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Question for those of you that live in the desert

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Question for those of you that live in the desert

Old 05-31-15, 06:24 PM
  #1  
ALLSTOTT
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Question for those of you that live in the desert

To what extent would you do to get in your riding? I work a night shift 3pm-11pm. So my choices are ride after work, wake up really early to hit the trails, or ride in the heat of the day. I live in Tucson so the heat is no joke. What would you choose?
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Old 05-31-15, 06:48 PM
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As a former Tucsonan, I think you're in tough shape there. Riding early will be the coolest, but realistically, you need to be done riding by ~10am to not die. Given an 11pm shift end, starting a ride at 6-7am doesn't seem healthy or realistic.

Riding around midnight is certainly doable, but the safety of it is debatable. If you scouted a good route, you could probably get a quick lap in without too much risk.

Can you take a short evening "lunch" ride? There's always the bike trainer option to get through the heat of the summer, and riding when you first wake up during the worst of the summer.
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Old 06-01-15, 01:33 AM
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Kind of timely- we hit over 100 degrees today in southern Nevada , and I was out until noon. Not the best, I had a mild case of heat exhaustion.

I work nights, too. 4pm-midnight on 2 nights, 5pm-1am on 3. I have to cut back on my rides a lot, getting up early a couple days a week. I'm limited to maybe an hour, hour and a half, and cruise rather than hammer it. A nap before work sometimes helps make up for the early rise.

You don't want to be out much after 10 am. Keep an eye on weather reports, or get a weather app, there are occasional cooler days, and your evenings off you might go out at dusk. I use a camelback when it's really hot even though it's against "The Rules" for a road bike, lol. There is a group here that goes out at 4 a.m, wish I could stay up that late, but after work I'm dead on my feet. If I ever had the energy to try riding right after, I have enough lights and blinkies to see the road and make the bike visible. I saw video of night trail riding, they used helmet lights as well as handlebar lights, maybe for you that would be an option. The heat of the day, I believe is not a good idea.
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Old 06-01-15, 08:04 AM
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"" I use a camelback when it's really hot even though it's against "The Rules" for a road bike, lol ""

Now that right there was dang funnay It's Camelbak btw LOL

I'm glad I'm not a Roadie,,I could never conform, fit in. I don't even fit in with the cool kids on our Mountain bike trails
I wear Lycra with a road jersey and most every one else Is in baggies with Lycra underneath,,Gawd that must be hot !
It sure is noisy...

I ride In our Summer Mid day heat and humidity but I doubt I could handle Tucson summer' mid day conditions..
I simply dial down the Intensity about 20% If I'm riding after 11am.. No Idea if that would work In Arizona...
Plus I have the Luxury of trees so I ride the open spaces in the AM and head for the woods when the sun starts climbing.

When people ask me how far I ride I tell them, "About 100 ounces of water plus a 20 oz gatorade bottle, plus food and chews.."

Last edited by osco53; 06-01-15 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 06-01-15, 10:48 AM
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I get a bit more of a break than you here in Boise. I work 7am-3:30pm I usually go out after I get the kids in bed. So around 8:30pm. The middle of summer it stays light past 10pm
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Old 06-01-15, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by osco53;17855266[COLOR=#000000
I ride In our Summer Mid day heat and humidity but I doubt I could handle Tucson summer' mid day conditions..
I simply dial down the Intensity about 20% If I'm riding after 11am.. No Idea if that would work In Arizona...
Plus I have the Luxury of trees so I ride the open spaces in the AM and head for the woods when the sun starts climbing.
[/COLOR]
Once it gets above about ~110F, it becomes impossible to sweat enough to keep cool. People get heat stroke in those conditions, regardless of how much water they have. Most Tucson riding will be highly exposed, so direct sun and no cover.

Any chance you could drive up to Mt. Lemmon, or Catalina State Park? That would get you out of the heat some, and you avoid the worst days.
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Old 06-01-15, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
""

....Now that right there was dang funnay It's Camelbak btw LOL

I'm glad I'm not a Roadie,,I could never conform, fit in. I don't even fit in with the cool kids on our Mountain bike trails
I wear Lycra with a road jersey and most every one else Is in baggies with Lycra underneath,,Gawd that must be hot !
It sure is noisy...
Yep, that's it Oh, I'm a real rebel I have a mirror on my helmet, my water bottles are random, only one of my 3 jerseys matches my bike (none are club), and I have a small seat bag. I may get pulled over one day

But seriously...

Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
.....Once it gets above about ~110F, it becomes impossible to sweat enough to keep cool. People get heat stroke in those conditions, regardless of how much water they have. Most Tucson riding will be highly exposed, so direct sun and no cover....
+1 Lack of shade is a big issue, the sun is brutal, and the glare reflecting off pavement-or desert- makes it worse, regardless of your sunglasses. In that kind of heat, even a downhill breeze won't help. It's just a hot blast. Every time you exhale, you are losing moisture, and exertion increases the loss.
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Old 06-02-15, 08:21 AM
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I ride earlier and earlier as the summer approaches, but Allstott you do not have much choice with your work shift. My best guess would be to ride before your shift in a well lighted seldom used road area. Maybe your subdivision, could be lightly used pavement you know you know well to avoid the dangers of inebriated drivers, poor pavement you do not know intimately, and the daylight heat.

Was going to ride 28 miles this morning to M-Casino & back, but it is 7: am and I have just washed my face, not had coffee, so will skip today and ride early 4:30 am tomorrow. I enjoy the year round riding I can accomplish here in Vegas, but dislike the sunshine on my skin, it seems to burn with an intensity it did not have in previous years. Was in Oregon last week we had the Sun one day and it was also intense.
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Old 06-02-15, 05:10 PM
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I would just get some lights and ride after work. The daytime heat and sun just sucks the life out of you. Once the summer heat starts to kick in, in So Cal...I'm putting on the lights and riding at night.

I've been taking trips to Vegas in January to ride Red Rock. It was about 50 degrees during the daytime when we ride. I really envy the people that get to ride that place on a regular basis.

I can't imagine riding anywhere in the southwest deserts during the summer months.
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Old 06-04-15, 03:00 AM
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I think it's going to depend on when you feel best riding. Some people do best with working out before work, others still have energy after. Also, lights or no lights, I don't really enjoy trying to mountain bike in the dark. Road in the dark I'll deal with, mountain bike in the dark meh. Your shift makes it really tough though. I remember even vacationing in Moab, we couldn't do any riding during the heat of the day, and I can't imagine Moab would be as hot as Tuscan (though I wasn't acclimated to it either).
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Old 04-19-17, 10:39 PM
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All the prior comments raise a great many suggestions on dealing with the heat.

I'm a former Las Vegas, NV resident of 29 years who now lives in Tucson, AZ. I try to travel during the cooler times of the day before the temperatures get too extreme. If at all possible I attempt to do all my errands before noon. Once it gets "noonish" I tend to avoid riding in the heat.

Once it gets to 100 plus degrees (f) I'm an indoor person.
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Old 04-20-17, 10:09 PM
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I've been riding in Phoenix for almost 2 years. We go once a week at about 9pm - year round. Yeah it is still pretty hot in the summer but at least the sun is gone. We just go slower or not as far, or take make breaks to catch our breath when it is really hot. Spend money on good lights and night riding is awesome!
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Old 04-21-17, 09:17 AM
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Night riding is where it's at. If you're up for it, I'd vote the post-shift pre-bed option. Coming from the East coast where the trails were much more wooded, the open-ness of the desert outside of SD where I lived for a bit was always a bit boring for me, but riding at night made things much more interesting. But yes, be safe, know the trails. Night time isn't the best for exploring #obviously!
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Old 04-26-17, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by I <3 Robots View Post
I would just get some lights and ride after work. The daytime heat and sun just sucks the life out of you. Once the summer heat starts to kick in, in So Cal...I'm putting on the lights and riding at night.

I've been taking trips to Vegas in January to ride Red Rock. It was about 50 degrees during the daytime when we ride. I really envy the people that get to ride that place on a regular basis.

I can't imagine riding anywhere in the southwest deserts during the summer months.
In late Fall and January you should try the River Mountain Loop Trail in the Henderson area is a fun adventure with the lake views to enjoy, well worth the change of scenery, and you can include the Hoover Dam section for some climbing mileage if RMLT is not demanding. Next Year please do not forget to do one or two Death Valley rides before the heat builds up beyond warm in 2018.

3 Robots, have you done the full Nelson, from Rail Road Pass Casino? Another ride that is entirely different from Red Rock (movie sets)...

JR

Last edited by Namida12; 04-26-17 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 05-04-17, 07:42 AM
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That is a great schedule for riding! If I were you I would get up early and hit the trail while its cool out. You'll have the whole place to yourself!!!
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