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  1. #1
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    when to not ride because of heat?

    How hot does it need to get before most of you will not ride? I normally do pretty well in the heat but I'm not in the condition I was in 2 years ago. Seems like I think more about safety in my riding than I used to. I guess that may come from getting older (40).

  2. #2
    Senior Member telebianchi's Avatar
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    I was doing 65 miles last Friday. Got out early and was having a nice ride; hot but no problems. Then around mile 50 it was like someone cranked up the oven and I had to slow it down and take extra stops to borrow the AC at a 7-Eleven. Found out later the temp hit about 101 with heat index of around 110. It also made a big difference that the sun was now straight overhead and I no longer had shade to ride in.
    May your tires or beer never be flat.

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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    40 isn't old unless you let it be.

    In my experience one has to repeatedly ignore the signs of heat exhaustion in order to get to where one can't ride. Pay attention and you'll be fine.

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    It's NEVER too hot to ride.

    I'm almost 50 and I've done a double metric century with about 8,000 feet of climbing in close to 100 degree heat.

    Just make sure you drink enough fluids - with electrolytes to replace what you're sweating out.

    Although when it's really hot and sunny I do have to pay attention to my level of effort.

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    Ha ha! No, 40 isn't old. But things sure don't seem to rebound like they used to! And life has caught up with me the last 2 years (family, job, etc...) and my training/riding is not the volume it used to be. It sure slips away fast! Thanks for the feedback guys. I think much of it is mental and looking for excuses to not ride. Trying to get it back is pretty tough.

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    40?
    Heck I'm 80!
    Have ridden in 117 degrees in Tucson, AZ.
    Have not had the opportunity to ride in anything warmer . . .

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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Acclimating to the heat helps a lot. If you spend all your time in an air conditioned house, car and office, you can't expect to be able to handle a hot ride.

    Turn off (or down) your car and house AC (as much as the rest of the family will let you). At the office, go out for a walk in the hottest part of the day. When it gets hot in the spring, make sure to get some long weekend rides in the heat. That'll get you acclimated for the summer.

    When you're acclimated you can do things to deal with hot rides. Start earlier in the day. Bring more water and squirt some on your head (or thighs, I find that works better). And go a little slower on the climbs.

    I find that riding all winter makes me appreciate summer more. I'd rather be too hot than freezing my ass off.

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    Senior Member Bahnzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Acclimating to the heat helps a lot. If you spend all your time in an air conditioned house, car and office, you can't expect to be able to handle a hot ride.
    This. I'm 42 and though I've only been back riding about 3 weeks, it's been uncommonly hot here. Yet I don't have AC, and am rarely in AC, and acclimating has been good. Also, if I'm riding just to ride (ie: not commuting, store, etc) I soak my shirt in cold water before I leave....it's like having your own AC and is like heaven on a hot evening. Stop along the way and re-soak if needed....I often ride close to a lake and take a break and soak it again when needed. Fun stuff!

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Wetting cycling cap, bandana/jersey creates an evaporative cooling effect, until the clothing dries.
    Here in Arizona with single digit humidity, that'll keep you cooler for maybe 15 minutes.
    Oh, and there's no rivers/lakes/puddles/shade or convenience stores within many miles. We live in a real desert.
    Having said that, I do prefer low to high humidity.
    Have ridden in Maryland at 98 degrees with 98% humidity . . . no fun!

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    Moto367, I think it depends more on humidity for me. I was walking around in AZ in over 100 degrees, I was not hot. I just had to keep pushing liquids. Then there was the other day when it was in the mid 90s and high humidity and I had to stop get out of the sun because I was not feeling good.

    Sorry to say, but in my current shape....I am not riding in the humidity until I expect it to be 90 or below.

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    Couple of observations...

    First, don't push it. If you get on your bike and think, "Wow, it's hot out here!" -- don't start an unsupported century with no bail-outs. (Or whatever a long ride is for you.)

    Second, be ready to slow down or cut your ride short if you start showing symptoms of heat exhaustion. You do know these, don't you? Look them up and memorize them if you don't.

    Third, be aware of your condition. When sweat is pouring off you and you're not cooling, it's time to back off. Don't push. Stop and rest if you need to. If the situation continues, find shade, air conditioning, and cool water.

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    Don't look at the temperature, low at the dew index. That determines what is suffocating or not

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    Senior Member AltheCyclist's Avatar
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    In what country is 40 years "old"?

    I rarely hear anyone say it's too hot or too cold to ride. If you're healthy and drink enough liquids, it shouldn't be an issue.
    I only remember once seeing a person suffer heat exhaustion, it was a long mountain bike ride with lots of elevation gains in 3-digit heat and no shade.
    A young guy, maybe 20 passed out after stopping to rest. Fellow riders quickly revived him by dumping some cold water on him. He ended up being fine. He admitted later that he had been partying hard the night before and was extrememely dehydrated.

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    I think the smart thing is to make sure you're fully prepared for a ride in extreme heat- carry extra water, and if you start feeling the heat, find some shade and get yourself cooled down. If you're starting to pant, your heart rate is racing way too high and can't come down, you're starting to feel a headache or your vision is being affected, you're feeling faint, and/or you're starting to cramp, then it's time to stop. I carry a credit card and my ID so in the event it gets really bad, I can call for a cab.

    koffee
    i'm koffee brown, dammit!

