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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-29-10, 02:53 PM   #1
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Cycling in the heat

I don't know if it is just me, but heat gets me bad, I am in average shape and can ride ok, but in the heat I turn into this furnace and overheat super easy. I sweat like crazy too, so I always need to drink tons of water. So is this due to having some extra poundage or is it just genetic.. any suggestions? It does not help that I have really long thick hair (on my head har har). Seems to be worse when I am climbing hills, my face goes really beet red I noticed.
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Old 07-29-10, 02:57 PM   #2
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What do you mean by "overheat"? Do you mean that you sweat a lot or do you mean you are prone to hyperthermia and/or heatstroke?
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Old 07-29-10, 02:59 PM   #3
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I am with Aquakitty.
My head gets very hot past 90* in the sun.
I just won't ride past 1:00 PM anymore.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:04 PM   #4
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oh a problem i'd love to have unfortunately in ireland we don't get 'heat' think it can be genetic though cos you say you're in good shape. i'm a sweater too but not in good shape
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Old 07-29-10, 03:10 PM   #5
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It sounds like heat exertion vs heat exhaustion. How long have you been riding? What are your temps up there now? This time of year I would think 70 to 85, or 21C to 29C for Canadians.

As long as it isn't heat exhaustion and assuming other health factors not taken into consideration, your beet face and overheating will probably improve with better conditioning and changes to your weather. This information is useless if other health conditions are present that we don't know about.

Take it easy and keep up your electrolyte intake. If you have a problem with the sun, avoid the worst hours of the day. It is always a learning process for riders when dealing with the heat.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:11 PM   #6
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Heat drags the strength outta me. Last weekend was a perfect example. Saturday I got a late start, (@9am) riding dirt and pavement. Rode 2 hr 11 minutes 07 seconds. 19.34 minutes. I was dead for two hours. Temps ranged from 93-101 at finish.

Sunday morning I got out by 6:30, temps @80, rode 2.11.47, 40 seconds more by the 305. Rode 27.44 miles and felt great after. Heat is nasty!
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Old 07-29-10, 03:13 PM   #7
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I find I go through water a bit more, which isn't surprising, but the breeze tends to keep most of the sweat away until you stop, then it's ultra salty and stings the eyes! It also takes a bit longer to recover from a hard effort than in the cooler weather. I'm thinking I need to get some insulated water bottles, though, because even though I fill them with ice, the water is warm 30 minutes into a ride in this heat.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:27 PM   #8
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The heat has really taken a toll on me on my past two rides. Stopped to take a break last night after a small hill and really felt light headed and dizzy. I had drank about a 2/3 of a gallon of water at work throughout the day. I had two insulated water bottles mixed 50% water/gatorade. I just turned around a rode back as I did not want to be a heat casualtie.

The temp was 95 degrees with humidity it was 103 and the ride started at 6:00 PM
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Old 07-29-10, 03:37 PM   #9
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Once you get past mid 90's temps with high humidity everyone suffers. The body primarily cools off a couple of different ways - one is by pure convection - where your body temp is higher than the air, so the skin gets cooled down through contact. That stops working as the air temp gets higher than your body temp. The other is by sweating, which works through evaporation. That stops working so well as the humidity rises. Combine high temps and high humidity and your body loses it's most effective ways to cool off.

You can still do things to help cool off - make sure what you are drinking is cool (not so easy on really hot days, but filling your bottles with ice and using Polar or Camelback insulated bottles helps) helps, dumping cool water over your head and upper body helps too. When you are stopped, try to be in the shade, too. None of this will make you feel comfy on hot, humid days, but it all helps.

I also find that there's some degree of heat conditioning I need to go through - the only times I've experienced leg cramps were on long hot rides. When it first gets hot, I pay extra attention to how I feel, and don't try to push through fatigue like I normally would. After a couple of weeks, I can start going harder again. Of course we rarely get hot and humid here. Temps often hit 100, but with low humidity. When it's humid, that means the bay area fog has gotten past the Berkeley/Oakland hills and is cooling everything off.

