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qqginawu 01-14-12 11:47 PM

Are you feel comfotable biking in Phoenix?
Hi, I am a university student doing a research recently trying to encouraging more biking activity as daily transportation.
My research area is in Phoenix, where the weather in summer is miserable. Do you guys agree that the extreme heat in Phoenix is the major reason stop people biking as daily transportation there? Or any else? Does any one know that what the comfort temperature is for people doing exercise? Any thoughts and opinion are appreciate. Thank you very much.

locolobo13 01-16-12 09:58 AM

Heat is only one of the reasons I have heard. Traffic is another. People don't need a reason to not ride, too far (many people commute more than 30 mi one way), too dangerous, air pollution, too hot, too cold, etc.

There isn't really a comfort temperature. Everyone would give you a different number. The truth is even on the coldest morning I'm sweating when I get to work. Although not as much as in warmer weather. You have to learn to be comfortable over a wide range of weather conditions. You acclimate.

Have you done any riding here? It's a good way to find out what it's like. It also gives you a chance to talk to other riders.

VegasVic 01-16-12 08:40 PM

It doesn't stop anyone that I know of. It's not hot at 6:30 or 7am when they are riding to work. The ride home can be a little warm, but drink more water to stay hydrated.

aztimm 01-17-12 05:59 AM


Originally Posted by VegasVic (Post 13729445)
It's not hot at 6:30 or 7am when they are riding to work.

I certainly wouldn't say it isn't warm at 6:30am in July-August in the Phoenix area ;) There's some nights when lows may get down to 90 or 95, but compared with daily highs, it isn't too bad.

I've done some ~50 mile rides in summer. While it may not be 100% pleasant, it isn't too horrible.

qqginawu 01-17-12 01:48 PM

Thank you all.
I rode my bike to school pretty much everyday. For this 15 minutes biking, so far so good. Well, since I have been PHX only half year, I don't have much experience biking in the summer:). I want to know all of your thoughts and suggestion. I really appreciate your sharing.

Daspydyr 01-24-12 06:31 PM

I grew up in Phoenix and rode all year around. But if you needed to show up neat and tidy at 3pm, then a bike wasn't the transport mode May15 to Sept. 15. After that you can prepare for the elements. I ride a lot up here in Las Vegas. We are typically 3-5 degrees cooler than Phoenix. I still make the mail and bank runs on my bike in the summer.

Now days business casual allows a nice golf shirt in most business meetings. If you take your time in the last 15 minutes of a ride you can air dry some and then change out your shirt and pants on arrival. You need to have 20-30 minutes and access to a nice restroom. I carry a golf towel and towel off and then use a "male body spray." You can pick up several nice sprays at any good Bed and Bath type store. I do the same thing after a round of golf.

aztimm 01-30-12 04:05 PM

Like the last poster said, I guess it really depends when you'll be riding and how far. If you have a 5 mile commute, you could probably do that even during the worst heat of the day and survive. If you're riding 30+ miles each way, you may want to look into alternate transportation.

Along with weather conditions, I'd also suggesting finding a good route for biking. One that has bike lanes and/or wide shoulders. Knowing that you can't ride on the freeways, even though that may be the most direct path.

mjoekingz28 01-31-12 09:57 AM

Are they friendly with bikers in Phoenix? Like what is the mentality and are the roads safe for us? Or are we just in the way?

Seems like a nice town.

Daspydyr 01-31-12 09:19 PM

Nice town! But drivers come in all kinds. Teenagers seem most pesky to me.

tgrssn 02-08-12 05:26 PM

I'd take 110 degrees over 10 degrees any day. I've commuted in Phoenix heat for years. It's no problem at all for me, personally. Stay hydrated!

aztimm 04-03-12 10:38 PM


Originally Posted by mjoekingz28 (Post 13790424)
Are they friendly with bikers in Phoenix? Like what is the mentality and are the roads safe for us? Or are we just in the way?

Seems like a nice town.

As others have said, it can be hit or miss. Take extra caution if near retirement communities...people driving golf carts hardly look for cars, let alone bikes.

I live on the east side of town and bike lanes are fairly plentiful and I've found most drivers are cooperative with me riding on the roads.

