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Tom Bombadil 06-26-08 09:31 AM

How do you deal with the Summer Heat?
I don't deal with the heat very well on longer rides. Last summer I took a 40 mile ride with the temps in the low 90's and nearly bonked. We've had a very cool late Spring here and I was bothered by a temp of 84 on my ride last Saturday - not used to 80s yet. I know that would be cool for many people here at this time of the year.

Our temps here look like they are going to continue to be cool, which is great by me. After today the forecast for the next several days is 81, 77, 71, 77, and 78. Perfect riding weather.

But my poor daughter in North Carolina is being baked. 94 yesterday, 97 today, 95 tomorrow, with high humidity.

How do you deal with the summer heat? As a 50+ with certain medical conditions, I must admit that I am more careful about this than I used to be.

ken cummings 06-26-08 09:42 AM

Night Rides Tom. Or on a tandem paired with a much stronger rider. I rode a tandem once with a Race Across AMerica winner on the front.

FL_MarkD 06-26-08 09:46 AM

Hydrate early, ride strong late. Here in West Central Florida we have 'summer' for the better part of the year. You just have to realize that you will be heavily sweating from mile 1 to however far you go. I drink a lot of fluids, usually a 24oz bottle per ten miles and use Nuun hydration tablets in each bottle. That hydration and some energy gels keep me going for 40-50 mile rides.

Obviously riding before noon or after six is a key too. No need to punish yourself, get up early and ride!


swan652 06-26-08 09:47 AM

Lots of water. Strap on the Camelback full of ice. Start riding very early in the morning.

NickDavid 06-26-08 09:47 AM

Lots of water, accelerade, and food.

maddmaxx 06-26-08 09:48 AM

I think that you become acclimated to it. You point out that some of us have had a relatively cool spring/early summer so far..................we are not ready yet. I have noted that a 50deg day is much more pleasant in the spring than in the fall.

Ride gently for the first few "hot" days and it will bother you less later.

All of this assumes that you take the necessary precautions for the weather..........lots of water and some salt for hot.

Suzie Green 06-26-08 09:49 AM

A lot of it comes from adjustment to the climate. The first hot ride of the year is always the hardest. After that, I seem to tolerate it a lot more easily. But then, I've enjoyed cycling on hot days much more than in cooler weather. Some other secrets are to keep hydrated, ride in the early morning or closer to evening if possible. Wear lighter colored jerseys. White or light pastel colors work best for me. I enjoy riding sleeveless too, though it's not for everyone. If possible, pick a shady route on back roads instead of a route that is in the blazing sun 100% of the time. Take frequent rest breaks, stop for ice cream, chill out in the shade.

The Weak Link 06-26-08 09:52 AM

Clif blocks seem to help me. I haven't had much cramping since I've been downing a package of them a ride.

RonH 06-26-08 10:22 AM

Load up the Camelak about 3/4 full of ice. Then fill with water. Depending on the distance, one or two Polar bottles filled with ice and Gatorade, and a couple of Hammer Gels. I also wear a bandana under my helmet. And don't forget the sunscreen.
This works for me when it's high 80s to mid 90s.

Digital Gee 06-26-08 10:23 AM

You SHOULD be suffering, in penance for what you've done to that poor beater bike of yours.

az_cyclist 06-26-08 10:35 AM

Ride early, hydrate well. Even though I am a roadie, I wear a camelbak. I also carry a water bottle with accelerade, and I carry shot bloks. just ride a bit easier as it gets warmer.

BluesDawg 06-26-08 10:35 AM


Originally Posted by Digital Gee (Post 6950794)
You SHOULD be suffering, in penance for what you've done to that poor beater bike of yours.

+1 :notamused:

As for the heat, the biggest part is to accept it and get over it. Drink enough, replace electrolites, eat, don't overexert and you should be fine. After the ride, before you shower, be sure to wipe the sweat off your bike.

walter231 06-26-08 01:03 PM


Originally Posted by swan652 (Post 6950526)
... Start riding very early in the morning.

Once in a while I'll start out about half an hour before dawn on a Saturday or Sunday morning. In addition to beating the heat, the lack of traffic can be amazing. Where I live (Worcester, MA) the main streets are pretty well clogged with cars during prime time, but at dawn on a weekend the whole city is an empty playground for bikes.

cyclezealot 06-26-08 01:17 PM

If its much over 87, I need get on the road no later than 7:30 AM. Or else I don't. Late, late afternoon rides would be ok. Even if at 6 PM today, it is still in the high 80's. I have committments to my club. I hope they consider getting out early or I don't know how I'll deal with it.

Artkansas 06-26-08 01:25 PM


Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil (Post 6950414)
How do you deal with the summer heat? As a 50+ with certain medical conditions, I must admit that I am more careful about this than I used to be.

Don't push so hard, drink lots of cool water, eat fruit to keep your electrolytes and minerals up. Drink before you need it, ie chug that first water bottle 20 minutes before you start. Try breaking your 40 mile ride into two twenties and take a good rest between.

Summer Cycling in Hot Weather

lighthorse 06-26-08 01:29 PM

Your question is appropriate for this time of year, especially here in Florida. My routine is to ride early in the morning, always. When training here in Florida that is the coolest part of the day. Wherever I am riding, the early morning has the least amount of wind for that day. So, when I am on a long tour, I begin the day at least by sunrise, normally 30 minutes prior to sunrise. But then, I am able to choose when I ride and I like the early mornings.

