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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 05-20-14, 12:49 PM   #1
JBerman
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Hot Weather Tips?

Outside of carrying enough water, eating enough food, any tips for cycling in the heat? Got a 200k Saturday, weather is listed as 99 degrees.
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Old 05-20-14, 12:53 PM   #2
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Sun block?

Some sort of head band to prevent sweat/sun block from running into your eyes?
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Old 05-20-14, 01:05 PM   #3
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that actually sounds dangerous. I guess suggesting wearing as little as possible is obvious? I guess you'll need sun protection, fluids and electrolytes like potassium, magnesium & sodium. take them the night before, morning before the ride and 1/2 way through your day and again when you are done. good luck, you must be a very experienced long distance athlete!
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Old 05-20-14, 01:15 PM   #4
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that actually sounds dangerous. I guess suggesting wearing as little as possible is obvious? I guess you'll need sun protection, fluids and electrolytes like potassium, magnesium & sodium. take them the night before, morning before the ride and 1/2 way through your day and again when you are done. good luck, you must be a very experienced long distance athlete!
Thanks for the tips! Not experienced, just started cycling in February, did my 1st century 3 weeks later... Did my 1st 200k last month, figured I'd go for my R12 so will be doing one 200k or more a month. I have 2 25oz bottles, considered gatorade but wasn't sure if that was ideal or not, as well as regular water, refills every 30 miles (or as needed).

I won't be racing, my pace will likely be 17 mph. I'll be riding with a more experienced long distance cyclist as well.

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Old 05-20-14, 02:05 PM   #5
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If it is an early start ride (5 or 6 am), ride hard before it gets hot and then dial it back. Secondly, you mention riding with experienced long distance cyclists.......be careful trying to hang on in the heat. Sometimes going a little slower might get you to the finish quicker.
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Old 05-20-14, 02:17 PM   #6
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If it is an early start ride (5 or 6 am), ride hard before it gets hot and then dial it back. Secondly, you mention riding with experienced long distance cyclists.......be careful trying to hang on in the heat. Sometimes going a little slower might get you to the finish quicker.
We decided on a 7:30am start, to avoid any dark riding. I didn't realize it was going to be so hot out. To keep with the spirit of randonneuring, I planned on riding rain or shine, so I didn't want to reschedule due to heat. Plus 99 is the peak, it will be 70 at the start, and around 90 varying from noon-5pm (peak of 99 is 3pm).

I think we will plan on riding quicker 7:30am until around noon,...then noon - finish will be slower since it will be hotter! I'm expecting around 10 hours overall including checkpoints/eating. It's just me and one other person and I think he is down for keeping it a casual ride vs a fast pace, if not I'll make sure to set the pace.
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Old 05-20-14, 02:21 PM   #7
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it's amazing how effective ice is at keeping you going comfortably. After years of resistance, I started wearing a hydration pack with I fill with ice at every opportunity. I got tired of running out of water on hot days and the ice helps a lot with keeping hydrated. Nothing worse than being dehydrated and not wanting to drink because the water you are carrying is hot. You can do the same with water bottles. I use insulated water bottles for the same reason.

I suppose it is possible to drink too much water and need electrolytes, but I generally get that by eating.

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We decided on a 7:30am start, to avoid any dark riding.
It's light out at 6:30 nowadays. I think I would rethink the start time. eta, I didn't realize we are 40 minutes ahead of you on sunrise

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Old 05-20-14, 02:36 PM   #8
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If you have lights, I'd start a lot earlier.....4 am. Sunrises at 6:30 there. First light is around 6.

I never figured out how to stay cool when riding hard in hot and high humidity like in Florida. Camelbacks with ice in them helps a bit. There simply is not enough evaporative cooling from sweat and to me that is the problem with high humidty cycling. I have seen riders stuff ice into sock and drape it over their necks. 99F with FLA humidity is reason to slow the pace a bit once it heats up. GL
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Old 05-20-14, 02:41 PM   #9
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Heh, shows how often I sleep in. Effects of working from home I guess. I didn't even realize sunrise was 6:30. I would of sworn it was 7:15ish. lol

It's an hour+ drive to the start, and I already gave the start time to the permanent owner. I'm already getting up at 5am to get ready/make breakfast, which is already too early!
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Old 05-20-14, 03:47 PM   #10
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I've done a pass climb on a 400k at 103. No biggie. You'll need more water than usual. I used liter bottles and drank almost a bottle an hour, plus at least another half bottle while stopped at controls. Endurolytes! I was giving them away like candy in Paris. Make sure you pee at least every three hours. If your forearms get dry and you suddenly don't feel so good, get in the shade immediately and drink for a while. I use a HRM. If my HR gets high for the perceived effort, I know I'm low on water.
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Old 05-20-14, 04:08 PM   #11
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check the 'thickness' of your cycling kit....some jerseys have UV block built in, which protects you to some extent, but light/summer-weight jerseys can almost look like a mesh shirt, depending on the brand. if it looks pretty thin/see-through, make sure to put some sunblock on your back, shoulders, neck. probably wouldn't be a bad idea regardless...
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Old 05-20-14, 05:30 PM   #12
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We did almost 100 km on Sunday. It gets into the low 90s here with high humidity in afternoon. We got started at 5.15 am. We finished around 9.30 am. I agree with those suggesting to consider a really early start. Otherwise, plan on a camelbak for hydration (with lots of ice in it), lots of electrolyte pills, lots of snacks. I think the number one enemy in the heat is cramps which is your body warning you that it is starting to shut down.
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Old 05-20-14, 07:55 PM   #13
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I forget to drink sometimes so now I make sure I watch the clock and drink water every 15 minutes.

