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touring when it is hotter than Hot

Old 06-23-15, 10:18 PM
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cyclezealot
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touring when it is hotter than Hot

How did you do. I once got Heat Exhaustion at about 90... Long term forecast for the Pacific Northwest Interior is nearly 100 for days. What was your experience like with prolonged exposure to 95 degree plus weather. We might be hammered by such heat by the better part of a week on a 12 day bike tour.. ?
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Old 06-23-15, 10:24 PM
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That's no fun but at least it's not wet heat, right? Humidity is tough to deal with. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/op...-humidity.html

I'd find a way to keep my water cold; that's the best way I know of to lower internal body temperature. Personally I'd pick up a camelback (one of the smaller ones that hold 50 ounces) and fill that bag with ice from a convenience store and some water. There is nothing better than drinking cold water all day long on a hot ride.
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Old 06-23-15, 11:42 PM
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My wife and I have experienced temperatures of 109F for several days on at least 4 different extended tours. We found that getting up early and trying to get our day's riding in before 2:00 pm helped. We also keep well hydrated, and use electrolyte replacement drinks.

Get used to riding in the heat by riding in the heat. We have put in some long rides on 95 F days getting ready for an eastern oregon tour starting the 1st week of July. Right now a 50 mile ride in the low 90's feels pretty good.

One of my front panniers is insulated, and it will keep drinks cool, when ice can be obtained to fill up an empty bottle. Unfortunately, some of our our hottest days were in areas with long distances between resupply points; eastern Oregon, southern Idaho, Wyoming and interior British Columbia.

Also, those neck cooler wraps, the kind you soak in water , really do work.
[/UR

If you find shade use it, or improvise. Also a white or light colored shirt or jersey helps. In areas of high temps and low humidity a cotton T-shirt is cooler than the wicking tech T-shirts.


Eastern Oregon's High Desert.


Insulated front pannier. Duct tape and a cheap Walmart sleeping pad. The top is capped with a tight fitting piece of pad.


We made our prototype in Wyoming on a cross country ride 8 years ago, and have used an insulated front pannier every tour since then.

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Old 06-24-15, 05:50 AM
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Love the insulated pannier, will start on one soonest! Could've used it this past weekend...

One note on those neck wraps, they rely on evaporation to work and might not be as effective in more humid areas. I tried one down here in south Louisiana and it was pretty uncomfortable. Since OP is in the PNW this might not be an issue.
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Old 06-24-15, 05:58 AM
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I always just soak my clothing in water when it's really hot, if you can find a cheap white long sleeved cotton shirt and long johns or something like that they will hold water for ages and keep you cool especially while moving or in wind. I've done this for years and it works like a charm while touring, tree-planting or hauling giant duffel bags on ones back through the desert. Even if you don't have cotton clothing it works well with synthetics. The aforementioned desert slog was done in a black synthetic top soaked in river water and a Tilley hat.
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Old 06-24-15, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
How did you do. I once got Heat Exhaustion at about 90... Long term forecast for the Pacific Northwest Interior is nearly 100 for days. What was your experience like with prolonged exposure to 95 degree plus weather. We might be hammered by such heat by the better part of a week on a 12 day bike tour.. ?
I hate hot weather. That said I do acclimate to it. I still don't like it though.

I try to schedule my trips to avoid hot weather, but for some routes that just isn't possible.

Hot and humid is worse that hot and dry unless the hot and dry is much hotter. We did the TA a year of record heat. We managed fine, but it would have been nicer if cooler. We also did the lower half of the SC during an early heat wave. It was crazy hot in the Mojave, at least 110 F and probably more like 115 F. Again we managed fine, but I hated the heat and suffered a good bit.

The key is to stay hydrated. It also helps to ride early, even before daylight, and knock off early for the day. The problem with knocking off early is that unless you have a place to stop that has either shade or water to get in it is still miserable. Even doing all that I hated the heat. Did I mention that I hate the heat? I sometimes wonder why I moved to Florida
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Old 06-24-15, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
What was your experience like with prolonged exposure to 95 degree plus weather.
awesome! love it! alice springs, cambodia, nevada, arizona, ........ as long as it's a dry
heat i'm good.....100 degrees, 110 degrees, whatever.






carry water, lots of water. monitor salt intake.
remember to drink. if you're not thirsty, drink twice as much.
if you're tired, take a break. take many breaks.
take a break even if not tired, no telling when the next one will come along.
carry shade.....a small tarp and some thin ropes.
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Old 06-24-15, 07:49 AM
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cyclezealot, HYDRATE!

