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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 06-25-09, 07:41 PM   #1
JoeyBike
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Tell Us Your "Tips and Tricks" for Hot Weather Commuting - Anything Goes!

I'll start it off with one of my many techniques for biking summers in steamy New Orleans...

I use a 24oz Polar water bottle (polarbottle.com) religiously when the temps crack 95°F sometime in May here. I fill the bottle as full of ice cubes as I can, then add water. No matter how hot it gets, I have one hour of ice cold water (with ice remaining) to drink or squirt on me.

Here is the trick:

Squirt a big mouthful of ice water into your mouth. HOLD IT there as long as you can or until your fillings hurt. Swallow a teaspoon at at time as the water warms up until it's all down. Be sure to lift your tongue a bit so cold water gets under it as there are miles of blood vessels under there. The cooled blood from your mouth will circulate through your head and neck cooling those areas several degrees. You will feel it working.

Every five or ten minutes do that again. DO NOT gulp ice cold water when you are overheated. That could start some nasty cramping.

My extended commute is about 15 miles. It takes about 45 minutes. I always have a little water and ice left at the end.

Add a second bottle for squirting into a helmet vent or down your neck if you are into that. I usually don't do that myself but I have friends who love that.
-------------------------------

OK...so what do you Sun Belters (and others) do/wear when the mercury expands to those sweaty numbers?

Last edited by JoeyBike; 06-25-09 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 06-25-09, 08:41 PM   #2
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I just wore a skirt this morning. I had a meeting across town that I'd need to bike to in the middle of the day and it was too hot to do it in regular office attire (jeans) and I didn't think I could get by going as casual as shorts, so I wore a skirt.

And I thought about riding slower, but, nah...the sooner I get to work, the faster I can get into the air conditioned building.
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Old 06-25-09, 08:48 PM   #3
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In hot weather I prefer to stay out of aircon whenever I can. The more time you spend in ac the less you are able to deal with the heat.

Make sure you cool off before having a shower. If you shower too early you will still be sweating when you get out.

z
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Old 06-25-09, 08:52 PM   #4
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Cheap spray bottle filled with cool water, spray arms, pits, chest, and neck when stopped (such as at a traffic light). Just don't spray your face (it'll drip into your eyes which is not so fun).

This is also good to have when you reach work and don't have access to a shower. Hop into a bathroom stall, strip, spray self, towel off (you should keep one with you when you commute), finish changing and apply deodorant.
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Old 06-25-09, 09:08 PM   #5
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I have a polarbottle and like it but I still prefer the old method of just sliping and old shortie cotton sock over my regular water bottle and wet it. Evaporation keeps the water cool but not cold. A splash on the chest and back from the bottle is refreshing, not shocking. As long as I can keep moving, I'm OK.

It's been 103* here for the past four days, however, the only time I suffer is when I arrive at home... I sometimes think I'll pass out before I can get my keys and unlock the door.

Mikey

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I drink water all day long, and lots of it, when its really hot out.
The spray bottle is a good idea...I think I'll keep one at work.

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Old 06-25-09, 09:14 PM   #6
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ride slower, drink water. I wore a cycling cap today, it seems to catch the sweat.

ooh, and it helps to work in a bike shop, where your boss understands that it's 90 outside.
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Old 06-25-09, 09:32 PM   #7
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I rode my Varsity Tourist today. It is a bike that inspires slow riding. 100 degrees today and I was a little sweaty but my wife didn't make her usual remark about me needing a shower when I got home.
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Old 06-25-09, 09:38 PM   #8
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When I was a kid playing golf I used to put ice cubes in my hat.

These days I put my big boy pants (shorts) on and just suck it up a bit. I actually prefer warm water - I don't gulp it as much.
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Old 06-25-09, 10:27 PM   #9
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Hot weather is when it pays to be a Tri-Geek and to have a few swimmable bodies of fresh water in the vicinity. Throw on some tri-shorts (which are indistinguishable from bike shorts except that they are good for swimming too) and incorporate a swim (long or short) into the early part of your commute.

Feels great and air drying on the way into work keeps me relatively cool no matter how hot is.

