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Riding in the Heat

by RL Policar

Summer is creeping up fast, I know that there will be occasions where we’ll be out riding our bike in 90-100 degree weather.

Heat

With that in mind, I found some great tips from About.com on riding in the summer.

Timing
Timing is the key to life. Summer bike riding isn’t any different. Consider planning your ride for a time of day where the sun is not beating down on you or your bike. Typically people who hate the heat and humidity can miss the majority of the sun by avoiding riding between 10 a.m. and late afternoon.

Location
Choose a path to go bicycling where it’s cooler. This is typically not the city streets or anyplace where there is a lot of traffic. The cars add to the heat and can make the air really awful to try to breathe in. You may want to choose a more rural route to ride your bike. This might actually mean that you drive your bike to the country before going for a ride. Similarly, riding in higher altitudes, like a mountainous region can bring you some much needed cooler air for your bike ride.

Clothing
While you might hate Lycra for fashion reasons, wearing honest to gosh bike clothes can be a life saver in the summer. Wearing clothes that actually wick moisture away from your body can help keep you dry and prevent you from drowning in sweat. Now, do remember that the idea behind sweating is also to allow your body to cool. So leave the sweat on your arms, legs and face for as long as is safe. (So use the back of your gloves to clear your eyes if need be.) But moisture in your groin area is a great way to add some saddle sore to your ride.

Hydration
You knew I was going to say it! But staying well hydrated is key to a safe and pleasant riding experience in the heat. Have several water bottles filled with cold water, or even ice only, depending on the length of the ride. You will also want to know where you can replenish this water should you need to do so while riding. Never pass up an opportunity to refill empty bottles, particularly in the summer. Staying hydrated will not only keep you cool but will keep your body performing at peak power and efficiency.

Be smart.
Don’t take stupid chances and ride on Ozone Action days or in conditions that are inhumane. Remember that even a minor illness can change how your body responds to heat. Know the signs of potential heat stroke and act accordingly should you feel ill while riding. Again a cell phone in your seat pack is never a bad idea.

Courtesy of About.com

 
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6 Responses to “Riding in the Heat”

  1. Randy says:

    I’m glad you brought this up. Heat injuries can creap up on you if you don’t pay attention to what your body is telling you. Most of us already know about this stuff, but people need a reminder every now and then.

  2. Nick says:

    Luckily, most commutes take place early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

  3. charinko says:

    I just realized that most of them who leave comments are, I suppose, RL’s friends or/and comtributors of the site and his wife, off course:)
    I don’t know if you are welcoming comments by others though…
    Anyway, I think your blog is great and enjoy reading it.

    BTW, my commute take place in the late afternoon and after midnight. I deal summer commute.

  4. RL Policar says:

    Char,

    Anyone can post comments, just like how you did.

    Dang man, midnight?

  5. Lani says:

    We started riding our bikes to school and work as of yesterday. The morning commute was great. Although going home was tough!!! I was able to leave work at 3 pm. Yup! I rode my bike at skin cancer time. My schedule varies daily, so the weather will be an obstacle for me besides the uphill route going home. I learned something new from the article. I have never liked sweating. When I do, I start wiping it off right away. I’ll have to re-train myself not to wipe the sweat off.(Yuck!)

  6. Hey Lani! That’s awesome! Congrats to you and the boys for venturing out! 3pm is tough…the lycra clothes help me out a lot…I was considering tackling a hill for kicks myself…it’s a little out of the way but I could use the extra kick in the butt. I am especially looking forward to the downhill after that uphill…whoo hooo!!!

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