Summer’s Here…

…and what a better time than to trot out one of our old articles on dealing with the heat! With record temps here in Florida (100 degrees and change heat index the past couple weeks), heat is on our minds. And, with some interest expressed in our article last week about basic commuter skills, this topic bears repeating.

Take a look at our round-up article published by Moe in 2008 by clicking here — that article contains links to other articles we’ve written on staying cool and arriving fresh at work.

Have any of your own tips to share? We’d love to hear them!


6 Comments

  1. jersey rider June 24, 2010 4:53 am 

    yea go easy while pedaling if come to stop{T TRAFFIC LIGHT}stay under tree orbe in shadow,pedel easy and paces yourself.check see if your company have shower or gym closes by..most of all drink allot of FLUIDS….

  2. locus June 24, 2010 6:37 am 

    For those of us who ride to work in dress clothes, I highly, highly recommend light-weight (100 wt.) wool pants. They breathe very, very well. They stand up to decent levels of saddle abuse (particularly if you have a leather saddle). They also look pretty good even after a couple of wears.

    I live in the former swamp now known as Washington DC. It’s only June and the heat is 96 degrees. I tried linen (too wrinkly), but light-weight wool is the real deal.

    locus

  3. Andrew June 24, 2010 7:35 am 

    drink at least a bottle an hour

  4. Martha Van Inwegen June 24, 2010 10:41 am 

    When no showers area avialable at work, try Action Wipes (www.actionwipes.com). They have a no-rinse sudsing action that cleans off sweat, grime and grease affectively while leaving your skin soft. Free shipping.

  5. BluesCat June 26, 2010 9:11 am 

    The Arizona desert presents a unique set of challenges to the summer bike commuter.

    For the vast majority of the year, unless your commute to work is very, very short, there is no way you can do it without having shower facilities. While other areas of the country face the challenges of high heat AND humidity, the desert has incredible heat but very little humidity. You WILL sweat as your body attempts to not only cool itself but also deliver moisture to the surface of your skin to protect it from drying out and dying. As that sweat dries quickly, and leaves behind a patina of dirt and body oils perfect for bacteria growth, you WILL stink and stink REALLY well. No amount of baby wipes are going to be able to deal with that, you need a genuine water stream which will get into every sweaty nook and cranny of your skin.

    As far as riding attire goes, here again the desert is a very different environment which requires a very different set of clothing. Wearing wicking-type Lycra or other synthetics is out, for a couple of reasons. Number one is the fact that you WANT your clothing to hold the moisture close to your skin. That moisture is the only thing protecting you from heat exhaustion. There is NO way, short of an IV bag and tube, that you can take in enough water to replace the water wicked away by these efficient fabrics. Loose fitting cotton clothing is the rule of knowledgeable hikers, backpackers AND bike riders. Ignore this rule — and head out on a sunny, dry, 110° day for a 30 mile ride wearing your skintight Tour de France jersey and matching shorts — and the mortician at the end of your ride won’t have to put any embalming fluid into you: he’ll be able to simply pop you into the coffin because you’ll be as desiccated as an Egyptian mummy.

    The second reason for not wearing bicycle synthetics has to do with that shower I was talking about earlier. Man-made fabrics stink … period … and they stink to high heaven when the brutal desert sun forces them to deal with the accelerated bodily processes which fill them with sweat and body oils. A word to the wise for any of you Arizona Lance Armstrong wannabes who ignore THIS rule: take TWO showers at the end of your commute, you NEED them because we WILL smell you.

    When the weatherman says thermometer is going to go up above 105°, I will usually pass on riding my bike to work unless I feel 100%, have begun the hydration process the night before and passed on the beer and steak and other foods which require more water to process them. And if he says it is going to to be 110° or better, I stay off the bike between 10 AM and 7 PM; if the temperature at the airport is 110° you can bet the temperature out on the pavement will be 115° or better.

  6. Mike Myers June 27, 2010 2:04 am 

    As tacky and uncool as it is, I wear a Camelbak on my commute. It’s 20 miles, and I can pretty much drain the Camelbak each way.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *