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Old 06-16-05, 01:37 PM   #1
alanbikehouston
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This past two weeks, summer weather has finally made its long-delayed arrival in Houston. I went out for a bike ride this morning at 7 a.m., and the waves of yesterday's stored heat radiating up off the inner-city pavement caught me by surprise. My neighborhood was above 80 degrees before breakfast.

So, I was thinking about an afternoon ride. But, I made a mistake. I went to AccuWeather.com to check the afternoon weather for Houston. Yikes. A high of 97 degrees (in the deep shade at a suburban airport). A "Real Feel" of 110 degrees (that is also IN THE SHADE, combining the temperature, humidity, and windspeed).

That makes the "Real Feel" temperature in the middle of a sun-baked inner-city street closer to 120 degrees or even 130 degrees. (The temperature reading on my patio at 3 p.m. "peaked" at 117 degrees.) You could fry an egg on the pavement. I think my afternoon bike ride is getting postponed to about 7 p.m.

So, if you want to enjoy riding your bike during June and July, stay AWAY from AccuWeather.com. Make your policy on knowing the afternoon temperatures "Don't ask. Don't tell". A ride in 110 degree weather is more doable if you DON'T know how hot it really is.

Last edited by alanbikehouston; 06-17-05 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 06-16-05, 01:46 PM   #2
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Heatstroke is probably also possible
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Old 06-16-05, 03:30 PM   #3
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I think I have gotten used to the heat and humidity combo. During the summer if it is colder than 75 inside I am cold (complete with goosebumps and blue tinted toes and fingers).

I am just glad the sun doesn't go down til about 8:30, still give ya some daylight time.
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Old 06-16-05, 04:57 PM   #4
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I think you can safely add at at least 10 "heat index" degrees to any temperature reading during summers in Houston. This is my first summer back in a while and I'm kind of enjoying it. I'm sick, I know.
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Old 06-16-05, 06:55 PM   #5
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we have the opposite problem here. The temperates for the past few days has been 20-30 degrees below normal (usually its supposed to be 70-80). Right now its 47 out there. It is odd, it was in the high 80's and even 90's earlier this week. Then suddenly overnight it drops into the low 50
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Old 06-16-05, 07:12 PM   #6
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water water water! Bring a lot of water w/ those temps and you could go biking... but don't over do the biking or like mentioned, heat stroke will get you...
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Old 06-16-05, 07:37 PM   #7
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Actually, if you bike daily, your body will acclimate to the heat AND the humidity. It won't keep you from sweating, but you'll be able to cycle despite it without undue discomfort. In industrial environments, this (acclimateization) is why the ANSI heat stress guidelines are absolutely worthless in the South. No work could ever get done if the recommended work/rest regimen was followed. Just start your acclimateization slowly, keep hydrated, and quit if you show signs of heat stress. You don't want to get anywhere near the risk of heat stroke! Also, make sure you (and those whom you cycle with) know the signs of heat stress and heat stroke. Keep a cell phone with you so that if you overdo it, you can phone for help.
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Old 06-16-05, 11:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarHorizon
Actually, if you bike daily, your body will acclimate to the heat AND the humidity. It won't keep you from sweating, but you'll be able to cycle despite it without undue discomfort. In industrial environments, this (acclimateization) is why the ANSI heat stress guidelines are absolutely worthless in the South. No work could ever get done if the recommended work/rest regimen was followed. Just start your acclimateization slowly, keep hydrated, and quit if you show signs of heat stress. You don't want to get anywhere near the risk of heat stroke! Also, make sure you (and those whom you cycle with) know the signs of heat stress and heat stroke. Keep a cell phone with you so that if you overdo it, you can phone for help.
I've been commuting daily for the last two weeks and have already noticed how much more I can tolerate the heat. I ride from about 10 to 11 a.m. and again from about 8 to 9 p.m. The temp and humidity are about the same, though it feels warmer in the morning because of the direct sunlight. I'm soaked with sweat when I reach my destination but it doesn't really feel that bad. And I used to be such a wuss, going from one air-conditioned space to another!
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Old 06-17-05, 12:38 AM   #9
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Years ago I did some ride in Iowa that was a double century over a weekend. This is IOWA my friends -- in the SUMMER.

First day: 95 degrees, 100% humidity, gray & blacktop roads.
Second day: 100+ degrees, 100% humidity, mostly blacktop roads.

By the end of day two, I had watched two people literally pass out & drop off their bikes, and my kidneys hurt so bad for the last 15 miles I thought I was in renal failure. But determined not to let the spousal unit do it an me not complete. I remember I didn't pee the whole second day & I easliy drank severl gallons of water.

Heat is no fun.
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Old 06-17-05, 01:16 AM   #10
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ugh.... texas humidity and associated sweat... the #1 deterrent to me commiting to all-bike commuting.

i'd rather commute 10 miles w/ 65* weather than 2 miles w/ 95* weather. maybe i should move to colorado or oregon
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Old 06-17-05, 07:02 AM   #11
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Its a little better up here (DFW area) but not much.
thermometer read 101* yesterday afternoon with humidity
about 35%.
No one has mentioned it yet in this thread but
don't forget sunscreen, its easy to fry out there

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Old 06-17-05, 12:07 PM   #12
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All you texas guys have to admit it really isn't all that bad out there yet. I rode after work on tuesday and it was about 95 but honestly, I didn't think it was all that bad. Of course, we rode at City Park on sunday, early around 8, and in full face and armor it got HOT quick but not terribly hot. I wouldn't ride around 3 or 4 when it's just dead heat outside with no wind blowing, makes me sick.
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Old 06-17-05, 12:16 PM   #13
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I have given up relying on the weatherman to help me decide if I am going to ride or not. I have stayed home from the club ride too many times because Weather.com said there was a 90 percent chance of rain, but the day turned out to be sunny. In the last ten years I have been caught by an unexpected rain twice.

Just ride.
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Old 06-17-05, 12:17 PM   #14
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I been to Austin during the summer. I lived just outside of San Marcos for three years. The difference with Houston is the humidity. When in San Marcos I was able to go with just a fan going, no AC. Down here you need the AC to calm down the humidity. I am not trying to argue that its hotter down here, just pointed out my experience.
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