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Old 08-05-07, 09:02 PM   #1
doctor j
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Handling-the-Heat Tips?

Our little group did 77 miles this Saturday over my favorite route over the mountain and back. I'm guessing the temperature was low to mid 90's with a heat index slightly upwards of that. It was mostly sunny and hazy with nil to light wind.

I made sure I drank a lot of "sports drink" and ate a goodly portion of granola bars, honey, peanut butter and crackers etc. to stay fueled and hydrated. Late in the ride, we stopped at a little fountain of sorts, and I wet my noggin and a bandanna and put the bandanna around the back of my neck.

I didn't have as much energy left at the end of the ride as I usually have. I didn't bonk, but usually I have a little more in reserve at the end of a ride than I had this time, which was disconcerting. I'm thinking more frequent noggin soaks and wet bandannas may have helped.

So, what things do you do to deal with the heat during a ride?
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Old 08-05-07, 09:08 PM   #2
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There's only so much you can do before biology and physics trump your attempts to cope. When it's hot enough you just won't have the same stamina, period.
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Old 08-05-07, 09:37 PM   #3
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Yeah, I think you can expect to have less stamina, especially late in the ride.

If I ride on a 90+ day I try to do one of my familiar routes, one where I know all the water fill ups.
I try to drink enough as to need a pee stop every 15 miles or so.
If you get in a bind, don't be afraid to stop at a house and beg, if you must, for water. Do not let yourself get dehydrated.
I'm not a morning person by nature, but I try to get an early start.
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Old 08-05-07, 09:46 PM   #4
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Today was in the upper 90's and stiflingly humid. I knew I had to do something different or really suffer. So I set the thermostat in Lovey's Pilot to 72 and just toughed it out.
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Old 08-05-07, 10:11 PM   #5
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I do pretty much exactly what you did. I may take it a little easier than usual and I'm not surprised when I have less kick left than usual at the end of a long ride in the heat.
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Old 08-05-07, 10:53 PM   #6
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I wish I could impart some gem of wisdom but, if there's ONE thing we don't deal with here on a general basis, it's heat

There are some pretty warm areas nearby but I don't like it, don't like riding in it if I can avoid it.
I did once and what i learned was I needed more than one water bottle, I needed to eat more and more often, and go easy.
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Old 08-05-07, 11:10 PM   #7
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You might consider having a/c installed on your bike. I did, and it's been incredible!
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Old 08-06-07, 01:15 AM   #8
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You can improve your ability to cope with heat in only one way I'm aware of, and that is to train in the heat. Here in central Texas, you simply can't avoid heat in the summer so you continue to train. It really works. If you only have occasional high temperatures, it's not realistic to expect that you will be able to perform as well. Do your best to survive (the things you already did) and live to ride a cooler day. I'd say you did pretty well.

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Old 08-06-07, 05:23 AM   #9
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The wicking fabrics for jersey's are excellent at assisting with the cooling. Yesterday I stopped about 5 minutes on a ride to say hello to some friends and (sweat will just puddle all over you if you do this) when I continued riding it felt like I had DG's airconditioning on the bike. The jersey was busy converting all that water into cool evaporation.
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Old 08-06-07, 05:52 AM   #10
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This weekend the temps were mid 90s and with the humidity the heat index was 105+ both days. Right now at 7:45a its 82F with the humidity at 83% so the heat index is 96. What I do is not ride more than a couple of hours at a time and go out at around 6:00p when the humidity is lower, the sun is lower and there is some shade to ride under. There is only so much you can cope with and at some point you throw in the towel and take what you can get.
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Old 08-06-07, 06:39 AM   #11
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Ride earlier when not as hot.
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Old 08-06-07, 07:09 AM   #12
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I learned on recent training rides that different people have different reaction to heat. We were on a Tandem and have about equal BMI. My system tolerated the upper 90's heat well (over 100 in the sun).
We did a casual ride for 50 miles. Some of the ride was exposed to full sun.
My stoker overheated and nothing could be done except to get her off the bike and cool off.
We are both in good condition and same age.
I did a full speed 100 mile solo ride the next day in about the same conditions. My speed dropped 25% toward the end of the ride. Drinking more did not help.
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Old 08-06-07, 10:08 AM   #13
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I did the Pan Mass Challenge over the weekend. Saturday temps in the mid 90's. I kept hydrated and every couple hours took a full water bottle and dumped it on top of my head. Let the whole mess drip down over me. I think it helped keep my core temp down, and except for being very wet at the end, handled the heat a lot better than I thought I would. Saturday ride was 109.95 miles. Sunday we did another 77+, but the weather was much better and I finished relatively dry....
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Old 08-06-07, 10:17 AM   #14
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I loves me my cycling sandals. Naturally air-conditioned. Great tan lines. Wonderful for wading in streams on a hot day.
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Old 08-06-07, 10:21 AM   #15
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Yesterday the temps got up to 97 here, with a head index of ??, so I rode for the first time with my new Camelback just to make sure I had enough water. (Hard core roadies can now take a moment of silence to express disdain.) I sipped water frequently and had a sports drink handy in my efforts to keep up with water loss. (I was aiming for a zero sum ride.) My ride was 40 miles, not much compared to some, but fair for me. Before I left the house I weighed to get my baseline. After I got back, I drank three to four glasses of water in succession, then weighed again before I showered off and I was still a pound and half lighter than my starting weight. Lesson learned--in hot weather you always sweat more than you think you do and it is easy to under hydrate, even when you think you are keeping up. I'm still trying to get the kinks out of riding in hot weather, since that is what we have more of here. It is a learning process for sure. I assume heat slows me down, but it is hard for me to tell since I am slow in all conditions. Here's wishing you a good ride your next time out. If it is really hot, expect an energy zap. Maybe plan an extra stop or two under some shade to cool down periodically. Heat can be deadly.
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Old 08-06-07, 10:36 AM   #16
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At my MTB race yesterday it was brutally hot and humid. It hit 100 degrees before the end of the races. The heat was a big topic of discussion all day. I noticed that while some people were destroyed by the heat, others seemed to handle it pretty well. Some people even consider those conditions to be an advantage because they can handle it better than others. My observation was that some people have a hard time because they don't adjust to the conditions by hydrating enough and taking it a little easy. But beyond that it just seems that some people are better suited to hot conditions than others. I can take it pretty well and have managed to do several long hard rides in very hot weather. Behavior plays a part and acclimation plays a part, but a lot of it seems to come down to your genetics.

