High Altitude

High Altitude

By Paula Creamer

The ladies of Colorado WOW want you to be safe as you are riding in our beautiful, mountain landscape when you come to the 2017 Women On Wheels® International Ride-In™ to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Remember that you will be at elevations of over 5,000 feet above sea level. Many of you will be used to much lower altitudes. Your body and motorcycle can adjust to the higher elevations. Take things slowly and drink plenty of water to help your body adjust. Your motorcycle, if it has a carburetor, may act like it is starving for air. Well… it is. May need to tweak it a bit to allow for a smoother ride at these elevations. Other engines should adjust without much difficulties.

If you want to help your body adapt to the higher elevation and less oxygen, begin about 10 days to two weeks before you ride out to Colorado by taking at least 1000 mg of Vitamin C daily– chewable is also OK, and continue to take the extra Vitamin C while you are here. This helps your blood to build up more red blood cells to accept more oxygen. Your muscles also need more oxygen to keep you going.

If you have any breathing issues, it might be more difficult for you to breathe here at the higher altitudes. Take it at a slower pace and allow your body to adjust. Breathing more deeply and slowly may also help. If you are still having difficulties, there are Urgent Care Centers near the hotel or near wherever you may be riding.

If you have a heart condition, please be sure to get a check-up from your cardiologist before you come to Colorado. Also, please notify the Colorado WOW team at check-in so our nurses can be there for you should you need assistance.

You want to avoid getting altitude sickness – awful headaches, feeling run down, nausea, dizziness, lightheaded. Should this happen to you, get with a fellow rider who can monitor you and get you to a lower altitude as quickly as possible. Sometimes being able to lie down helps. Don’t forget to drink lots of water here. The air is dry and you may not even recognize that you need the extra hydration. Be sure to carry water with you as you are riding. Gatorade or powdered energy drinks are also good to have on hand.

I say these things, not to make you afraid of coming to the 2017 Women On Wheels® International Ride-In™  to Colorado, but to help you stay healthy, safe and to have a wonderful, fun time as you are riding here. Medical help is always nearby should you need it.

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