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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-20-06, 10:21 PM   #1
BayBruin
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Tips for Commutting in the HEAT

Temps tomorrow look to exceed 90 and I'm a big guy that gets hot easily. The ride to work in the morning is no problem, but coming home will be a grind.

I know the basics regarding plenty of fluids (hydrate, hydrate, hydrate) but what other things can I do to make life easier?

In the past I have put my Camel Pak bladder in the freezer for an hour or so before I ride. It gets the water mostly frozen. I am relatively new to the commutting thing so I don't have the fancy (and cool, lightweight, breathable material) bike shirts.

Tips anyone?
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Old 06-20-06, 10:27 PM   #2
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You don't need no fancy bike shirt - go on over to Target or Walmart and you'll find polyester shirts that work just fine...I prefer the sleeveless myself. Other than that, just take it easy - it ain't no race.
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Old 06-20-06, 11:03 PM   #3
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Don't forget your keys at work thereby doubling your commute. I learned this Friday.
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Old 06-20-06, 11:18 PM   #4
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Coolmax do-rag under the helmet has been helpful to me this season. As for the "you don't need fancy <bike specific bit of clothing>" comments... well, you don't, if you don't need all the features (specifically the way bike jerseys are cut and cuffed, plus the pockets in the back are the key distinguishing features).
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Old 06-20-06, 11:29 PM   #5
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Thanks Guys

A friend of mine has some sweat band he wears under his helmet...he says it works great keeping the sweat out of his eyes and off his glasses. I am looking for cheap alternatives that work. Target polyester eh? I'll have to check that out. Tomorrow it's all cotton Ts.....
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Old 06-20-06, 11:39 PM   #6
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I would suggest against sleeveless shirts. Use loose fitting bright colored long sleeves.

There's a reason the Arabs wear something that resembles a bed sheet, they're good in the heat.
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Old 06-21-06, 12:12 AM   #7
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Just keep riding and you'll get used to the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter. If you complain about the weather you'll only feel worse. It's 99 % mental anyway.

Oh, lose some weight (if that's an issue) and you'll be cooler.
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Old 06-21-06, 12:17 AM   #8
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Chipcom is right about the shirts. I just bought some Target C-9 shirts and shorts. 14 for the shorts and 10 for the shirt.

Cool in a breeze. I really like how they stay dry feeling all the time.
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Old 06-21-06, 12:24 AM   #9
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Stay hydrated, and the rest is acclimation. I live in a place where the summers are typically in the nineties, it's extremely humid, and generally breezeless. I drink plenty of water, don't act like I'm Floyd Landis, wear my poly/cotton mechanics uniform to-and-from work, and I'm fine. Also, if it's extremely hot and it starts raining on your way home, don't be a numbskull and wip out some masochistic gore-tex jacket and pants, just relax and enjoy the shower.
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Old 06-21-06, 08:21 AM   #10
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id like to get a reflective shirt thats tech wick cause i would be a glow in the dark biker
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Old 06-21-06, 08:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayBruin
A friend of mine has some sweat band he wears under his helmet...he says it works great keeping the sweat out of his eyes and off his glasses. I am looking for cheap alternatives that work.
I have a DoWrap from Performance that works great--smooth all around the head. I have tried some other wraps and have not been happy because of seams being a bit too big to wear comfortably under a helmet.
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Old 06-21-06, 09:26 AM   #12
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Bay Bruin,

In our area you're dealing with a pretty dry heat. Keep moving and keep hydrated, and it won't be so bad. The breeze that you create helps to keep you cool. An extra half-ice/half water bottle for dumping on your head helps at the traffic lights in the sun.

Good luck!

Check out this thread for more ideas ...
99F + is here, so do you have any riding tips?

Last edited by kirkmuffin; 06-21-06 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 06-21-06, 09:52 AM   #13
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You don't need a shirt. Just some sunscreen. And something to drink.
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Old 06-21-06, 11:02 AM   #14
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Choose a route with trees and grass. Apart from the shade, the moisture evaportation from the leaves cools the air.
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Old 06-21-06, 11:05 AM   #15
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what helps me most is hydration ( I drink a bunch of water all day before I leave work), and I take Ice water with me on the bike, plus I go slow. go slow. Don't try to get a workout in the heat.
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Old 06-21-06, 11:24 AM   #16
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Its probably only a 5% or so change, but wearing white (or atleast avoiding wearing black) especially on your back should help with the direct solar heat. The worse the humidity is the less this probably matters .
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Old 06-21-06, 11:36 AM   #17
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Tips on commuting in the heat:

1)Dunk shirt in bathroom before you leave work
2)Dunk shirt/body in lade/faucet on the way home
3)find somebody who happens to be watering the lawn on your commute home if you're lucky
4)Have an extra water bottle with ice water in it that you can doss yourself before the big hill.
5)Mentally get used to it!

