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  1. #1
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    Riding in the heat?

    Its hot this weekend in North Texas. Its going to be 105 or so today. Im new to biking so a bit unsure what will happen. I had a gole to get 50 miles in my first week of riding. I have 7.5 miles to do today. Any tips to keep from blowing a gasket on the trail. We did 8 miles last night at about 100 degrees , I was fine but the wife was having a bad head ache related to heat. Also she is still having some saddle discomfort. Any advice for a newb?

  2. #2
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and then hydrate some more, before during and after your rides. make sure you get some electrolytes (although to be honest, you probably get plenty in your daily diet for the distances you're riding).

    Having the proper outer wear makes a big difference too. You need to be able to sweat and that sweat needs to evaporate post haste, so shirts or jerseys that wick your sweat away are good.

    I usually drink about 1 bottle an hour while riding but if it's hot I may go through twice as much.

    Another important thing is to pay attention to your body - if it's hot out and you stop sweating you're in big trouble. Stop and rest in the shade if you need to.

    As for saddle discomfort, that's a pretty personal thing but new riders sometimes just need to give it time and get accustomed to the saddle. Big fluffy padded saddles are generally comfortable for the first mile or so but can be a real problem after that.

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Add a pinch of salt to your water.

    Did a ride in 105* temps...downed one bottle for every 6 miles
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  4. #4
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    My experience with heat is that you need to get acclimated to it. And unless you are acclimated to it, you need to take it really easy. For example, I used to ride A LOT. I mean like 2 or 3 x 25 miles midweek and 75 or so on Sundays. I rode in every season, so as the heat increased over the late Spring into Summer and then Fall (our hottest month is usually October), I became acclimated. I could ride 5 hours in temps in the mid-to-upper 90s. Yeah, I drank like a fish and sweated like a pig, but never felt overheated.

    Then I laid off cycling for a few years, and got back into it riding kinda sporadically. Twice, I have overheated, gotten lightheaded and had to stop on rides. Once, I even made the 'Call of Shame' to have my wife pick me up 3 miles from home.

    Apart from acclimation, the other thing I'd suggest - in addition to 'drink lots' - is to take a bottle of plain water, and if you start feeling hot, dump some down your back. It's surprising how well this works. Oh, and have a nice cold bottle of sports drink in the fridge for when you get home.
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

  5. #5
    Senior Member Blue Belly's Avatar
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    I don't do well in the heat. I need to go easy til' my body adjusts. A week or two sometimes. Some people are better with it.

  6. #6
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    It takes a very fit and well acclimated cyclist do do well in 90F plus heat. Cycling in 100F weather should not be tried by less experienced cyclist, IMO. If you need to ride during hot weather, ride in the early morning and finish by 10am.

    I rode nearly 500 miles this month but had issues with the mid-afternoon heat when the temperatures went above 92F.

    As others have said, drink plenty of water or sports-drinks before, during and after the ride. If riding for more than an hour, carry multiple bottles of water or stop every 30 minutes to drink.

    Also be careful of skin damage from the sun.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    Seconding what TrojanHorse said. When it's hot out the best thing you can do is stay hydrated! Your wife was probably dehydrated, that's why she was getting headaches. When I know it's going to be hot or humid and plan on going for a long ride, I carry my Camelback filled with ice water as well as my two water bottles mounted to the frame. I ride rural roads/trails all the time and have been stuck in the middle of nowhere twice while out of water and no towns nearby. The first time I thought to myself "oh I'm only going 30 miles...2 bottles will be enough," well that 30 miles turned into my first [and so far only] half century and the heat index skyrocketed early that afternoon. Luckily I found a spring along that route where I could refill the bottles, which coincidentally was the best tasting water I had ever drank!
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  8. #8
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    I'll 2nd the if you stop sweating you're in trouble point. I don't have experience riding in heat, but even up here in PA, I have general experience with heat.

    At work, it is pretty much 105+ with as high as humidity can go all.summer long. Its been a very mild summer this year, but August is typically 115° at work all month long.

    That said, I'll 2nd the acclimate yourself to it as well. We went to Florida to Disneyworld back in June 2010. Record breaking heat. The coolest day of the week was 103°. My wife and kids thought they were dying. I thought, boy, its pretty hot down here. Almost feels as bad as work. I am use to the heat from working in it for the past 18 years.
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  9. #9
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    I recently found myself in this situation for the first time, yesterday.

    I've been riding for about 6-7 weeks and I've put a hair under 300 miles on my new bike. My typical ride distance is about ~ 20 miles. Yesterday I commuted to work for the first time (for time) and it was also the first time I had ever ridden between 11am and 5pm. On my ride home at 4:30 PM it was well over 100 degrees with the heat index and 85% of my commute is on black, unprotected asphalt.

    I was miserable by mile 7 of my 16 mile commute. Where I would normally consume a 20 oz bottle every 8 to 10 miles, I burned through both bottles in those 7 miles and still felt completely parched. Mostly because I was so overheated that I rode into a head wind with my mouth open.

    As others have stated, blitz ride with water. At one of the stop lights I ran into a guy with 4 bottles and a camelback, he easily had 150+ ounces of fluids on him. He told me that for his 23 mile commute he'd consume it all on days like that. Judging by how fit he was, how "fresh" he looked, I'd say that 6-7 ounces of fluid per mile was definitely working well for him.

  10. #10
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    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Pre-hydrate before you ride, and drink loads as you ride. If you don't need to pee, you need to drink. When you do hit the restroom, check the color of the output. Very dark = dehydration.

    Don't drink just water. You need to replace salt and electrolytes as well.