I carry three insulated bottles. If too hot, I'll pour cold water on my head and since I wear a cycling cap when it gets wet I get a little evaporative cooling for my brain pan.

I'm also going to start using electrolyte capsules since I cramp nowadays.
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Old 05-20-14, 08:36 PM   #14
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People react a lot differently in heat. If you've been riding regularly and have spent a lot of time outdoors before you started riding, you likely won't have too much problem. The 99 degrees isn't a problem. But 99 degrees with high humidity could be a bummer, and I'd guess that's fairly likely in Florida.

My normal hot-weather routine is to wear a 100 oz Camelbak, put ice and water in it at controls, and have Gatorade and ice in a couple of bottles. At controls, we just take turns buying a bag or two of ice and split the bag two or three ways.

Some people like to sit in controls in the AC and cool off. I'm not sure why, but I tend to stay outside and stay hot, rather than getting cool, then hot, then cool, then hot. Maybe it's just mental.

They make various sunsleeves and cooling sleeves. Supposedly some of them keep you cooler, I don't know but what it's not just snakeoil, but anyway, they're an option.

One hot-weather problem is cramps. Take electrolytes (Endurolytes, Sports Legs, Gatorade, whatever). I've been able to do long rides in the heat using no electrolytes other than Gatorade, but then there's times it doesn't work, too. I've had Rolaids cure cramps, but not sure if they still make them.

One hot-weather aid is the "Ice Sock". You get the longest tallest biggest size tube sock you can locate and carry it with you as part of your kit, light and doesn't take up too much room. If you get hot, you fill it full of ice, tie the end shut however you can, and drape it around your neck. Feels good, lasts about 10 miles.

Sunblock is pretty typical for sun, whether it's hot or not. I normally wear a sweatband to keep sweat off my glasses, that's just personal preference as to what works for you.

There's no law that says you can't stop and sit under a tree a while if it's getting too hot. Try eating cold desserts at controls.
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Old 05-20-14, 10:44 PM   #15
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It's counter intuitive , but I ride with a light weight long sleeved shirt to keep the sun at bay, and I'll pour water over it to take advantage of the cooling it provides. I also wear a over sized bandana under my helmet to avoid burning my ears and neck, and again pour water over my helmet regularly. Oh and yes, my legs are fully covered. It works for me.
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Old 05-20-14, 11:16 PM   #16
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Outside of carrying enough water, eating enough food, any tips for cycling in the heat? Got a 200k Saturday, weather is listed as 99 degrees.
Slow down a little.
Keep pedaling.
Take a wash cloth and use it to rinse your face (and maybe your arms) at every control. This is mostly psychological, but distance is mostly between the ears, anyway.
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Old 05-21-14, 07:19 AM   #17
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the downside of ice socks is the potential for saddle sores when the water drips down your shorts. My preference is to keep myself cool from the inside
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Old 05-21-14, 08:37 AM   #18
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I never pour water on myself when on the bike. Where's more water going to come from? The team car? 3 hours between controls is fairly normal. Drink your water.
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Old 05-22-14, 12:24 PM   #19
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We decided on a 7:30am start, to avoid any dark riding. I didn't realize it was going to be so hot out. To keep with the spirit of randonneuring, I planned on riding rain or shine, so I didn't want to reschedule due to heat. Plus 99 is the peak, it will be 70 at the start, and around 90 varying from noon-5pm (peak of 99 is 3pm).

I think we will plan on riding quicker 7:30am until around noon,...then noon - finish will be slower since it will be hotter! I'm expecting around 10 hours overall including checkpoints/eating. It's just me and one other person and I think he is down for keeping it a casual ride vs a fast pace, if not I'll make sure to set the pace.
Lot's of good advice in this thread but since I assume this is your first 200K with this type of heat I'd be careful in assuming you can do it in 10 hours. In other words, don't push yourself. I've done 200K rides in temps of 98-100 with high humidity near the gulf coast and high winds. That combination can really sap your energy. It is possible to over hydrate in those conditions (I'm speaking from experience) and not eat enough, because you can't take in any more. Make yourself eat enough calories even though you don't feel like it.

