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Old 08-01-01, 02:32 PM   #1
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It's summer, it's hot, beware of heat stroke!

Yesterday in Minneapolis it got to 97 degrees and to 110 in terms
of the heat index (which is what the temperature combined with
the humidity feels like to the body). There was also a pollution
alert which is the second one I can ever remember.

My friend and I had decided to go riding without actually being
totally aware of what the weather was going to be like.

I usually have my camelbak with me and yesterday was no
exception - I fill it partially with ice cubes and then fill it with
water all the way to the top. The ice cools the water and it
in turn cools me since it rests against my back.

My friend and I were about 6.5 miles into our ride when we
realized we made a really stupid mistake by trying to ride in
such conditions (it was a rare day when we both had the
same day off).

I was getting irritable and I knew that if I didn't keep hydrating
that I'd probably get heat stroke or worse.

When I returned to his jeep, I literally poured the remainder
of the camelbak over me and refilled it from a convenient
drinking fountain at the trailhead - it had a spout on the side
that let you run water all over your legs and did it feel good.

Once I had a freshly refilled (and cold) camelbak I was able to
drink that until we went to an air conditioned restaurant for

Well, I ended up going home after that and even in the air
conditioned comfort of home I didn't really cool down until I
went for a swim in a local lake later in the day which helped

I found out a little later that a Minnesota Viking football player
was also out practicing that day and later got heatstroke and
died in that weather.

So, that being said - if you're out and it's really hot make sure
your ride isn't an epic and make sure you've got plenty of water
with you (and sunscreen!).

Just thought I'd pass the word on.
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Old 08-01-01, 04:03 PM   #2
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Sounds like what you suffered was the early-to-intermediate stages of heat exhaustion. It's far milder than heat stroke (which can easily be lethal, as you point out with the sad case of the athlete who died.)

Irritability followed by increasing confusion is a classic pattern. The confusion is very dangerous because it can even make a person forget or neglect the need to drink, or cause him/her to make irrational decisions such as riding on and on rather than seeking shelter. I've reached the point of not even being sure where I was, a couple of times: no fun, and very hazardous.

Your warning is well taken and very appropriate! This is a rugged summer for those of us, like you, who don't habitually get this kind of conditions. More southerly cyclists sometimes don't realize that we northerners just aren't prepared for this kind of thing!
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Old 08-01-01, 04:30 PM   #3
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In such weather, you should make a deliberate and conscious effort to drink TOO MUCH water, and then drink some more. I'm talking, like, 10 litres a day.

P*ss often, p*ss clear.

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Old 08-02-01, 02:05 PM   #4
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Being from Florida, I can attest to the importance of drinking a ton of water when riding. I usually try to hydrate by drinking at least twice the daily recommended amount, (64 oz) or, two (2) full Gatorade Quart sized containers of water during the day BEFORE I'm planning to go riding. That way I don't don't have to drown myself trying to drink enough water on my way to the trails. I also snack on pretzels or peanuts, things that are salty to help you retain water. I also snack on beef jerky, but only a small amount so it doesn't sit in your stomach during the ride.

Dehydration can be a scary thing. I've been riding in 95 degree weather with a humidity factor of about 90%, (Typical summer day in FL) and have gotten a chill. That's scary!!!! You know right then to stop and empty your water bottle or Camelback and head back to the car immediately!!! This can lead to muscle cramps which will force you to stop or walk back which causes you to be without H20 for an even longer period of time.

Dehydration can also lead to hypothermia in COLD weather. So all of you in northern climates be careful in the winter time.

Have fun, stay hydrated, eat salty foods and ride HARD!!

Later Gator
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