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Heat Exhaustion: Tips for warm weather riding...(16 posts)

Heat Exhaustion: Tips for warm weather riding...Kristin
Jul 22, 2001 6:21 PM
After a bit of research (done on the wrong side of riding) I learned that on hot days one should:

- Drink more than just water
Made the mistake of only packing water becasue it was hot. I drank plenty, but no electrolytes. I'd lost too much sodium and got myself in trouble.

- Hold back a bit.
Had a group behind me and pushed hard to not be passed. I should have taken it easy since it was so hot.

I found that the body doesn't compensate well on hot days when I suddenly get off the bike. That, and a lack of sodium caused me to overheat and nearly faint. My bodies cooling system just went haywire. I must have poured 20 ounces on myself, and I'm still feeling the effects.

So what other tips do you hot climate people have for warm weather riding? You can save some of us newbies from learning the hard way.
Ride in the AM when it's cooler.look271
Jul 22, 2001 6:25 PM
Less traffic that way, too.
LOL - this was the a.m.Kristin
Jul 22, 2001 6:28 PM
10:30 a.m.
(33 miles into ride)
86 degrees
77% humidity

But that's always good advice
You call 10:30 "morning"? ;-)mike mcmahon
Jul 22, 2001 6:33 PM
In the summertime, I'm almost always out the door no later than 7:00 a.m. Around here, it really starts warming up around 10:00 to 11:00 on hot days. Set that alarm and hit the road bright and early.
LOL - this was the a.m.look271
Jul 22, 2001 6:38 PM
Try REAL early; like 7am? There's a good ride that starts @ 7am near me. This Saturday the starting temp was less than 60f. Later that afternoon, it was 90.
Drink more than you think you need.E3
Jul 22, 2001 6:49 PM
These are some things that work for me:

Take all the hydro you can carry, both water and sports drinks. Keep swiggin'.

Wear sunscreen.

Go sleeveless.

Don't waste water by squirting it over yourself. You'll do better to drink it and sweat it out. Too many forget that liquid in and sweat out is the best and most efficient cooling system.
Drink more than you think you need.KEN2
Jul 22, 2001 8:31 PM
That's fine for profuse sweaters, but what about people who don't sweat much? My wife has been trying to cope with this problem and hasn't found a complete answer. The advice to drink and sweat doesn't do it for her in Texas summers. She overheats without breaking a sweat and gets too close to heatstroke. Squirting water on her head and face seems to help, also she carries a misting bottle like you use for plants as one of her water bottles and squirts that on arms and legs. Lately she has had some good results with a camelbak with ice next to her back. Any other ideas out there?
Hydration, potassium, sodiumDINOSAUR
Jul 22, 2001 10:37 PM
It gets hot here in the No. Cal. foothills during the summer. Today I went for a mid-afternoon ride and it was 88 degrees, which is cool for this time of the year. We usually do not have to deal with humidity, however we experienced some tropical weather blowing in from Hawaii last month and it was terrible. It sucked the life right out of me. Of course our hot weather is nothing compared to other spots in the U.S., may I dare say Texas?

Early summer is difficult as you need to adapt to hot weather riding.
When we get heat spells in the triple digits, I get my rides in early in the morning, before 8:00AM. I avoid riding during the heat of the day. Hydration is important and you have to stay hydrated before, during, and after the ride. I have trouble drinking any type of sports drink, so I just drink plain water. I pack two 21 oz water bottles and I start drinking 30 minutes into the ride and I take a couple of 3 oz sips every ten minutes thereafter. I limit my ride time to under 2 hours, as I run out of water by then. I used to have places to use as water sources, but they have disconnected the water (a couple of ball fields). Sometimes I pack an extra commercial type water bottle in one of my jersey pockets filled with tap water. This might stretch my ride out a little further.

I don't drink any type of alcohol as it ruins your heat tolerance. I also gave up on soda pop, pure garabage. Sodium intake is important. I read somewhere that a good snack to carry on rides is (believe it or not) corn nuts, I can't eat them, bad for my dental work.

I pack my water bottle with ice cubes. I used to freeze them, but it was like packing two bricks on my bike and they rattled like crazy.

I eat a lot of bananas. My breakfast might consist of two bananas and a bagel, same after the ride, no lunch. I think I might be changing into King Kong. Seriously, bananas are pack full of natural sugar and potassium, plus they full you up.

Also if you start to have trouble with the heat, turn around and go home. Heat exhaustion can really screw you up and it might take a couple of weeks to recover.

I noticed that when I started to get serious about my diet, my riding started improving. Lots of fruit, my only vice in life is ice cream.

