as both Marty & I got through the gravel strewn corner without coming down (though with some drama).

    Cheers Jules

    Cheers Jules.

  5. Great reminder to us all. I think the longer we ride, we begin to get careless with our knowledge and experience. It's not like we don't know any better. We just have to remain humble in the fact that, as riders, our bodies are our most precious piece of equipment and we need to keep it serviced!
    (hmmm... that didn't sound quite right. lol!)
    But I think you get my meaning. ;)
    Glad your around to remind us.

  6. Lady; HAve to agree with you there, especially the servise the body bit! But you a right and this is what this blog is about a gentle reminder to look after ourselves.

    Jules; By nature I am a bit lazy to. I wrote this as much for myself as for everyone else.

  7. Glad you were aware enough to know to nap and drink some water. You still had some wits about you and that is good.

    I've never had the urge to fall asleep while riding my own bike but after a nice lunch and warm sunshine I have nodded off while riding pillion on Troubadour's bike and woken up when he's gone around a corner. That can scare a person awake mighty quickly.

    Glad you made it home safe.

  8. I forget to carry water as well, or carry it but forget to take a drink now and then. It's so easy to get dehydrated, and it can have a surprisingly strong effect on your overall well-being.

    Kudos for pulling over for a break. It's so easy to try and press on.

  9. Just back from my trip and I have to agree about fluids. I've often suffered due to not drinking enough. On the Southern Cross I've just about been drinking as much as the bike! 2L plus a day!

  10. Good stuff Andrew, I amlooking forward to eading about the rest of your adventures. Sounds like an awesome trip.