Since there's no lake right downtown I have to ride a couple miles out of my way to do the same thing on the way home. But if I have the time there are a lot worse detours than one that takes you to a beach.

Hey, you said anything goes

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Old 06-25-09, 11:52 PM   #10
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Hot weather is when it pays to be a Tri-Geek and to have a few swimmable bodies of fresh water in the vicinity.

Hey, you said anything goes
Man, I wish the water down here was cool. It's like jumping into a warm bath.

We have been rain free for weeks now so everyone is running their yard sprinklers. It's nice to jump up on the sidewalk and track stand under the cool "rain" or just stop and make "snow angels" in their wet grass.
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Old 06-26-09, 12:13 AM   #11
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Definitely a wicking layer between my head and helmet to keep the sweat out of my eyes/face. Any luggage is on rack or in saddle bag. I see commuters on 90+ degree days with backpacks I'd I'm like "WTF mate?"

Drink like a mofo.
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Old 06-26-09, 12:32 AM   #12
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Fill a camelbak bladder 1/2 to 3/4 full of what you want to drink. Freeze it over night. before the ride, finish filling it with cold drink. The frozen camelbak bladder keeps your back cool while thawing and gives you lots of cold drink.

And TheDL just thought we were wearing hot back packs.
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Old 06-26-09, 12:39 AM   #13
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I see commuters on 90+ degree days with backpacks I'd I'm like "WTF mate?"
That'd be me lol.
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Old 06-26-09, 06:04 AM   #14
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That'd be me lol.
Me too! CamelBak HAWG. It's not so bad 'cause I have the pack set up to touch my "belt" in the back and not much else. Hardly notice it's there.

I use panniers too, but people here steal so a stop at the store is so much easier with all my goodies in a backpack. Then load panniers with groceries/whatever for the last leg home.
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Old 06-26-09, 06:07 AM   #15
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I put my bike in the back of my HUMMER, crank up the air con to full blast, and drive it at 15MPH above the speed limit with my head out the window. (I do not, in fact, own a HUMMER.)

Actually, what I'll do sometimes is soak my jersey in water before I start my ride home. It's ungodly squicky to put on afterward, but it seems to keep me cooler.

And yeah, it's about the time when I'll mount my trunk rack. The backpack was a wee bit uncomfortable this week, with temps in the 80sF.
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Old 06-26-09, 06:33 AM   #16
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I just get on and ride like normal. I drink more water because i'm thirstier, but that's about it.
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Old 06-26-09, 07:21 AM   #17
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I must not be sensitive to the heat or something. I don't carry water on any rides less than an hour.

There are hotter places, but mid-90's should be the norm here for the next couple months.
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Old 06-26-09, 07:24 AM   #18
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I dunk my jersey in a sink of water. That trick has kept me alive on a many a hot day. If I can't do that, I pour a bottle of water on my head/back.
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Old 06-26-09, 08:09 AM   #19
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DO NOT gulp ice cold water when you are overheated. That could start some nasty cramping.
Correct. Your body tries to draw energy to your core to warm it before it can be used also.
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Old 06-26-09, 09:30 AM   #20
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I ride the neighborhood streets whenever possible, they parallel many of the major roads, have few cars and many large shadetrees.
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Old 06-26-09, 09:52 AM   #21
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My trick is to remember that I live in the pacific northwest and to be thankful it isn't raining.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:04 AM   #22
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I start actually carrying water at around 90*F. Below that, my ride is only about 40 minutes, I don't even eat breakfast first in the morning.
I just don't push hard when it's really hot. No real trick.
I actually look forward to 90*+ weather; I can finally actually get WARM.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:08 AM   #23
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I have a pressurized misting bottle, I forgot the brand name what ever it is that Wally world sold.
You pump it up to pressurize it,turn the valve, get a fine mist of water. Cools me down nicely.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:40 AM   #24
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This is timely as we went from "pleasant" to "hell" overnight around here. And, no, it's not a dry heat.

Thanks JoeyBike for starting this, and I can use your tip on the way home, today.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:43 AM   #25
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My daughter's new preschool is across the street from a Dairy Queen.
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