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A Note On My Vehicle


August 2012

I drive a 2002 Ford Escape XLT 4×4. I love that truck. I love it so much that I put a new motor in it after I killed the first one (200,000 miles on a 4-cylinder in a big vehicle is pretty good). It has everything that I need and can get me back into the gnarliest brush to hunt in happy solitude. It gets almost 30 miles per gallon and it runs like a top.

Unfortunately, it’s also got a manual transmission – a stick shift. Now everyone knows that only real drivers truly know how to drive (and enjoy) a manual (snicker 😉 )… I loved the better, more responsive power in my truck – until yesterday. Even though I drank more than the recommended amount of water/Gatorade for a century (240 oz recommended, 280 consumed), I was still a little dehydrated when I pulled in. Not horribly, but noticeably.

I didn’t realize how bad off I was until I tried to get into my truck. First my hips locked up in a cramp, then my calf muscles – and therein lies a very big problem when driving a vehicle with a manual transmission.

Now, if you’re one of those people who despise fast food, please look away – the rest of this post will upset your sensibilities.

You’ve been fairly warned.

I knew my problem wasn’t fluid – I drank another 60 fluid ounces of water after getting to the car. The problem was a lack of salt and electrolytes… What’s a huge source of salt after you’ve burned almost 2 pounds worth of calories? A Double Quarter Pounder, medium fries and a Coke. I hate McDonald’s burgers nowadays but I needed some food, and fast, so I bit the bullet.

Halfway through the cramping subsided. It wasn’t a pretty solution, but it was easy and it worked. Unlike some, whose bodies don’t do well on fast food, I am not so afflicted. I can stomach a little junk and still feel fine…and it was sure nice to get rid of the cramps. I had a sensible, if huge, dinner four hours later.

This morning I’m still feeling it a little bit, but I’ll head out for a slow recovery ride to work out the cobwebs before my youngest daughter’s and nephew’s birthday celebrations begin.

I am a little surprised at feeling this one at all – there was a lot more climbing yesterday, but I recovered from my first 90 mile ride within 12 hours and I wasn’t near as tight the next day.

That will be something to contemplate over the next couple of days.


  1. Sandra says:

    Sticks rule. ‘Nuff said.
    (and yeah, hard to drive after complete ACL replacement, luckily that was my right knee. It wasn’t as easy when i had to replace two ligaments in my left ankle . . .)

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