Jay
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Old 06-21-06, 02:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krazygluon
Its probably only a 5% or so change, but wearing white (or atleast avoiding wearing black) especially on your back should help with the direct solar heat. The worse the humidity is the less this probably matters .
Heh, good call, that's why I always buy white helmets. White jerseys get nasty too easily but light colors are the way to go.
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Old 06-21-06, 03:00 PM   #19
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Gotta second the 'go slow' bit. And as you approach your work place or home slow down even more so that you won't soak yourself with sweat the moment you stop moving.

If possible, plan a route that takes you through tree-shaded streets. I also find certain intersections can be much 'hotter' than others (no air flow and dark blacktop), and 2 minutes of waiting for a light change w/o a breeze can be really unpleasant. So I try to avoid those intersections.

Also, I apologize if this is too obvious, remember to use your gears!!!!
I have recently come to realize that several of my friends, who have bike commuted regularly for YEARS, are intimidated by shifting and never do it. I watched one in a triathalon, did great up to the cycling part when everyone passed her as she span at around 95 rpm going maybe 10 mph tops.
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Old 06-21-06, 03:55 PM   #20
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Heat just isn't an issue for me on a bicycle. It's a lot hotter in a car, until after 5 minutes, and the AC starts to cool things some. The combination of sweat and the breeze from the ride keeps me plenty cool on a bicycle.
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Old 06-21-06, 04:34 PM   #21
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My commute is short, so I ride in my work clothes. On the way to work, I take it slow, as others have suggested. Especially the last half mile. The strange thing is, I seem to sweat more in the mornings than on the way home in the afternoon, when I ride faster and it's generally 15-20 degrees hotter. Of course around here, it's not just the heat, but the humidity that's the problem. Humidity was 680 percent today.
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Old 06-21-06, 04:43 PM   #22
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Commuted for many years in Tucson, AZ famous for sunshine, 'warm' weather and low humidity (Yes, 117 degrees @ 2% humidity and I commuted). Had as many as 100 days of 100+ degrees in summer.
Loose and light colored shirt; wet bandana and wrap it around your neck; use a cycling cap under white helmet and wet that hat down. And you can re-wet things with spare water bottle as needed.
Keep a ridin'!
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Old 06-21-06, 04:56 PM   #23
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Know what your high temp limit is and skip that day. If your bus system has racks on the bus consider biking to work and bussing back.
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Old 06-21-06, 06:42 PM   #24
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For me, it's not the riding, it's the stopping. I can feel cool as a cuke on my route but the minute I stop --whoa nelly -- it's like my pores are squirting the sweat out. I try to compensate by getting to work a little early and letting the sweat-fest peter out before I have to go in, but it doesnt' exactly work. Even though my office has AC, I'm still spraying it out.
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Old 06-21-06, 07:03 PM   #25
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the average lately has been in the 90's. what works for me:
1.) plenty of water
2.) walmart shirt... not starter but the other kind (i think they are the best in the world and they cost 6 bucks)
3.) i bring second riding outfit for ride home.. riding shorts and shirt and socks... it is much nicer if your clothes do not stink and are damp before you even start (hte extra pair of bike shorts and one of the shirts i mentioned weigh next to NOTHING.) this REALLY helps me avoid saddle sores also.
4.) I don't ride any slower at all... the breeze from my normal speed (about 16mph or so on average) and the wind it creates is what cools me off.
5.) I have a bald head so sweat in the eyes was a major problem. I experimented with a few different headbands but the traditional tennis headbands do NOT work. they are too fat and simply uncomfortable under the helmet. I finally broke down and bought a couple of the $10 each headbands from my LBS. They are worth every penny. they are very skinny so it is not uncomfortable at all under the helmet and they do an amazing job keeping sweat out of my eyes and off of my face completely.
6.) you should always ride on the road in the direction of traffic for safety if nothing else (this is my opinion please do not argue with it) anyways, a big benifit of doing this is that you will get a nice breeze from the passing cars... trust me, when it is HOT, it makes a difference.
7.) I spent way more on my helmet than i wanted to... like 150 bucks. To my great surprise it too was worth every penny. it has twice as much ventilation as the average helmet and that makes a HUGE difference!!!!!!!!

there you have it. this is what works for me. I wish you the best of luck!

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