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Old 08-06-10, 02:01 PM   #1
BestSportEver
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Touring in the heat. . .

It may have been covered, but I am heading out on my second 250mile tour and the temp is supposed to stay in the high 90s with 100+ heat index every day (also 80% humidity or better). I plan on riding early in the day, but I really wanted to ride 50-60 miles per day and I just don't see that happening with the temp that high. Has anyone toured in high heat and what advice do you have?
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Old 08-06-10, 02:13 PM   #2
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Extra water bottles bungied with your tent.

Stop in towns and top off water at every opportunity. If you must detour to create such opportunities, do so.

Check your urine. If it's a dark yellow, drink more.

There's no law against siesta on tour. 5 pm is a beautiful time of day to ride.
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Old 08-06-10, 02:14 PM   #3
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Oh, yeah, and wear sunscreen. When you burn, you get dehydrated quicker as your body tries to repair the damage.
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Old 08-06-10, 02:16 PM   #4
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Toured across TX, AZ last August.
We would leave early like 5 AM .
Be off the road before 12 N.

You need lights to do that.
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Old 08-06-10, 03:03 PM   #5
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Good suggestions. I think I will leave about 6:30Am and stop by 11 or noon. As for the sunscreen, I learned my lesson about a week ago and I am currently recovering from a terrible, terrible sun burn. I usually carry enough water that I don't have to stop that often (two water bottles and a 3L camelbak). Thanks for the input, any other suggestions are welcome.
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Old 08-06-10, 03:10 PM   #6
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You can get into trouble fast if the heat jumps up while your riding.

Did a tour two years ago in The Big Bend, Texas.
We set up the tents then,
Decided to ride to the Rio Grande River, just 18 miles away.
Drank one bottle every 6 miles.
One rider crashed, we had a sag car that saved us.
None of us were able to ride the bikes back to the camp site.
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Old 08-06-10, 03:12 PM   #7
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I carry a thermometer on my handle bars.
You can get one at auto supply stores for about $5.
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Old 08-06-10, 04:53 PM   #8
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I wear one of those funny cycling hats,so when it's blazing out,(So Cal deserts) I like to wet my hat and use a wet bandana around my neck.That has helped me keep my overall body temps down.

I also drink water like a fish,I amaze myself sometimes how much water I can drink on real hot days.If I don't drink enough,I'll get cramps in my legs at night.
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Old 08-06-10, 05:26 PM   #9
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Take a tour some where cooler? its been 50-60 out on the coast all summer, overcast, occasional sunny days, a handfull..
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Old 08-06-10, 05:34 PM   #10
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Finding cooler places is getting harder... July 2010 was the hottest July that has ever been recorded in the entire history of the Earth.
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Old 08-06-10, 05:55 PM   #11
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Ride early in the day and late into the evening to beat the heat. However choose your roads carefully those seem to be the worst times of day to ride for visibility and safety. Lots of water and don't hesitate to cut the day short if you don't feel good.

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Old 08-06-10, 06:57 PM   #12
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I have had a couple roadies tell me to stuf one leg of a panty hose full of ice and put it in the back of my jersey to keep the body temp down. It wouldn't be something I could maintain, but I will be passing by some small towns at least two times per day. What do you guys think about this? Anyone tried anything like this?
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Old 08-06-10, 08:35 PM   #13
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I take 1 or 2 doses of Gastrolyte at the end of the day to replace electrolytes... Potassium in particular.
When I'm familiar with the route and pass through lots of small towns, I don't need to carry more than two water bottles. I fill up on liquids and re-fill my water bottles twice a day. Any excuse to get off my bike and walk into an air conditioned convenience store.
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Old 08-06-10, 08:42 PM   #14
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Putting ice in your back pocket is probably better than nothing, but not much better. For that to work, you will want maximum contact between the ice and your circulatory system (your body's natural radiator). It seems like most of that ice is just going to melt and drip on the pavement.

It's probably a better idea to go to an ice cream shop in town and buy a slushy drink to take internally. Then fill up water bottles with ice and water and put that in your back pocket. After the ice melts, you can drink the water in the bottles.
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Old 08-06-10, 09:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Finding cooler places is getting harder... July 2010 was the hottest July that has ever been recorded in the entire history of the Earth.
Really? It was actually a nice July here in Central Texas...I don't think it hit over 100 but for a day or two maybe three. Hell of a lot better than last summer. Some ungodly amount of days over 100...like 26 days or something, can't recall off hand. And with NO RAIN to boot. It was so dry that if you had the patience to listen, you could hear the trees whistlin' for the dogs.
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Old 08-06-10, 09:12 PM   #16
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Putting ice in your back pocket is probably better than nothing, but not much better. For that to work, you will want maximum contact between the ice and your circulatory system (your body's natural radiator). It seems like most of that ice is just going to melt and drip on the pavement.

It's probably a better idea to go to an ice cream shop in town and buy a slushy drink to take internally. Then fill up water bottles with ice and water and put that in your back pocket. After the ice melts, you can drink the water in the bottles.
I've always heard that you should place whatever you have that is cold (even cold running water) over the inside of your wrists and or neck. Thought being that these places are the two areas on your body that have the least amount of flesh between what's cold and your blood. End result being that you are "cooling your blood" quicker. Whether or not that is the truth I have no idea but it sounds clinical but more importantly, it feels dang good.