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    I was trying to avoid the heat during my weekday training sessions until it occurred to me that if you are going to be racing in it or riding long rides it is best to adapt to the heat. As a result I have found my tolerances and adapted a bit.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown View Post
    I think the smart thing is to make sure you're fully prepared for a ride in extreme heat- carry extra water, and if you start feeling the heat, find some shade and get yourself cooled down. If you're starting to pant, your heart rate is racing way too high and can't come down, you're starting to feel a headache or your vision is being affected, you're feeling faint, and/or you're starting to cramp, then it's time to stop. I carry a credit card and my ID so in the event it gets really bad, I can call for a cab.

    koffee
    How variable are the symptoms? Does everyone get the same symptoms, or do some of us only get a few? I'm nearly 59.

    Yesterday I was out on a 35 mile ride in central Michigan, and toward the end the temp had to be near 100 if not above. The ride was challenging, but toward the end I saw my HR between 150 and 160, with no sensation of being near the edge or any unusual symptoms other than that reading. I had drunk three large bottles of water, ate a gel mid-ride, and tried to moderate my effort when I noticed the high HR. 2 miles before the ride end I dialed it back to about 8 mph/low cadence to initiate a cool-down before getting into the heat-soaked car, and HR decline was very slow.

    5 years ago my LT measured at around 162 (maxhr in the same test was around 195), but I really don't know what it is today. On many cooler days I feel quite stressed when I see 160 on the HRM.

    Was that heat exhaustion? The only one of the standard symptoms was the high HR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    How variable are the symptoms? Does everyone get the same symptoms, or do some of us only get a few? I'm nearly 59.

    Yesterday I was out on a 35 mile ride in central Michigan, and toward the end the temp had to be near 100 if not above. The ride was challenging, but toward the end I saw my HR between 150 and 160, with no sensation of being near the edge or any unusual symptoms other than that reading. I had drunk three large bottles of water, ate a gel mid-ride, and tried to moderate my effort when I noticed the high HR. 2 miles before the ride end I dialed it back to about 8 mph/low cadence to initiate a cool-down before getting into the heat-soaked car, and HR decline was very slow.

    5 years ago my LT measured at around 162 (maxhr in the same test was around 195), but I really don't know what it is today. On many cooler days I feel quite stressed when I see 160 on the HRM.

    Was that heat exhaustion? The only one of the standard symptoms was the high HR.

    It may depend on the person. I've also been out riding and found myself riding at a very slow pace with a headache and unable to raise my heart rate either, and that's also been heat exhaustion as well. For me, I measure heat exhaustion as heat+feeling crappy. And I think feeling crappy can take several different forms. But just be careful- if you're getting any of those symptoms and you need to stop, just stop, or pedal slowly and take the deep breaths and drink some cool water and stay out of the sun until you're getting better. These days, we all need to be careful. The heat indices are extreme, and I get concerned for people wanting to endure a hammer-fest outside on days like that.

    koffee
    i'm koffee brown, dammit!

  18. #18
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    How variable are the symptoms? Does everyone get the same symptoms, or do some of us only get a few? I'm nearly 59.

    Yesterday I was out on a 35 mile ride in central Michigan, and toward the end the temp had to be near 100 if not above. The ride was challenging, but toward the end I saw my HR between 150 and 160, with no sensation of being near the edge or any unusual symptoms other than that reading. I had drunk three large bottles of water, ate a gel mid-ride, and tried to moderate my effort when I noticed the high HR. 2 miles before the ride end I dialed it back to about 8 mph/low cadence to initiate a cool-down before getting into the heat-soaked car, and HR decline was very slow.

    5 years ago my LT measured at around 162 (maxhr in the same test was around 195), but I really don't know what it is today. On many cooler days I feel quite stressed when I see 160 on the HRM.

    Was that heat exhaustion? The only one of the standard symptoms was the high HR.
    Unusually high HR for the effort is almost always dehydration. If you keep pushing it in the heat with a HR like that, you'll get heat stroke, meaning a high internal body temperature, which is a medical emergency. Your body water is all you have to keep you cool. You run low on that, and it's not good. It's impossible to drink enough to keep up with water loss when exercising in the heat, so you're time limited. The trick is to practice drinking larger quantities of water/hr., and to have a plan B if it all goes wrong. The easy fix is to sit in the shade or some A/C place and drink water with electrolytes until your HR comes back somewhere near normal. I've seen mine at 135 just sitting. My experience is that I can ride at a sitting HR of about 105, just not hard. My normal resting HR is about 50, standing about 65. It doesn't take as long as you might think. 20 minutes will often do it. But that depends on having both shade and water.

  19. #19
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Why not just ride early in the day? We had high humidity and over 100 degree temps this weekend. I left the house before 7 am. I finished riding before it hit 90. The sun was still fairly low in the sky which helps. I have ridden in 100 degree temps but why bother when you can ride when it is 75 or 80 in the morning? And I say this as a NON-morning person who absolutely hates getting up early.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

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