Sunday, July 16, 2006

Weekend rides: Riding in the heat

Mileage when returning home: 2784.8 (though my cyclometer registered '0' mph several times during the ride - I need to check that out)

It's getting hotter every day. Yesterday was high of 90 and today's high is expected to be 95! Thanks to the "thick air", the heat index will top 100.

(I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on TV. So, if you're some bastard who is relying on this for 'medical advice', forget it bucko. Wow, I can't believe I wrote a legal disclaimer on my blog that no one reads. That's pretty pathetic!)

So, does the hot weather mean no riding at all? I don't think so. At least, not for me. It does mean paying attention to my body and taking it easy when necessary.

For my own knowledge, I've looked up some info about cycling in the hot weather. Here's what I've compiled so far...


- Ride early when it's not yet hot outside. (With my daughter's breastfeeding schedule, I haven't been able to get out of the house early enough...) The sun is highest in the sky between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

- Drink. Yeah, duh. Drink when you're NOT thirsty, in anticipation of the thirst, though don't drink TOO much - you may become waterlogged! Better yet, according to this article, you should have a drinking schedule while riding - drink no matter what every 8 to 10 minutes.

Here's a link for a more complete look at staying hydrated.

- Acclimate yourself to the heat. The first day out in the heat will be tough, so ease yourself into the heat starting with shorter rides during the early morning.

- Dress for succes. I have been wearing the only jersey that fits over my boobs while I'm nursing - a BLACK Terry jersey with multicolored hearts. It's cute enough, but it's hotter because the fabric is primarily black. At least it is a well-ventilated touring jersey. My helmet has lots o' slots for ventilation.

- Pre-and post-ride self-exam. This article I referenced above (no wonder it was the #1 link for my google search) recommends checking the color of your urine (should be colorless if you have had enough to drink,) amount of urine before and after the ride to check out fluid loss. No, don't get out the measuring cup, just be mindful.

- Don't forget the sunblock. Not SPF 10, either! Re-apply sunblock as frequently as needed, as the sweat can take off the sunblock. Don't forget about your protecting your lips and ears!

- Make sure your eyes are protected. Wear sunglasses with the proper filtering from the sun.

- Make sure you know the signs of heat stress.

- Pretend you're on a tropical island on vacation. In my mind, this makes the heat seem like a gift that I had to take a plane ride to get to.

- This page has some nice stats on heat stress, fluid loss, etc.


Anonymous Kiril, The Cycling Dude said...

Thanks for the informative post!

4:13 PM  
Blogger Fritz said...

I climbed 600 feet to Felton, California where a weather station recorded 110°F / 43°C when I got there at 3 in the afternoon. That is smokin' hot. I was feeling pretty poorly, in fact, and ended up taking my helmet off -- the foam insulation on my head was probably more dangerous to me at the time that wasn't offset by the small amount of protection provided.

1:05 PM  

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