I remember those neck ties that you wet and then freeze and they end up lasting for hours staying cool. I saw that same technology applied to wrist bands....again, have no idea if it actually works but, it's an idea to investigate I would think.
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Old 08-06-10, 09:33 PM   #17
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+1 for wet bandana around the neck, don't ride through mid-day and drink lots of water
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Old 08-06-10, 09:39 PM   #18
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Cover-up from the sun, slow your pace, drink way more than you should and earlier than you think. If you start to feel heat-exhaustion, take a 15 minute break in the shade.. passing out is no good so you have to be vigilant about that....

Don't ride in the heat if your body is not acclimatized to it... If you spend your days in AC office, you could be in trouble.

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Old 08-06-10, 09:39 PM   #19
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The best places to affect internal temperatures from the outside are your head, your hands, your feet, and your crotch. Lots of bloodflow through those places, and a relatively good amount of surface area to transfer heat. (Taking it the other way, in winter, if you want to stay warm, you cover your head, hands, and feet.) The wrists and neck don't provide a lot of surface area, but at least you have quite a bit of blood flowing through those areas. The small of the back is a pretty poor area to use to affect your internal temperature.

Of course, it's also a good idea to dump cold water inside of you (as long as it isn't too cold too fast).

There was a show about DARPA on TV the other day where they showed a device that circulates hot or cold water around the subject's hands, cold water to cool the subject and hot water to heat the subject up. The device started to change the subject's core body temp within 30 seconds of the subject putting his hands into the device.
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Old 08-06-10, 09:56 PM   #20
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if you carry a camelbak or other insulated water carrier, fill it full of ice at the ubiquitous subway or other self-serve soda fountain. if you wear arm/leg coolers, sweatband/skull cap, etc. keep those wet with your extra water for extra evaporative cooling. if you have good lighting and it is miserably hot, consider riding in the evening/night/early morning. eat snacks that are high in potassium and sodium; i like bananas, fig newtons, v-8 juice - anything loaded with salt is good if you are sweating a lot.

if you think it could get dangerously hot, keep an eye out for a shaded spot to wait out the heat. a couple years ago i rode through the mojave to las vegas in july (yeah, real smart, i know.) between twentynine palms and amboy it was dangerously hot. the high was 115, but it feels like 200 or 200000 when you're pedaling in the sun for hours. i was thinking about setting up my tent footprint/rainfly to wait out the day in a bit of shade, but i happened upon a potassium chloride mine and waited out the heat of the day there. i took a long nap in the shade, and rode through the mojave that night

Quote:
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Finding cooler places is getting harder... July 2010 was the hottest July that has ever been recorded in the entire history of the Earth.
i think it was the hottest july (as well as april, may, and june) that has ever been recorded by humans, since they began keeping such records 100ish years ago. i do believe in anthropomorphic climate change, but you make it sound like the planet has never been hotter. just wait until july 2011, july 2012, july 2013, etc...
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Old 08-06-10, 10:27 PM   #21
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Keep your water bottles in socks.

Keep the the sock around the water bottle you are going to use next wet.

When you ride, the water will evaporate, and cool the water bottle.

Drinking cool water will suck some heat from your body to warm the water to body temp.

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Old 08-07-10, 07:10 AM   #22
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I'm in SE Asia at the moment. The trick is to take lots of ice-cream breaks and restock on ice at convenient stores. I've done some night riding to avoid the heat, and find that it's not really worth the trouble.
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Old 08-07-10, 08:09 AM   #23
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I have toured in the heat a fair percentage of my touring experience. A few things that I do:
  1. Stay hydrated! Carry enough water. Also I have found that if there are cold mountain streams it is worth carrying a filter to be able to have cold water.
  2. A cycling cap does help and dare I say this, so does taking off the helmet especially on long climbs in the mountains. Anyone who says it is as cool or cooler with a helmet on when climbing is full of it.
  3. Interestingly wrap around sunglasses that hug the face real close seem to make me a good bit hotter too. Taking them off on the worst climbs makes quite a bit of difference.
  4. Starting really early in the morning, like a couple hours before sunrise and stopping early or mid afternoon helps tremendously. If you want/need to get more miles in go again in the evening.
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Old 08-07-10, 08:49 AM   #24
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I would not suggest the ice in the back pocket at all. It may sound ridiculous but, frostbite is a serious concern with all that ice in close contact with the skin on your back. It would be fine to place some on your neck for a minute or two, or even if you did a small amount and moved it from pocket to pocket as long as you avoid prolonged contact to any one area of skin.

We learned this the hard way while riding ragbrai this summer when my riding partner decided to take a siesta after lunch with an icepack around his neck. Everyone else on the ride had sunburned necks, but my friend had frostbitten neck.
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Old 08-07-10, 09:46 AM   #25
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I carry a Camelbak and fill it full of ice before adding water. You get cold water that lasts for hours, even on a really hot day. It's so great that I'll buy a bag of ice at a 7-11 and jetison the leftover. I know it's wasteful and extravagent, but it's worth it. I also carry water bottles on my frame. Better to have too much water than not enough.

Drink often! With a Camelbak it's easy to take a few sips every couple of minutes; you don't have to break rhythm and reach down for a bottle.

This summer I was riding up a really steep, long grade (it took me hours to get to the top) in hot weather. For the first time on this tour I completely drained my Camelbak, but I was almost to the top and I still had three full bottles. During the worst of it I started feeling cold and shivery. That's a bad sign - the onset of heat stroke. I was wearing a HeadSwetz "pirate scarf" under my helmet. I used some of the water to get the scarf wet and put it back on my head. What a relief! It's really important not to overheat your brain!
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