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Old 07-29-10, 03:48 PM   #10
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I think it is normal to sweat a lot and need a lot of fluids. I thought that the symptom of heat stress was that you don't sweat.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:52 PM   #11
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Normally you will progress through three levels of heat injury.

1. Heat Cramps
2. Heat Exhaustion
3. Heat Stroke which is where you stop sweating

This is all based off my time in the military so forgive me if I have anything out of order.
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Old 07-30-10, 06:33 AM   #12
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In this heat I stop often and douse my head with cold water where I can. It really helps pull the heat out.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:34 AM   #13
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"It does not help that I have really long thick hair (on my head har har)"

That's funny, my head is the only place I don't have long thick hair :-) . If your dealing with the kind of heat and humidity most of the U.S. has had this summer then it's nothing to take lightly. I've been doing most of my riding in the morning and early evening when the temps are lower and the sun isn't beating down on me. Drink lot's of water, "Drink before you get thirsty" as they say. Did a little 3 day credit card tour earlier this week and was going through 1 24oz water bottle every hour and still felt dehydrated when I got off the bike. One of my co-workers who is very athletic and appeared to be in great shape suffered a major heart attack this week running on a day when the temp was +95 degrees and the humidity was through the roof.
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Old 07-30-10, 03:18 PM   #14
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Since I am a utility as well as a recreational cyclist I need to ride in the heat at times. I find the key is to slow down, drop to a lower gear and speed and take advantage of any shade you find.
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Old 07-30-10, 03:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Varina Drag View Post
I find I go through water a bit more, which isn't surprising, but the breeze tends to keep most of the sweat away until you stop [...]
Yes! Sometimes lately when we've been in the depths of our 85 degree heat wave, and I get tired of frying eggs on the sidewalk or complaining about how sweltering hot it is, I'll go for a ride, and cool off in the breeze I create. Then I pay for it when I stop. The hottest part of the day here seems like it's around 6 to 7 pm ( partly because of the angle of the sun, and partly because I work until 5 pm ) so if I leave for a ride then and stay out for an hour, things have cooled down a little by the time I get back.
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Old 07-31-10, 08:49 AM   #16
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Being well upholstered definitely can contribute to feeling the heat more than more slender people do. There's a reason why extreme open water swimmers such as Lynn Cox and Alison Streeter are well-padded. The first Swimtrek tour I ever went on, I noticed it was the rounder folks like me that didn't need to bother with wetsuits.
Make sure you get enough electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium in your diet through fruit and vegetables, especially dark greens. Magnesium, in particular, gets used a lot in hot weather to cool your muscles down. A magnesium citrate supplement with breakfast, say 150 mg, can keep you from being run-down and exhausted.
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Old 07-31-10, 09:44 AM   #17
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Powerade/Gatorade or some other electrolyte replace ment drink is not enough by itself for me. I HAVE to drink at least as much water as I do the "expensive stuff". I also notice that what I eat before and during a ride makes a difference. I have no idea why. For me, PB&J (the old stand by), 3 Musketeers bar and bananas really help - and that makes NO sense to me but it works so I don't worry about it.

I find that pouring water over my head feels like I'm wasting it. Instead, I wet a rag and stick it on my neck, do stuff liek "holding" my ice water/bottle next to my wrists during breaks or against my carotid (sp?) artery and a couple other similar things. Of course, shade is the key when taking a break - resting with my feet up also helps.

Shrug. Heat is a B**** and it's nothing to mess with. This morning the temp when I started was 81 and when I finished it was 90 and headed skyward. OTOH, the humidty dropped 10% (from 82 to 72) and that made things feel "like a wash" --- it was still freaking hot. Hot enough that 2 riders were being treated by EMTs/other riders for heat exhaustion at 9am!. Bailing out is always an option to be judiciously considered. Slowing down is my normal choice.
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