I've done several century or longer rides in temps of 110+ plus with lower humidity. A couple of those rides were with temps of 115+. Two of those rides were 150 milers in one day. For me, it was easier to cool down during those rides if needed by taking a rest in the shade because the humidity was "reasonable" and the winds were not howling. You can't hide from humidity it is always there!

Good luck and hopefully the wind will not be an issue you have to deal with like it almost always is where I live....winds sustained 25+ and up to 40 mph and higher gusts for us can be considered the norm for a large portion of the year. Yes, we don't have any hills/mountains. I ride those when I go out of town for rides.
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Old 05-23-14, 11:21 AM   #20
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Thanks for the replies everyone, your tips definitely helped and I'll be incorporating some of them! Wind should be very low, humidity is around 50%. I'm excited for my second 200k. I'll update tomorrow evening to let everyone know how it went!
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Old 05-23-14, 01:15 PM   #21
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When road biking, I am at my happiest moments when the temps are over 100-F with even hotter humidity! I absolutely hate cold weather... I'd burn tire after tire if I thought global warming could really be possible... Anything under 85-F is just too cold...

As for riding on hot days, I dress down... bike shorts (as a tall person shorts are quite short on me which is nice on hot days), sleeveless bike jersey, ankle socks or no socks with my "clip less" shoes and that is pretty much it I bought these $1 head bands from Walmart that work really well on sweat. I take two bottles, one with water, one with gatorade and I take cliff-bars and GU with me for fuel.

Don't get in a hurry on hot days! That is the key! Getting into a hurry could mean dehydration really quick.

Of course... I was in a biathlon once on a hot day (run and bike), I ran 3.1 miles and then jumped on the bike and did 18 miles, during the transition, I didn't drink any water and after a couple of miles I went into dehydration mode... started dry heaving and all that, it was horrible and painful! I was a baby cyclist though so I guess I had to get some school of hard knocks for a change... But I did finish it and get second place in my age group which excited the hell outta me! Its a great race if any of you are ever in southern Illinois - Union County Colorfest Biathlon

Drink water and drink when you're not thirsty, too! I think that is one of the best ways to deal with a hot day... Try having full firefighter gear on in the hot temps and around hot fire at that, you realize how important water is at that point
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Old 05-23-14, 02:35 PM   #22
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don't forget you can take 13 1/2 hours
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Old 05-23-14, 05:15 PM   #23
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Ride in the shade. Sounds a bit silly, but make an effort to move into shade whenever you can. Even mottled, or broken shade provided by trees or buildings can be helpful in reducing the overall or total exposure to the sun. It's one reason why a very early start also is useful.
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Old 05-25-14, 04:23 AM   #24
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Ride in the shade. Sounds a bit silly, but make an effort to move into shade whenever you can. Even mottled, or broken shade provided by trees or buildings can be helpful in reducing the overall or total exposure to the sun. It's one reason why a very early start also is useful.
I REALLY wish I had shade. This very cruel route had virtually NO shade. When there was (at the end), it made a HUGE difference. The other 200k I did was almost all shaded. Yesterday was an incredibly brutal ride, much harder than I expected. I ended up getting extra water and certainly took advantage of soaking myself here and there a little bit which was a big booster. I was slow but I did finish. 8 hours 29 minutes riding time, 11 hours 11 minutes overall. 15.8 avg mph. 127 miles turned into 133 due to a couple stupid getting lost detours. I was hoping for a 10 hour overall but wasn't going to kill myself. Took a bunch of breaks (extended at controls), had a flat front tire which ate up a few minutes.

Thanks again everyone for the tips, they certainly helped! I'm happy I finished my second 200k (R2 now, 10 to go!). Just under 3 months of cycling in to date! I look forward to being better conditioned. The guy I rode with didn't struggle even a little, the heat didn't phase him. I don't understand how he didn't drink hardly any water. I must of had 5x what he had. I am glad he didn't mind me setting the pace the whole way since I was going slower than he normally would (I missed being able to draft like I do on my group rides though!).

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Old 05-27-14, 12:24 PM   #25
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Try The Right Stuff. It is extremely high in Sodium. Please read the website, and be safe. That being said, I live in south Florida, where even now in May it is hot and the humidity is high. I ride 200 miles per week, doing 40-65 miles at a time. Leaving early is important, but we do high cadence and 21-26 mph average, so sweating a lot is a given. My first 24 oz bottle is The Right Stuff, following that I use plain water, GU Electrolyte, and GU gel. Fortunately we ride along the ocean on a good paved road. Along the road are plenty of cold fresh water fountains, so access to water is not a problem. Just need to carry the mix. Prior to riding I drink 48 oz and have either oatmeal and fruit or plain nonfat yoghurt with fruit and a flat-bread with organic peanut butter. It works for me. After cycling I drink a glass of Muscle Milk or 2% chocolate milk, one slice turkey sandwich and fruit.

FYI, I just ran across this: Make Your Own Electrolyte Energy Drink | Everyday Roots

Think I am going to try it. Particularly since I have coconut palm, orange, grapfruit, and lime trees in my backyard.

Good Luck!

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