....is not fun at all.
Still, living in Florida, I suppose I should get used to it. Did 105 miles yesterday, the first 70 were GREAT. Took me a little under 4 hrs., which for me, solo and carrying all my gear, is good. The last 30 were the pits...took me 3 hours!
I started the ride at 4:45 am, so the first 4 hrs. were nice and cool with no wind. Unfortunately, by 9am it was in the mid 90's and the humidity was 75-80%. By 10am, it was 97 F. Those last two hours especially were horrid.
The weird thing is, I figured since I was slowing down sooooo much in the last 30 miles, I'd be fried for the rest of the day. I wasn't. Once I got home and in some air conditioning, I felt great...no soreness, headaches, etc..
I drank 8 L of fluids and ate plenty, and I had to stop a few times to sit in the shade for a few minutes and pour some H2O on my head/neck. I also slammed some V8 (in addition to my gatorade) to replace sodium and potassium. I think I was adequately hydrated and fueled.
Anyway, if any of you all have some tips on keeping the speed up in these conditions, I'd like to hear 'em. I've been riding monthly centuries down here for over a year, but the heat always murders me when it gets this hot.
Humidity is real pain especially when the temp gets above 90. I came from California where the heat was a dry heat and I could ride in 100 degree weather but now I live in Fort Wayne IN and today it was 93 and very humid and I sweated worse then I ever have in my life! It's suppose to be even hotter tomorrow; my commute is only 3 miles (I take 10 to 20 mile detours after work) but I was barely pedaling and still found myself sweating, walked to a cafe for lunch about 5 blocks from work and was sweating. I may take the car tomorrow and ride when I get home!!!
The heat will wear you down. It sounds like you did well enough with hydrating, did you drink about 24ozs of fluid every 45 minutes or so? and was the liquid at least cool? But that kind of heat will trash you. When I ride 75 miles or more I carry 60oz Camelback (Rogue) PLUS I carry 3 24oz Polar Bottles. It's very important to drink cold fluids to get your core temperture down.
I dilute Gatorade about 50% and freeze one Polar Bottle overnight (leave enough space for ice expansion), then I make up a pitcher of about 25% diluted Gatorade (I adjust for the ice later) and refrigerate it over night, the next day I fill one Polar bottle full of ice and the other 1/2 ice, I then fill my Camelback with ice then pour in the Gatorade. I then drink the bottle with the least amount of ice first then the next least etc. The ice in the Camelback actually last quite awhile and it helps keep your back cool, just make sure you blow the liquid in the tube back into the Camelback or that next sip will be hot!
Also make sure your wearing very light colored jersey's, white being the best for being the coolest color. I also learned from my Mojave Desert days in California that loose fitting jersey's were a lot cooler then the skin tight ones. I tried the skin tight ones here in IN vs the loose ones to see if the humidity would make a difference and nope, the loose ones are still cooler because the air is allowed to circulate better under the fabric. Also make sure you use a headband to keep the sweat out of your eyes. I also found that Sunscreen made me hotter so I stopped using that stuff years ago...BUT...if you fair skinned then your better off being hotter then risk getting skin cancer. I'm over 50 and haven't used sunscreen in decades while riding and no problems, but your results may differ! I do use sunscreen when I go camping and when I will be on or near water.
Heat = killer
Gah.. for anyone not from Canada you'd think the stereotypical polar bears and igaloos. Well I'm here to tell you tonights ride was just sickening. I checked the weather before leaving (I don't trust those buggers till the last minute. Thier forecasts are as accurate as a guy on a pogo stick shooting a gun) and the weather was clear for the whole night so I packed up 2 bottles of 10% frozen h2o and one bottle fully frozen got my night gear, charged up batteries, and helmet. I only caught the part of the weather report on the humidex and it was a sickening 44C (approx. 105F I think ) outside with I think 95% humidity. As I opened the door and stepped outside it was like going into a dryer vent.
I did a 50km+ ride in around 2 hours and 30 mins on mostly flat land. The first hour was ok but as I got near the mid point of the other hour I started getting a headache. The kind that wore you down and kind of took away half your awareness. Not sure if I was dehydrated or heat related. Both the 10% frozen bottles already got warm like 20mins into the ride. The frozen one I put into a old thermos bag which wasn't really insolated but still better then nothing. I should have used my old trick of newspaper wrap plus elastic bands to give it cheap but ok effective insolation.
Here's a tip for what I use. When grocery shopping get a few extra clear bags. I mean you're already paying for your produce but if you don't want to look odd by taking a few extra bags then put 2-3 fruit into each bag and then you'll have more clear plastic bags. Now freeze your H2O bottle over night. Make sure you leave a good 1 inch from the top for expansion otherwise like those twist open gatorade bottles (I know it happened to me >_< ) there will be pressure built up and when you're riding and wanting that cool drink and twist the top open you'll be in for a sprinkler effect. Anyways, get some newspaper and take at least 2 layers of newspaper and wrap it around the bottle. Put a elastic band on it. Now put it in the plastic bag and if you want put a elastic band on it (I do) so it'll be smooth when you put it into the bottle holder it will slip in easy. I used this method in the heat of the day with UV8 rating baking down on me and that bottle of ice turned to 80% water in about 45mins which IMHO is damn good. If you want it to melt quicker then take the newspaper off.
More later as I just got in and my headache is slightly disipating (sp?) with thanks to my AC. Need a shower. I may add more when I'm back.