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Too hot to ride?

Old 06-20-24, 04:25 PM
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Too hot to ride?

We have a heat wave coming to NYC over the next few days, temps 90+ with high humidity and unhealthy air. I rode this morning before it got too hot and it was OK, but after that I watered my garden and even that felt too hot. I'm 69 years old and don't want to keel over from the heat.

What do you do when it gets hot?
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Old 06-20-24, 04:31 PM
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I ride easy, drink a lot of water, and try to pick a shady route. If I feel the need, I'll take a break for a few minutes.
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Old 06-20-24, 04:41 PM
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I'm in my 60s, too, and regularly ride in temps >90, occasionally >100. I carry lots of water and pour some of it over my head and down my back to help with evaporative cooling. In really extreme heat (>100), I'll stay close to home, riding laps or loops, so I can bail out when exhausted. If it's just in the 90s and I want more distance, I plan my route around refill opportunities.

I wish I were more of an early morning person, but I end up rarely getting out before 10am -- and around here, in the middle of summer, that might mean temps already >90. I've got a 100-mile gravel race on Saturday, and -- if all goes according to plan -- I should be finishing with temps around 90. If it doesn't go according to plan, it'll be even hotter.
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Old 06-20-24, 04:53 PM
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If the air temps increase somewhat drastically since my last 3 or 4 rides, then I know I'm going to have to get use to the new temps. So a few rides that I don't have to perform at peak but are 1 hour or better rides seem to get me in condition to handle those new higher temps.

Of course lots of water helps. Whether it's plain water or fueling water with carbohydrate and electrolytes in it. On days when the temps are over 95°F and into the 100's, a 24 fluid oz bottle of water can last as little as 30 minutes of riding time. So if you can't carry it with, then plan the water stops carefully.

Cramps in my quads seem to try and sneak in when I'm trying to get use to the new temps, but staying hydrated and the fact I don't have to push hard allow me to keep them from becoming a full blown cramp.
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Old 06-20-24, 05:00 PM
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I do really poorly in the heat. I get some appreciable heart rate decoupling over 85 or so. I'm a lighter guy too (145 lbs). IDK maybe I'm just not great at sweating. A local coach told me that's what being heat adapted means - basically you are really good at sweating.
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Old 06-20-24, 05:04 PM
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Go slower; plan my routes with more shade; take two bottles, both with a lot of ice in them; drink frequently, and plan your route with water stops to refill; make sure there's a cold drink or two waiting at the end.

When I start feeling really hot, I take a bottle with plain water, stick the nozzle in one of the holes in my helmet and give it a squeeze, as well as squirting some on my shoulders and back.

Two things, though - First, this is in California, so when it gets HOT it also gets DRY. In NYC you may be dealing with high humidity, which reduces how effective sweating is. Second, if you haven't been riding at all in heat >80 degrees, be careful! You need to acclimate to it. I've occasionally had problems on the first hot ride of the year - lightheadedness, slight nausea, feeling weak. It happens if I haven't acclimated.
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Old 06-20-24, 05:05 PM
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I ride on the coast, which almost always has moderate temperatures during an inland heat wave.

During one heat wave, I decided to ride over to the coast and back. It was 105 when I summited, 66 when I got to the coast, then 105 again on the return ride. That temperature swing felt miserable.

These days, I drive to the coast and park.
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Old 06-20-24, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TMonk
I do really poorly in the heat. I get some appreciable heart rate decoupling over 85 or so. I'm a lighter guy too (145 lbs). IDK maybe I'm just not great at sweating. A local coach told me that's what being heat adapted means - basically you are really good at sweating.
I'm good at sweating. We shall see how it goes as the b-days tick by, but I tend to be pretty good at adapting to heat, but I'm careful to keep things pretty moderate during the process.
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Old 06-20-24, 05:12 PM
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the heat left my area to head over to NY.... it aint all that bad. It was just humid.

hate sweating, i'd rather urine longer.
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Old 06-20-24, 05:15 PM
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It was down to 44°F here early this morning.

