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How hot is too hot?

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How hot is too hot?

Old 06-06-05, 11:36 AM
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JugglerDave
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How hot is too hot?

I used to have a rule (when I rollerblading intensely after work for exercise) that I wouldn't go rollerblading if the high temp of the day was over 90 degrees. And that was for 1 hr of flat rollerblading.

Now that I have a 32-mile commute home, starting usually at 5pm, including a fair amount of hills, I'm wondering if I should use the same rule, ignore the temperature but just take it easier, etc?

Do any of you have a maximum riding temp? I would assume some of you are in Arizona or So Cal and have 90+ and 100+ temps quite often.
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Old 06-06-05, 11:41 AM
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the problem with 90 degrees in Philly is that it's routinely accompanied by very high humidity as well. This is a dangerous combination and is definitely a different type of hot than is encountered in AZ, for example. I do not live in Philly but farther north and we don't get the super hot days as much.

Of course, I try to ride or exercise when it is hot, although I think that fluid intake should be very important and monitored closely.
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Old 06-06-05, 11:43 AM
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I haven't hit my "too hot to ride" point yet. The hottest I've done was the first day of a tour from Toronto to Ottawa and on to Montreal. It was 37C (98F) and the humidex hit 42C (107F). The ride was about 120KM (Toronto to Cobourg) and under a hot sun with little to no breeze. I do find, however, that I bike better (more consistently) in warmer weather than in cold. Go figure.
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Old 06-06-05, 11:52 AM
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Here in Texas we have been getting 90-100 fairly often but its the humidity that gets me (recently moved here from Arizona, somehow 90 and humid is far far worse than 115 and oven dry).

As for biking in such weather: I take the following approaches, drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, take it easy on hills, and for my commute I have a set of nice shady spots to stop and cool off if I need to.

In Arizona I found that the worst part would be on those exceptionally hot days when standing on the pavement would make my feet incredibly hot, for those times stay on the bike unless in the shade (however I doubt the pavement ever gets this hot in PA).

The most important thing: listen to your body. It'll tell you when its to much.

Another thing I noticed, watch out for people without AC, bikers (including yourself), and workers who have to be outside on those hot days, they get downright grouchy. Tempers seem to fray much easier under these extremes. Occasionally I'd be biking in a neighborhood and could feel the tension oozing out of the trucks and cars around me.

Peace and please drink enough water.
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Old 06-06-05, 12:06 PM
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I ride year round in sweltering New Orleans. In 2003, I did my training runs for a fall marathon throughout the summer, all outside and all in the afternoon. I just drink more water and wear less clothing.
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Old 06-06-05, 12:12 PM
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I was told it was over 90 yesterday when we finished our MS150.

Joe
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Old 06-06-05, 12:14 PM
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Definitely agreed with the previous posters, that dew point/humidity make all the difference. Check out this site on heat index to see how humidity can affect the apparent temperature: https://www.nsis.org/weather/heatindex.html

That said, I've found up to 105F/40C, in dry weather, there isn't too much difference, other than the usual summer requirement of good hydration. Above that, I'm brain dead for an hour after biking my commute. I've always backed off of my present commute when the temps went over 110F, but this summer, I'm going all the way through.
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Old 06-06-05, 12:21 PM
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I took some summer courses in Philly once a few years ago and had a round trip commute of about 10 miles. Even so, on the hottest 5 or 6 days of the year I'd only commute early in the morning and after dark, or take public transportation (if SEPTA goes where you go...). My only other experiences there were as a typical undergrad student schedule and then I found Philly to have a very favourable bicycle commuter climate. Now I live about 150 miles North, and it seems to get almost as hot in the summer, and colder/snowier in the winter.
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Old 06-06-05, 12:49 PM
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I remember doing a 40 mile commute on one of the hottest days of 2004 (I think) in PA... it was something like 100 or so? I don't even remember. Alls I remember was being thankful for the 70 oz. of ice cold water that I had on my back. However, I don't like water alone, these days. Carry a bottle of gatorade for all that scientific stuff (electrolytes, etc.) heh...
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Old 06-06-05, 01:33 PM
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I ride year round in Tucson, AZ. Last year it got up to 108 I think, which really wasn't that bad. Riding in the humid southeast is a lot worse, even if it is a few degrees cooler.
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Old 06-06-05, 01:55 PM
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In direct sun, I've pushed hard on rides for up to 2 hours in 100-105 degree weather, but that's about it. I had 2 large water bottles of half frozen water with me. Bring a couple of salt tablets, pack an energy gel, and have a bottle of gatorade handy, even consider bringing a balance bar or something.
You will be losing a LOT of electrolytes and minerals.
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Old 06-06-05, 02:02 PM
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Today, in New York.....

I would say, subtract 10 degrees for fun riding vs commute......why suffer with a bag and whatnot on yiour way to work? I rode a tour in Brooklyn yesterday for fun, but not today to work - the train was nice and AC-cooled....wish I could say the same for my office.
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Old 06-06-05, 02:02 PM
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being in a dense urban place like nyc - the exhaust from cars makes it even more unbearable as the heat and humidy rise. i can handle up to 100 degrees in the country but in the city it gets really uncomfortable. i say i'd willingly do 90 degrees but above that i'll just hop on the subway or walk.
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Old 06-06-05, 02:04 PM
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Philly is brutal in the summer, and the air in the city is poisonous.

I have been doing long rides after work, but that's going to stop - I'm switching to early AM 30-mile rides starting this week, and one 60 miler on Sat or Sun AM. Like, at the break of dawn.