Dodgensince74 04-05-12 01:02 PM

I ride mostly in South Phoenix on my way to South Mountain Park and in the West Valley (Goodyear, Tolleson, Avondale area) where most of my family lives and find the drivers are worse on my Westside rides. As for the Summer heat I find it only hot when I have to stop at a light, while riding I feel pretty good, I find I do tons more riding in the Summer months then I do in the Winter months( I don't care for cold). I do drink lots of liquids before and during my rides, I drink watered down Poweraid since it seems to help me more then just plain water and strait the poweraid is to strong. My rides are usually only from 15 to 30 miles and the times differ depending on when I get the chance/urge to ride. I do find that a good sweat rag is a key item to have during Summer rides.

zonatandem 04-28-12 08:11 PM

Commuted for 16 years year 'round in Tucson.
While us folk in Tucson claim tro be cooler than Phx, it is only by a few degrees.
Warmest commuting back home at 3 p.m. was 117 degrees.
Fun? No. But doable. Let about 5 lbs of air out of my tires, wet my cycling cap and bandana and pedaled home.
Anything up to 110 is not bad as usually humidity is in single digits.
Drink, dress cool and take your time!
A 15 minute commute and you are worried?!
Most folks go from the a/c home into their a/c car to their a/c work . . . But I'm not 'most people!'

martyphoto 10-07-12 09:57 PM

I ride daily in Phoenix, 12 months out of the year. For over 2 years now, my main transportation has been my bike. I commute 13 miles each way to work and back, plus regular grocery runs, etc. Sure it gets "warm" at time in summer, and "cool" in mid winter, but I find that just a little common sense and basic preparation take care of any issues. As someone said, proper hydration is the key in summer. In winder, I carry a scarf, warm gloves, and a hat for under the helmet, as I commute home at night in the dark when it can be fairly chilly.

martyphoto 10-07-12 10:07 PM


Originally Posted by mjoekingz28 (Post 13790424)
Are they friendly with bikers in Phoenix? Like what is the mentality and are the roads safe for us? Or are we just in the way?

Seems like a nice town.

The biggest threat to those of us who ride is NOT mean or angry drivers. The real threat is distracted driving, and sadly, its not limited to a particular age or demographic. I ride like I'm invisible, and nobody can see me. That way, I spot potential trouble before it becomes a REAL problem. I can say I avoid at least one disaster every day, and I must say universally they are all because a driver is messin with their cell phone, GPS or texting. I tend to avoid major thoroughfares whenever possible, even tho they may have bike lanes, and will often opt for short-cutting through residential areas. BEst advice I can give is keep your eyes and ears open!

andrew.ferrell 11-30-12 03:42 PM

I bike to near the Capitol down 19th Ave from Baseline where I live. It's a twelve mile round trip. Cycling in the heat is doable. It's really tough with contacts on, that's for sure. My eyes are burning and dried by the time I get home. Perosnally, I think it takes a particular mentality to "tough out" the heat for a summer commute just as it does for a winter commute. It's not for everyone. I'm the only cyclist that I notice on my way to and from work. I'm the only person that bike commutes to my work as well. I think it has to do with everyone's commute time. Like, if you live on the west side or east side and work downtown, I doubt I would even bike that far, especially since I have a family.

RapidRobert 05-19-13 10:52 AM

I just moved to Mesa from San Jose, CA, and am planning on riding a bunch for commuting and with recreational groups. I'm amazed at the large number of bicyclists I see here riding on the left side of the road and on the left side sidewalk. Despite the abundance of bike lanes in the area, it seems to be about half of those I see riding.

jt74 06-14-13 05:56 PM

I've been biking a 26-mile day for one year here in Phoenix (13 miles each way). In the hot months on the way home (evening/hottest part of the day), I soak my T-shirt at the office and then again mid-ride. I soak a towel and hang it around my neck. I also have a cooling cloth (the kind you snap and it cools--but 'em at REI) that I drape over my head/under my helmet and down my neck. These are all tried and true methods . . . my bonus nugget is this: the wet cooling cloth that I drape over my head I pull forward over my temples and just above my sunglasses--this keeps the sun out from my eyeballs and cools me at the temples!

SpeshulEd 06-14-13 07:21 PM

The heat hasn't gotten to me yet this year. I just drink a lot...usually one bottle of water and one bottle with electrolytes, alternating between the two as I go.

For the most part, I don't sweat (or at least feel like I'm sweating when I ride) - there's always a breeze when you're moving. It's when you stop that you realize just how hot it is.

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