Not pushing is a good idea also, I just go for a spin and see what happens....
re: Heat Exhaustion: Tips for warm weather riding...(ACE)
Jul 22, 2001 10:51 PM
Ask those in Phoenix, AZ. what time their rides start this time of year. Any Phoenicians out there?
Follow-Up: Water "On You" or "In You"Kristin
Jul 23, 2001 5:53 AM
One person stated that its better to have the water in you than on you. I agree with this in general. However, if you are showing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, you should use your water on you and seek help. Yesterday, I was pedaling along at a good clip. I reached an intersection where I typically walk across. (Its busy and theres a large curb on the other side.) I stopped, jumped off and began to sprint across the interesection. I quickly became dizzy and faint. This happened because seconds before, my body was using all that fast moving air to cool my skin. That mechanism went away and my body (already tired and depleated) couldn't cope. It was a dangerous sign. At that point my water was better off "on me." I wet my neck and rode slowly to a convenience store to cool off. If you experience symptoms of heat illness, you should try to cool off the back of your neck & underarms, get out of the sun, and find a cool place soon. If your miles from home, don't try to make it back. Stop somewhere cool first. Oh yeah! Tip #3: Carry a cell phone on esp. hot days. If this happens in a remote location, you may need to call for help. Heres a decent article on heat from Runnersworld:
Follow-Up: Water "On You" or "In You"gwilliams
Jul 23, 2001 6:13 AM
I have had this feeling of fainting happen to me after stopping quickly in hot weather while running. This happened to me after only running a short distance of a mile or less, one time I actually fainted after only running a 1/4 mile and stopping to talk to someone. I think this problem mainly occurs when you are really exerting yourself and then come to a sudden stop.

re: Water "On You"cyclopathic
Jul 23, 2001 12:21 PM
works for me. Get in shade, take off helmet, gloves, Cbak. Bring it on baby

I was riding on Sun in 92deg full sun climb (steep climbs in hot weather suck the most) and got overheated. No I didn't faint, but I gave up the climb and walked it's better to keep moving, even at slow pace. THen, there was a lawn sprinkler at the top, it was refreshing!
lol - Tip #4Kristin
Jul 23, 2001 7:25 PM

Tip #4: Riding on lawns okay if sprinker is present.
re: Heat Exhaustion: Tips for warm weather riding...4bykn
Jul 23, 2001 6:10 AM
Sometimes water on you IS the right choice. I always carry at least one bottle (usually both) with just water. On a hot ride when only 5 miles or so from the finish if I've got any left the water is going on me, not in me.
plain water and salt tabletsDog
Jul 23, 2001 6:17 AM
I do quite a bit of very hot weather riding. In fact, for the Climb to Kaiser race here this Saturday, it's supposed to be 106 degrees, which will matter in the last 30 miles of the race (it's up in the mountains and cooler before that).

I've discovered, for me, that when it gets really hot and I'm going hard, I drink less if the drinks are sugary. I'll drink much more if I have plain water. So, I keep at least one bottle of plain water.

I also carry with me several salt/potassium tablets in a little ziploc bag. There are some you can get at the drug store called "heat stress tablets" or something like that. They are salt and potassium. I take two before I start, and one with each bottle. My water absorption, electrolyte balance, and overall feeling in the heat are vastly improved with the tablets.

Finally, you just need to acclimate yourself, too. Gradually do more and more riding in the heat, drinking plenty of water. You'll likely get more used to it.

Warm/cool down gradually on the bike. If I stop immediately after going hard in the heat, I overheat, too. Sort of like stopping a turbocharger immediately after being driven hard. I'd cool down on the bike for at least a few miles.

Pre-Hydrate and other tipsmr_spin
Jul 23, 2001 6:59 AM
Everyone knows to drink during the ride (I hope!) but on a hot day, make sure you down a full bottle before you even get on the bike. And when you get back, mix up one more bottle of Cytomax, Gatorade, whatever you use, and down it to aid in recovery.

Consider getting Polar bottles. They will allow your water to stay cooler longer. A hot bottle is only slightly better than no bottle at all.

Go down to the closest fast food joint and pick up a few of those little salt packages. Carry them with you. On a hot day, pour one on your tongue, add water, swallow quick! This will help keep you from cramping by replacing electrolytes.

Wipe off the salt that has been collecting on your face. Simply put, leaving it there makes it harder for more to come out. And more wants to come out!

Sunscreen is key. Without it, you will literally bake. Sunscreen doesn't just keep the sun off either--it has some moisturizing properties, too.

Finally, bonking is not an evil thing. If you feel like pushing hard, go for it. Maybe you'll bonk, maybe you won't. It might take a bonk for you to discover just how hard you can go, which might be harder than you think. Don't pull this experiment in the middle of nowhere!