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Trailmix: Hydrate or bonk

Hydrate or bonk

Cyclists can dehydrate rapidly, and because they are moving through the air rapidly, sweat evaporation is likely to be less noticeable. Beyond seeing performance fall off, it could also be a setup for danger.

Donna Moore, of the Trek Bicycle Store of Clearwater and a member of the Suncoast Cycling Club, says performance starts to decline when you lose as little as 2 percent of your body weight in sweat. For a 150-pound person, that is only 3 pounds. Losing 4 percent without replenishing fluids affects performance significantly, and going way beyond that could eventually become life-threatening. If you sweat off 1 pound in 30 minutes of riding, you should drink at least 16 ounces of fluid. Take in 6 to 8 ounces (at least two or three gulps) every 15 to 20 minutes as you ride. To help combat dehydration, don't wait until you are thirsty, drink plenty before you even start. Be alert for any signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. If you feel faint, dizzy and your heart is rapid and weak, stop immediately, find shade and drink up.

Outdoors poll

New question: What is your favorite distance for a day hike?

• 1-3 miles• 3-8 miles• More than 8 miles

Vote at outdoors.tampabay.com.

File a plan on land before you embark on water

Before you take to the water by boat, personal watercraft, canoe or even kayak, remember to file a float plan with someone you trust. Write down who is on board, their ages, where you expect to go and when you expect to return. The float plan should include a description of your watercraft and what safety equipment you have on board. It's also not a bad idea to leave a copy on your dashboard so it is easily viewed from the outside. Tell the person holding your float plan to contact the Coast Guard or other appropriate agency if you don't return within a reasonable time. If your plans change, make every effort to contact the plan holder with the new information. The Coast Guard does not accept float plans.

Cutting through the jargon

Muggle: Chances are, if you don't know what a muggle is, you are one. In the high-tech, worldwide treasure hunting game of geocaching, a "muggle" is someone who is not a geocacher. The term actually comes from the Harry Potter book series, a muggle being a nonmagical person. Many geocachers will not attempt to finish a search for a hidden container, or cache, if too many muggles are present in the area. They fear that caches may be "muggled," that is, stolen or vandalized.

Score one for the cold?

After a six-week special season for harvesting exotic reptiles (which included several kinds of pythons and the Nile monitor lizard) off of state-managed lands in the Everglades area, the tally was zero. Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission believe the unusually cold winter may have killed up to 50 percent of the pythons, which are non-native to Florida.

People | Glen Pla

Age: 48. Lives: St. Petersburg, last 12 years

What I do: Creator, host of the bay area-produced Average Angler Adventures fishing show on Bright House Sports Network

Born: Tampa

Education: Bachelor of Arts from Florida State

Back to bay area: Wanted to write screenplays and act in movies and for television. Appeared in Dream Trap (1990) with Kristy Swanson. Eventually decided to turn his love for the outdoors, comedy, history and adventure into a TV show.

Start of Average Angler: The personality is 12 years old, the show has been on for 10 years now. "We didn't think it would last that long. The first few episodes, we were just going on the fly." Though it was definitely about fishing, Pla wanted to develop stories and plots along the lines of a TV sitcom for families, with some original characters and some Florida history mixed in. "About the third or fourth episode, we were getting more and more fan mail, and it just took off and lasted." They have produced 170 episodes.

How it's done: Just two others work week-in, week-out on the show: Jason Kitwood operates cameras, produces and does special effects; Wes Crowell, who has been with Pla from the beginning, produces and plays the recurring character C.W. They spend about two days a week shooting.

Why does it work? "I couldn't see myself doing the same thing. There are only so many fish you can catch, so you come full circle over the seasons. We wanted to reach the hard-core fisherman and his wife and kids, his grandparents … but maybe also people that are not hard-core fishermen who like humor and adventure." Characters such as Catfish Man, the Professor, C.W. and Count Snookula appear from time to time in scripted episodes. Sometimes there's a story with fishing built around it. "It's still around because of the fan base."

Future of the show: Look for more miniseries within a season, similar to last year's Riding the Bulls, where Pla tries to hook a bull shark in 3 to 4 feet of water near the Bayside Bridge. The next series will involve hammerhead sharks.

Most significant catch: In the second episode, Pla camped on Cayo Costa and hooked 38-inch snook at night. "We're looking for that TV fish. … That fish really gave me the confidence we could do this."

Biggest catch: 8-foot bull shark

Compiled by Rich Kenda, Times staff writer

trailmix

{outdoors-related bits and bites}

Trailmix: Hydrate or bonk 05/06/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 11:51pm]

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