My commutes will be 8.6 miles roundtrip this summer, which is no problem, and 16 miles RT in the Fall when it's cooler. No problems there.
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Old 06-06-05, 02:18 PM
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Too hot for me is about 22-25C (72-77F), depending of course on wind and humidity and amount of direct sunlight. But around there.

I was out yesterday, in 14C (57F) and that was too hot, but that was due to the lack of wind and the hot sun.

I should point out that when it's above around 27C (80F), I'm usually indoors, nursing a severe heat-induced headache.
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Old 06-06-05, 02:28 PM
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Ahhhh, yes, a chance to tell one of my favorite stories!!!!

A few years back, a few friends and I went up to the Milwaukee area to ride the Trek 100. When we started the ride -- probably 6:30 in the morning -- it was already close to 100 F. The ride did a 50 mile loop south of the start, had a rest, then they sent you out for a northern 50 mile loop. It not only ended up over 100 F soon after the start, but it was also beastly humid. Of the 8 friends that started the ride, only 2 of us finished. My wife and a friend came to pick me up at the end. I stood next to the table they were sitting at for 2 minutes before they recognized me.

Most of my friends dropped out at or before the 50 mile mark because of cramps or heat exhaustion. Should you ride when it's beastly hot? If you have the choice to NOT ride, I would recommend not riding.
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Old 06-06-05, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
being in a dense urban place like nyc - the exhaust from cars makes it even more unbearable as the heat and humidy rise. i can handle up to 100 degrees in the country but in the city it gets really uncomfortable. i say i'd willingly do 90 degrees but above that i'll just hop on the subway or walk.

gr8 point, Tim.....since last summer i check weather channel.com not only for rain but air quality.....the ozone and particulates can jump dramatically in the extreme heat. I used to get a much nicer breeze out on Long Island too.....even on super hot days....more muggy out there though.
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Old 06-06-05, 03:07 PM
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After of course ensuring proper hydration and other related basics, what is most important is your 'training' or 'experience' at temperature.

What I mean is that you learn for yourself for what distances/times/intensities at different temps/humidities you can ride at.

This means slowly building up any one of the stress variables (heat index, distance, intensity). Just because you can ride at full intensity for a 30min commute at 115deg 10% humidity, doesn't mean you can ride a 100mi in the same conditions, even at lower intensity. Also if you never rode above 75deg/50% humidity, you should only try under controlled conditions (i.e. limited distance) at 85deg/50%.

Al
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Old 06-06-05, 03:47 PM
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I'll ride in any temperature, but make sure you plan for extra time, and places to stop and cool off. You could even contrive little errands, like stopping at an air conditioned post office to drop off a letter, and an air conditioned store to pick up a beverage, or whatever. If its over 90F, I know I'm comprimising my efficiency, so I just hydrate, and take it easy. If its over 100F, I take it real easy, and pay even closer attention to hydration. Just like a car overheating, you can do serious damage if you comprimise your ability to regulate body temperature. Wearing light clothes and sunglasses helps too, the sunglasses won't make you cooler, but your eyes will feel better, and the light clothes will help keep you cool.

peace,
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Old 06-06-05, 04:43 PM
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Central Florida this time of year is plenty hot and humid. I check weather.com for the rain chance but really never look at the temperature. I know it's going to be hot already... Usually the rains hit for a while between 3 and 5 PM. Sometimes riding home in the rain is actually quite refreshing. Once it's summer here I just hope for enough wind from riding to keep me cool. All that aside I usually don't ride for over an hour, but have done two hours on weekends in this weather.

About all you can do is drink plenty of water and not push too hard. I'm also a fan of the Polar bottles. They make the difference between slightly cool and blood warm after a half hour.
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Old 06-06-05, 05:14 PM
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I went out cruising in Dayville (Northeast of NYC) about two days ago...

The bank sign termometer sais it was 103.

(it lies. It couldn't have been over eighty)

With that said, I was perfectly comfortable in jeans and a tank top, with a Propel in the bottle cage. I kicked around for a couple of hours until I started getting a mild sunburn. I think I'll be just fine in the summer heat up here.



But yes, humidity makes all the difference...

I've hiked the Grand Canyon in 120, felt chipper as a whistle, and barely dragged myself down the driveway in TN at 95 and high humidity.
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Old 06-06-05, 05:31 PM
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Fortunately I get a good place to change and hang my stuff out to dry. So I'll commute up to about 100 degrees or so hehe.
All you other NYC'ers can chick out if you want.
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Old 06-06-05, 05:33 PM
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Sprint training with weight in 55 - 60 degree celsius heat.That hurt but only lactic acid burn. As long as you've aclimatised, are hydrated and have enough salt in your diet you should be okay. I wouldn't recommend you try it unless you've done at least a couple of months aclimatisation training. That is, early morning and late evening training/cycling/run, added salt with every meal, not avoiding the heat with air conditioning, low fat and high carb diet with lots of fresh fruit/veg. It's also a great way to lose the spare tyre.
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Old 06-06-05, 06:22 PM
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55-60C in the UK? Where???
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Old 06-06-05, 07:09 PM
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I grew up near Memphis, and temperatures here don't tend to get as hot as in Memphis, but even if I were in Memphis, I don't think I'd ever have a maximum temperature, just as I don't have a minimum temperature. When temperatures approach extremes, I just prepare appropriately. Proper clothing in the winter, and proper hydration in the summer.
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