Hot Weather Riding Tips

With the temperatures getting into the hundreds here in Seattle, we’re following up on our post from yesterday on what to wear in the heat. This post will focus on hot weather riding tips. Last night, we raced at the local Tuesday Night Worlds and I had the “hot, go hard heaves” issue. Fully hydrated, rested, and ate right – it was just like 120 degrees on the track and I was near puking. Hugga was Hella Hot and just stayed on the wheels. Post ride I drank water, ate well, and chilled.

You may not race your bike in this heat, but just the same you can get yourself into trouble.

Hydration, Heatstroke, Bonk

We’ll avoid the pedantic local-news-type tips on the need to drink water, you know that. For cycling, your urine should be clear before the ride and if you stop sweating or get the chills during, it’s likely you’ve overheated. Best thing to do is stop, get into the shade, and drink water. We avoid sugary drinks in the heat. Drink one a few hours before or after, but during can get you stomach cramps right quick. We also eat light on the hottest days.

If you’re not riding more than 2 hours, you’ll have plenty of calories in your system.

You’ll hear Phil and Paul say this during le Tour, about how the stomach reacts to the heat especially when you drink super cold water or a lot of it. We just sip and frequently.

If you bonk (no more energy) get yourself to 7-11 for a Coke.There’s a reason the pros do that in le Tour and it has saved us several times. Don’t know chemically why it works so well, probably just all the sugar, but Coca-Cola has magical bonk recovery powers.

Gear

Go light as possible and get the backpack off your back. As we wrote, cotton and demin are not good in the heat and even worse with a backpack – your back becomes a sweat sink. Any jersey will do or something that’s light and wicking, like travel clothes. Light socks, lighter shoes and just overall less weight to pedal around.

Pace

Realizing many of you set a personal best with each commute, into the 90s and hundreds is probably a good day to just relax. We’re riding earlier in the AM and coming home in the PM to avoid the heat of the day. Also consider coming back on the bus or transit. Some cyclist do fine in the heat, excel, while others get the bad gut or feel like crap.

No need to test yourself on the hot days, let the Commuter Challengers pass you and focus on getting home.

What do you do?

What are you tips? Putting ice-cubes in your bottles? Wear one of those cool-kerchiefs – manpris/capris nonstop?

Update

Photos from Portland, where it’s also hot and the women ride in sundresses and Flip Flops.

102 in Seattle Ibike Pro says 102

Photos: Forecast uploaded by giggle photography; Manpris on bike uploaded by richardmasoner; sundress and manpris uploaded by cleverchimp.



2 Comments

Living in south Texas, I know heat.  One principle is easy to understand.  When the air temperature is at or above body temperature (98.6 F), which is not uncommon here, the breeze that you ride through will not cool you off.  It will actually make you hotter.  There’s no avoiding it.  I just don’t ride if it’s above 95.  That limits my rides, but it saves my old body from too much stress.

Also, if you can avoid direct sun, do it.  A brim on your helmet helps.  I tend to favor the trails on the hottest days, where I can find shade.  The roads can wait.  Then again, I don’t race so I don’t have a training goal.

Good point and I forgot about brims or visors. I didn’t have one last night, opting for a headband instead and that made it worse because the sun was blasting my eyes. Here in Seattle, we do get cooler air moving over us, and on the bike it’s better moving around then standing.

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