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Old 08-06-07, 01:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soma5 View Post
You can improve your ability to cope with heat in only one way I'm aware of, and that is to train in the heat. Here in central Texas, you simply can't avoid heat in the summer so you continue to train. It really works. If you only have occasional high temperatures, it's not realistic to expect that you will be able to perform as well. Do your best to survive (the things you already did) and live to ride a cooler day. I'd say you did pretty well.

-soma5
When I climbed Ventoux-The temp was 85F. Hotter than I normally ride in but for about 3 days earlier I was going out in the heat of the day for 15 mile rides up steep hills to acclimatise and that was up in the 90's

Then on my big offroad that I used to do- We kept the water intake well and truly up. Energy drink in the camelback to keep up the Electrolites and extra water taken all the time. Those camelbacks definitely have their uses.
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Old 08-06-07, 03:47 PM   #18
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This stuff really helps me in HOT weather.......
http://www.bikeworld.com/products/20...nk-Powder.html
I also supplement the drink with the eLoad "Zone" electrolyte sustainer capsules. A bit expensive but, in my experience, they are well worth every penny.
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Old 08-06-07, 05:44 PM   #19
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17 mile ride in the 90 degree early afternoon today: Filled the Camelback moderately full of ice cubes and water. Finished the still-cold water just before finishing the ride.
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Old 08-06-07, 06:06 PM   #20
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When I feel over heating coming on, I dump a bottle of water on my head (make sure it's not the cytomax bottle). What I did this year was to buy a Halo skull cap. It keeps the sweat out of my eyes and keeps the sun from pounding on my head all day. Keeps me much cooler .
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Old 08-06-07, 06:48 PM   #21
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Well, I'm NOT doing long distance rides when the heat and humidity is that high, I save the distance and intervals for cooler days.

I also leave much earlier, doing 3 rides at 7AM and 2 at 6:30AM last week, doing the long 60+ ride at an easier tempo, with the 4 group rides being shorter then usual, but still fast enough.

Trying to ride long and hard on hot/humid days - when you're not lucky enough to live in SE Texas and ride all winter, takes too much of a toll that carries into the days when the weather IS nice and you've got nothing left. No point in that.

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Old 08-06-07, 06:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soma5 View Post
You can improve your ability to cope with heat in only one way I'm aware of, and that is to train in the heat. Here in central Texas, you simply can't avoid heat in the summer so you continue to train. It really works. If you only have occasional high temperatures, it's not realistic to expect that you will be able to perform as well. Do your best to survive (the things you already did) and live to ride a cooler day. I'd say you did pretty well.

-soma5
+1

I work in an unairconditioned machine shop, so I'm used to the heat, and have less trouble with it than many I ride with. I recommend taking shorter than usual rides in the heat until you are more accustomed to it, and build from there.
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Old 08-06-07, 07:59 PM   #23
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It's really quite simple. Get a white bike. White is easier in the heat than all those black, blue, red, green, orange, you name it bikes.
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Old 08-06-07, 08:04 PM   #24
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I love to stop and soak my jersey in a stream, or lawn sprinkler. When you put it back on it's like a portable swamp cooler.
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Old 08-07-07, 06:05 AM   #25
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I went for a quick 14 miles yesterday evening after it had cooled down to about 90 and the sun was going down. I drank about 1-1/2 bottles of water and sweated profusely. After I got home I was still thirsty. Then I remebered that I just bought a container of powdered Gatorade. I've never tried the powdered stuff before. I made up a quart and started drinking it. It went down well so I almost drank the whole thing. Then I went to bed.
All night and the next morning I felt slightly nauseous and kind of jittery like I was on a sugar rush. I've drank whole quarts of Gatorade before when I was recovering from a ride and it never did that to me. I wonder what it was.
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