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Old 06-20-24, 05:18 PM
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I sweat like a pig but still suffer in the heat. My heart rate zooms and I can't ride for more than a couple of hours. This year I've been getting out early, drinking electrolytes and taking shade breaks with my helmet off. It won't surprise me if I have to give it up for a couple of months. Heat exhaustion is no joke and develops quicker once you've experienced it and as you get older, so I've read.
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Old 06-20-24, 05:22 PM
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I would acclimitize by doing shortish rides in the morning, and keep them nearby a place you can stop, rest, and get more water. Humidity+heat is brutal so don't overdo it. Maybe even plan your route so you do the hard climbing in the beginning and come back on a flat or descent, since on hot days/rides that's always the worst part.
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Old 06-20-24, 05:29 PM
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I grew up in Chicago, but now live on the central CA coast. I don't miss the summer heat and relentless humidity. I found it oppressive at age 18.
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Old 06-20-24, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
I grew up in Chicago, but now live on the central CA coast. I don't miss the summer heat and relentless humidity. I found it oppressive at age 18.
I grew up in South Central PA, with hot, humid summers. I hated it. When I got to the Bay Area, I knew I'd found my place. My sister, OTOH, loved it, and a few years ago realized her life-long dream of moving to Florida. We each shudder when thinking about the weather the other one loves.
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Old 06-20-24, 06:55 PM
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Four and a quarter hours of a hilly ride on a fixed-gear bike today, finishing in 91-degree heat. Finished an entire 24-oz bottle of water for only the second time this year.

The only times I felt uncomfortably warm: climbing with a feeble breeze behind me, matching my speed, so I was surrounded by a pall of my own making; and waiting at traffic lights. This is the time of year when I plan my routes to avoid complicated major intersections where I'm likely to be caught standing in one spot for 2 minutes, but a couple are usually inevitable on each ride.
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Old 06-20-24, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Four and a quarter hours of a hilly ride on a fixed-gear bike today, finishing in 91-degree heat. Finished an entire 24-oz bottle of water for only the second time this year.

e.
one 24 oz bottle of water - 4.5 hour ride that finished in 91 degrees ?

yikes

would need a stretcher after that ride

on a hot day I will often / typically consume one 22 oz water bottle per 10 miles

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Old 06-20-24, 07:13 PM
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I started at 6:15 am today. low 70s, and quiet roads. Nice sunrise too. I rode at tempo for an hour. Upper 90s are forecast for late afternoon.

Bike riding is way better for me than walking in the heat. Nice airflow.
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Old 06-20-24, 07:14 PM
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To my thinking, no shame in shutting it down for awhile to recover - think library, under a tree in a park, restaurant with AC and drinks. Go slower. In quiet neighborhoods, stay on the shady side of the street.
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Old 06-20-24, 07:23 PM
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I rode yesterday, and I stopped midway to cool down. I splashed some water on my face/head, then sat under a pavilion with some breeze. I had been there a good long time, and I thought I was ready to resume my ride, but then I realized I was feeling cold chills. So I stayed longer. It wasn't that long of a ride, but I was wiped out the rest of the day.
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Old 06-20-24, 07:31 PM
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I get out early or ride Zwift.
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Old 06-20-24, 07:32 PM
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I've never let the heat stop me from riding. I try to ride in the mornings when it's cooler, but last weekend, after a later than usual start, I checked the temperature when I returned and it was 97 degrees. While I do find hot weather to be a bit fatiguing, it's never bothered me that much. Perhaps as a long-time Floridian, my body has adjusted to it.
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Old 06-20-24, 07:43 PM
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Ride early if possible. Drink lots of fluids. Don’t push the pace too hard. Halo headband to keep sweat out of eyes.
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Old 06-20-24, 08:04 PM
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This is interesting from National Weather Service WetBulb Globe Temperature
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Old 06-21-24, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster
We have a heat wave coming to NYC over the next few days, temps 90+ with high humidity and unhealthy air. I rode this morning before it got too hot and it was OK, but after that I watered my garden and even that felt too hot. I'm 69 years old and don't want to keel over from the heat.

What do you do when it gets hot?
What you did. Ride early before the heat sets in. Making sure to have lights on front and rear since it can still be a bit dark out. It was so hot here in NE CT yesterday that I had to forgo my motorcycle when I went out at 5 pm to meet a friend.
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Old 06-21-24, 06:27 AM
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At 72 with a heart condition, when it gets really hot outside, I move indoors on Zwift / Rouvy and ride in my air conditioned room.
I suffered heat exhaustion several years ago on a ride. No thanks, don't want to do that again.
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