If you have to ride in the heat, all of the things mentioned so far are good. Keep hydrated, drink a lot, and stay hydrated.

Allegheny Jet 06-26-08 01:38 PM

+1 on the camel back's filled with ice. I take two bottles of 50/50 gatorade and a 50 oz camelback filled with ice and water. I drink the bottles first then sip the ice cold water thru the end of the ride. If the ride is longer than 50 miles, I'll stop somewhere and refill the bottles + drink some gatorade. I'll also eat early in the ride and during the break.

megaman 06-26-08 04:26 PM


Originally Posted by BluesDawg (Post 6950887)
before you shower, be sure to wipe the sweat off your bike.

Wow, your bike sweats? ;)

A couple of weeks ago I went out to Ohio. I hadn't ridden in anything above about 75. There it was 91 with high humidity. I tried drinking plenty of water, but after 36 miles I was definately over heated. It took 4 hours to cool down after that ride. I figured the next day was going to be worse, cause a high of 93 was forcast. I rode, the temp got to 93, but I was okay. The difference. Much lower humidity.

Yesterday here it hit 87 with higher humidity. That bothered me. High humidity will slow me down. I've ridden in temps of over 100 several times, but the humidity wasn't that high so I was fine.

Normally, I freeze my Camelbak about half full of water. I fill it just before I ride with cool water. I'm good all day. My Camelbak is 70 oz. I also make sure the water will flow before I ride. Also on days over 80 I freeze a 20 oz. bottle of water solid with Replenish in it. After a couple of hours it starts melting to get my electrolytes.

Halfast 06-26-08 05:53 PM


I find your question a little amusing since I am training for the "HotterThan Hell 100" held in Witicha Falls, Tx Aug 23rd. I get out in the heat on purpose for two 50 milers during the week, and from 60-90 on Sat.
I do not start riding till after 8 am. On my shorter rides I will start at noon or later. I did this last year and found that you do become conditioned if you do this, start slower and shorter and increase. I finished the 102 miles of last years ride averaging 17.6 mph. Of course it only got to about 95 that day before I finished!!:lol:

I will drink LOTS in the hour before I start, probably close to a 1/2 gallon of 1/2 strength gator aid.
Then I drink lots more of the same mix on the ride, finding the last 5 miles I may kill two water bottles as it gets realy hot. I live in the Austin area.

Tom Bombadil 06-26-08 07:01 PM

Actually I thought it was a good topic to discuss and asked more rhetorically than for me. I have a mild interest in the topic, but generally won't ride if it gets over 90 (which it hopefully won't do).

Personally my biggest problem for avoiding heat is that I'm a night person. I don't go to bed until 2am, so I'm not going to get up 30 minutes pre-dawn to ride. Generally the earliest I go out to ride is 10am. Dawn here is around 5:30. I consider 5am to be the middle of the night.

This Saturday there's a town "Family Bike Ride" scheduled just a few miles from me. A little 10-miler. I thought that might be fun, except I then noticed that it started at 8am. I'm not getting up at 7am to go on a family bike ride.

zonatandem 06-26-08 09:12 PM

You become acclimated.
Much prefer to ride in Tucson's 100+ degrees with low humidity than in the Midwest at 80 degrees with matching humidity!
Have ridden century in Maryland with 98 degrees and 98% humidity . . . no fun!
Have ridden in 117 degrees with 2% humidity in Arizona . . . no fun!
Being retired, we now spends summers 'up north' somewhere for the cooler temps.
Currently in northern Utah with temps only up to 90 so far and 18% humidity. Nice!
Kwitcherbellyachin' and go ride!

rae 06-26-08 09:19 PM

I actively try to acclimate myself, but I do it by walking for about 2 hours on the first very hot day. It seems like the low intensity exercise tells my body how to deal with the heat, & I can then run or bike in 90+. The only exception is if there is no kind of breeze & it is very humid. Of course, I take a liter bottle with me and usually have to refill it. As long as I have enough to drink, I seem to do fine. I also replace potassium and magnesium (tablets) and salt (food).

BluesDawg 06-26-08 09:38 PM

I don't know how much of it is genetics, how much is acclimation and how much is attitude, but I have always been able to ride in high heat and humidity. I think it is probably a combination of the three. The only times I have had problems with it was when I was sick or when I did not properly hydrate. I'm not saying I enjoy it, but that I can tolerate it.

It could be that growing up in middle Georgia, I have been exposed to it all my life. 90 degrees and 90% is a fact of life in the summers around here. If I wanted to go outside and play, it was going to be in the heat and humidity. Later on, if I was going to do my chores, it was going to be in the heat and humidity. I can't overlook the fact that I am a descendant of people who settled in this area and farmed in times when air conditioning was the shade of a tree or a dip in a river. I'd have to assume that the people who could survive that kind of life were predisposed to withstand it. People who couldn't take it either died or moved away.

RoyIII 06-26-08 09:45 PM

I'm in Texas, DFW area. I like the heat and ride in it. Sunscreen, lots of water and a helmet over a headband.

solveg 06-26-08 10:40 PM

It got to the mid 80's here today, and I thought I'd die. I don't know that we ever do particularly well with the heat up here. I ride early in the morning.

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