  11. #11
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    I ride year round so by the time the heat of summer arrives, I've had time to get used to it. I carry two water bottles and refill usually twice for a two hour ride when the mercury rises. Very low humidity here and since I don't really sweat that much I find that if I keep moving and use some of that water to keep my jersey and shorts damp the evaporation helps keep me cool.

    Yesterdays commute home. http://www.strava.com/activities/78796622 30 miles, 99 degrees, 100 oz of water (5 bottles), and a nice slow average speed of 12.9 mph.

    First thing I did when I got home was to drink a big mug of ice water, and then I refilled and drank another.

    Take it easy. Fifty miles in your first week seems like a lot. And as said above, don't forget that sunscreen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by softreset View Post
    Yesterday I commuted to work for the first time (for time) and it was also the first time I had ever ridden between 11am and 5pm. On my ride home at 4:30 PM it was well over 100 degrees with the heat index and 85% of my commute is on black, unprotected asphalt.
    Welcome to commuting in Sacramento. Sacramento has lots of bike commuters year round. I ride ARBT between Folsom and downtown Sacto M-F. I'll be on the look out for that Trek Domaine on the streets of Sacto during the week days. With the heat yesterday afternoon it was a little rough. Most days are much easier.

  13. #13
    Texas Tornado copswithguns's Avatar
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    It's 100 in the Texas Panhandle today as well. I took a new bike out for a 2.5 miler and downed an entire bottle in the 10 minutes the ride lasted. HOT!
    "Speed never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary...Now that's what gets you." -Jeremy Clarkson

  14. #14
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1242Vintage View Post
    I ride year round so by the time the heat of summer arrives, I've had time to get used to it. I carry two water bottles and refill usually twice for a two hour ride when the mercury rises. Very low humidity here and since I don't really sweat that much I find that if I keep moving and use some of that water to keep my jersey and shorts damp the evaporation helps keep me cool.

    Yesterdays commute home. http://www.strava.com/activities/78796622 30 miles, 99 degrees, 100 oz of water (5 bottles), and a nice slow average speed of 12.9 mph.

    First thing I did when I got home was to drink a big mug of ice water, and then I refilled and drank another.

    Take it easy. Fifty miles in your first week seems like a lot. And as said above, don't forget that sunscreen.
    I don't think your HR monitor is working...

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    As others have stated, hydration is the key. Take plenty of water with you and try and plan your route so you can get refills or take refuge should you be overcome with the heat. Try and head out early in the morning and finish up before the high heat hits, barring that head out as late as you can in the evening past 4PM at least, the heat may still be high but the sun will be at a lower angle.

    Someone above has mentioned already but when you get back home don't stop drinking till you can urinate, otherwise you are likely still dehydrated and going to sleep or laying down while dehydrated can be dangerous. Take a tepid shower on your return to cool off more rapidly, NOT cold and NOT full hot either, just lukewarm to clean up and cool off at a more rapid pace.

    Take it easy on the road, stop in the shade when you can and drink up. Try and route your path through more wooded areas if possible rather than wide open spaces, again, try and make your route accessible to water replenishment, either stores or service stations or somewhere you can stop and cool off and fill up on water. Avoid caffeinated drinks,stick with pure H2O, it's the best.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DiamondDave247's Avatar
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    This probably doesn't work for most of the riders here, but I have an outdoor thermometer I monitor regularly, and if it reads 95 degrees or higher, NO RIDING until the temps start to drop at or below 95. This temperature guideline works for me, but your number may be higher or lower, and humidity/heat index also play a factor. I think most riders become fairly good meteorologists after experiencing climate changes first hand. Best wishes and may the wind always be at your back!
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  17. #17
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    I was out yesterday and run a heart rate monitor. It was humid as hell, though only in the mid to upper 80's. My HR was 160 avg for a 12mph ride over the course of an hour. Be careful with the heat. Of course, I'm out of shape, but the heat is a big impact. I'd normally be around 150 and 13.5 on the same ride.

    I'd not survive riding in 100F right now for sure.

  18. #18
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Temperature is only one measure... the heat index is more important. I had to take my own advice today - it was 75 when I started at 6:30 am and by 10 it was over 95. I had to stop at a park and pour water all over myself to cool down, and I only had 5 miles left! I was dying though... ugh.

  19. #19
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    Another thing occurred to me today, which is the combination of wind and exertion. If you're climbing, you're putting out a lot of heat. If the wind is in your face, that heat's being carried away. If it's at your back, it's not, and it's not really evaporating the sweat, either.

    One hot day, I pushed too hard, expecting that part of the ride - slight downhill through a wooded canyon - would cool me off, but what breeze there was was at my back, so it didn't cool me at all, and I just kept getting hotter and hotter. With 3 miles to go to get home, and a couple short, but steep bits left, I stopped and made the Call of Shame.

    So, if you can, adjust your ride to put you climbing as little as possible, but with the wind in your face. Or, as I did a couple weeks ago, if you've got the wind at your back and you're overheating, turn around and head into it.
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

  20. #20
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    I planned to get out for a nice long ride to kick off September, but as I was getting a late start the humidity was already kicking in and even though I had plenty of water I ended up turning around after a mile. I had no motivation to keep pedaling, although its not as hot as a couple days I rode back in July.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Divtos's Avatar
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    Get out early before the heat. At the moment wife and I are getting out a little before the sun comes up and its beatiful and almost always the coolest time of the day. As for getting used to riding in the saddle its usually just a matter of time but you can try getting her a nice anatomically driven saddle from a company like Terry and/or try some kind of chamois butter. Someone here recently suggested udder butter as an even better solution but Im not sure how that will go over with your wife :-)

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