Basically you should drink enough to pee at least once an hour. When it's humid this is easier to remember because the sweat doesn't evaporate like it will when hot and the humidity is low.

Brad
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Old 06-24-15, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rcschafer View Post
Love the insulated pannier, will start on one soonest! Could've used it this past weekend...
I do something similar but just use insulation that I'm carrying anyway. Wrapping a sleeping bag and/or jacket/etc. around cold food and drinks keeps them cool for a long time. Just make sure you have a watertight plastic bag around the ice and cold items.
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Old 06-24-15, 08:26 AM
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I carry enough water bottles to hold a gallon. But that might not be enough where you are going, I had a college prof that had done geological research in death valley, he said that they each carried a 2.5 gallon water jug on back pack frames.

I have never put a cotton tube sock on a water bottle and wet it down to make the bottle cooler, but I have heard that some do that to take advantage of evaporative cooling. I use insulated bottles, so probably would not help me.

If you get dehydrated, do NOT get tempted to suddenly drink too much water, that can dilute the electrolytes in your blood stream and cause a problem. Best to not run out, instead work to stay hydrated without sudden large thirst quenches.

Exertion means more calories burned. Calories is a measure of heat generating capacity. Bottom line, take it easy and burn fewer calories.

The above comments about starting out early and quitting early are very good.

Do not forget the sunscreen. If you get a bit of sunburn, later days it will feel really terrible when you are in the sunlight. I have thinning spot without much hair on top of my head, I take my helmet off to apply sunscreen on my thin spot too.

Camping, when it can be too hot to use a sleeping bag, a sleeping bag liner is really nice.

If you have any long downhills and rim brakes, your tires on a hot day will be a lot hotter than they would on a cooler day. I have stopped to cool rims on downhills in the mountains.
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Old 06-24-15, 08:41 AM
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lots of really good suggestions here.
Bottom line is being very aware of taking in lots of luiquids, keeping on top of it. The times I've had to ride in 90s a lot, I've generally been lucky in that there have been towns and stores available to be able to go in, take advantage of air conditioning and buying some cold drinks, I find getting some cold drinks in really helps.
Taking shade breaks and even a nap in the hottest parts of the day has worked for me also.

I think to when I was younger, I figure Im smarter now and listen to my body more, and am much more careful of sunscreening well, drinking lots regularly and taking breaks more.

Doug--that's a cool idea (sic), I really like that. I've used cut up pieces of those blue mats to make protective stuff for laptops and camera stuff in the past, but it completely makes sense to use it for insulation, great idea.
Will store that one in the 'ol noggin for future use.
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Old 06-24-15, 08:44 AM
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Don't think this has been mentioned... it barely gets dark overnight in WA this time of year. This should make riding early in day easier, although if you are camping it also may be difficult to get enough sleep.

My suggestion, if possible for you is to change the plan and do the coast. This would be a very pleasant tour this time of year.
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Old 06-24-15, 09:07 AM
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In addition to the many good ideas already mentioned I carry a Chrome Dome aluminized umbrella to create a shady spot around me when no other shade is available. Also useful for brief rain showers. It weighs 8 oz.
For a more extended midday nap to avoid heat I carry a lightweight aluminzed tarp to create a larger shaded area. It reflects away a surprising amount of heat. I use bungies to attach it to the bike on one end and two stakes at the other end. It weighs 8oz. It is also the part of my shelter as the rain cover for the net tent I made for bug infested places on tour. Nice to be bug free on hot days and nights The net tent weighs 10 oz.

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Old 06-24-15, 09:07 AM
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I love riding in hot weather. I have no choice... I live in a desert.
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Old 06-24-15, 09:31 AM
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I rode from Dallas to Wichita Falls in July, several years back. The high temps recorded for the area by the weather service ranged from 104° to 106° F. In the direct sun, my odometer read 129° F. My iPhone shut down and displayed the warning attached.

All this to say that the days weren't too bad. As long as I kept moving, I generated my own breeze. I stayed hydrated and stopped for snowcones in several towns along the way.

The nights were a bit less pleasant. The low never got below 80° so I'd lay on my back until it was crazy sweaty, then lay on my side until it was soaking wet and then over to my stomach. I did this all night the first night. The second night, I was so exhausted from not sleeping the first, I slept and sweated in one spot all night.
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Old 06-24-15, 09:31 AM
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Get up early and get going while it's cooler. i have ridden many week-long tours in summer. When the weather gets really hot, we try to hit the road by 6 am each day. We finish most of our mileage by 11 am or so, stop for a nice lunch and then finish the remaining miles with time to cool down in the shade or swimming pool afterwards.

