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The Transition Smuggler out on the Fruita, Colorado TrailsLast week, we talked about the things you can do in preparation for riding at a higher elevation. This week, we’ll go over some things you can do if you find yourself in the situation of elevation sickness while on a ride.

If you’ve never been the victim of elevation sickness, the symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and a stuffy or bloody nose – everyone reacts differently.

Hydrate – this is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself if you get altitude sickness. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, your body needs more water than what you’re used to, so pack those water packs on every ride, and start drinking water if you’re feeling a little off. Hip packs are growing in popularity as the hydration choice for bikers

Take a Break – when you stop to hydrate your body, you will also be giving yourself a bit of a rest, which your body will also be thankful for if you start to feel sick. Elevation sickness happens because you ascend too quickly and you lack oxygen. By just taking a break, it will give your body the chance to replenish it’s oxygen supply a bit before you continue on.

Avoid Alcohol – if you’re already aware that you easily succumb to altitude sickness, avoid drinking alcohol. It decreases the body’s ability to adjust to elevation, so if you know you will feel it or have felt it during a ride, take it easy on the post celebratory beers.

Beer tastes good after a ride unless you've got altitude sicknessIbuprofen or Aspirin – these items can really help you if your side-effect is a headache. There are specific anti-sickness medications you can take for altitude sickness, but if your symptoms are pretty mild, aspirin or ibuprofen will do the trick.  

Altitude sickness can get out of hand and become a serious issue quickly. If your symptoms don’t seem to lessen shortly after taking a break, you should head to the hospital to get checked out. If you have any questions about local trails to help you get acclimated, call or stop. We’re more than happy to help you get all the things you need to have the most enjoyable trip possible!