I don't normally drink a lot of sports drinks like Gatorade, but make an exception on long rides in hot weather. My legs have cramped up a few times on really hot days, and Gatorade seems to help prevent that.
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Old 06-24-15, 09:38 AM
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10 days in a row over 100 in the forecast here in southern oregon, i think my training is going to take a small dip this week, good luck out there!!!

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Old 06-24-15, 09:40 AM
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I used to like to include multiple swimming spots on my rides, but that might not be possible on a point-to-point tour in an area you are not familiar with.
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Old 06-24-15, 09:55 AM
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Southern coast of Norway has some ice age carved pools with cool fresh water in them .
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Old 06-24-15, 07:17 PM
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My heat wave experience (in the US Midwest in 2012) was tolerable because there was a steady SW breeze, all day and all night. I pitched my tent to take advantage of the breeze which allowed me to sleep when the temp was 95F at sunset and 75F at sunrise (with 75F dewpoint! My glasses and mirror would fog up on descents into creek valleys--it was horrible). I would wake at dawn and immediately begin riding, trying to get 40 miles by 10 am when the 105F humid heat got intolerable. Then I'd find shade and water if A/C was unavailable. When possible I'd wait out the next six hours in town, between the library and diners, then get cycling as the shadows lengthened and could often get another 60 miles by dark. 100+ miles per day in 100+ heat for a little over a week--tough going but survivable.

I found myself adding salt to salty food like french fries--I really needed the extra salt and you might need to pay attention to that as well. Hyponatremia can be fatal.
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Old 06-24-15, 08:13 PM
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One trick is to pack lights and ride in the predawn, or at least at dawn. That will protect you from the worst of the heat. If you only get 3/4 of your planned day in before it gets brutal, find a cool place to spend mid day, and put in the last two hours at dusk.

Or if you do ride through heat, learn to pace yourself and ride at speeds where you get decent breeze to help stay cooler (less hot), yet aren't working to where you get overheated. (nothing's perfect here, just keep it in mind and do the best you can).

As other noted, stay hydrated, but make sure to maintain your electrolytes lest you cramp up (better outcome) or start becoming hyponatremic (worse possibility). Also, get some hot riding in, even maybe to the extent of overdoing it a bit, so you can learn what going too far feels like.

BTW- if you, like me, are used to high humidity when it's hot, be aware that dry heat is very different. I suffered extreme water loss riding in Nevada one year. It was hot and obviously dry, but I never felt hot at all, since my sweat was cooling me so effectively. Problem is that it worked so well, that I never got my usual cues, such as a hot flush face, sweaty neck and salt running own into my eyes. So, I had no idea how fast I was draining my fluid reserve, and got back, with a salt crusted face, and a few pounds of water low. It didn't hit me hard until later on, then it took me 2 day to get fluids back into balance.
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Old 06-24-15, 09:06 PM
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I have found that Gatorade powder is great when it's really hot, being able to mix it diluted is nice and it really is inexpensive. I've used nalgenes to carry it in, of even zip locks.
Just always rinse bike bottles really well to avoid growing stuff in the little crevices etc.
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Old 06-25-15, 03:36 AM
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I was a paratrooper in Panama (1/508) and the first thing they teach you is how to deal with the heat.

People have to understand that it takes time for your body to absorb water. If you find yourself thirsty it's too late. The real trick is to drink a couple of glasses (or more) of water the night before, then start drinking early and keep at it all day long. It's O K to have a Gatoraid now and then but never drink just Gatoraid, It'll really mess up you kidneys. (been there, done that) Another important thing is acclimation. If your touring and you sleep in hotels in the A C, your body can't adjust. Once your in the heat, stay in the heat. And lastly don't push too hard. Take plenty of breaks, and oh yeah.... drink drink drink.
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Old 06-25-15, 04:23 AM
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Not much to add, but keep your head covered and wear whatever clothing or sun lotion you need to not get sunburnt.
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Old 06-25-15, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
...It's O K to have a Gatoraid now and then but never drink just Gatoraid, It'll really mess up you kidneys. (been there, done that)...
Thanks for adding that. It'll also mess with your bowels. When I was a wildland firefighter, sometimes Gatorade was the first thing to come up the line. If I drank one fast, I'd get explosive flatulence (which can be funny on a fire line, maybe not cycling, especially on a tandem).

Eating well and sometimes adding a little salt has always worked for me. When I crave salt and start licking the bag the chips come it, I'm low.
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