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how hot is too hot to ride?(24 posts)

how hot is too hot to ride?gsgal
Jun 3, 2003 7:50 AM
so where do you draw the line on the weather, mainly heat? i live where its a 100+ during the summer and 90's are cool days... when is it too hot to ride? is it personal? or is it just mind over matter?

i'm trying to gage how much of a wimp i am (or am not).
re: how hot is too hot to ride?andy02
Jun 3, 2003 7:56 AM
I use to live in the south where it got that hot. for me it wasn't the heat as much as the air, in the afternoon as traffic picked up we would get ozone alerts. therefore I did most of my riding in the early to mid morning or late afternoon ~7pm.
Personally I like the heat, but it's very individualSilverback
Jun 3, 2003 7:58 AM
I used to enjoy running in 90-100 degree weather, but I was younger then and I live in the desert. My wife bails at about 85, red-faced and gasping. She's at least equally fit, but she can't handle the heat.
We have lots of days in the 90s but not many over 100, and the temp drops rapidly after sunset. I rarely think about heat except for long, unshaded climbs. But it's dry here--I spent a few days in Florida last summer, and high humidity is a whole new deal for me.
As for how hot is TOO hot, I don't think anybody can answer it for you. If you're too warm, it's probably too warm to ride. Whatever you decide, of course, be sure to stay hydrated and pay attention to your body.
depend on how long the ride istxcross
Jun 3, 2003 8:03 AM
For me it's never too hot for a 1 to 1 & 1/2 hour ride. I ride my bike everyday at lunch, unless it is raining. I live in Houston were it has been in the upper 90's with high humidity for the last few weeks. Now if I'm going out for a 50+ mile ride I leave early enough that I don't get hit by the big heat of the day.
That's still tough...Matno
Jun 3, 2003 9:16 AM
I feel for you in Houston. Having grown up there (Spring), I know that the mornings aren't much cooler than the afternoons. That lack of cooling at night is worse the closer you get to the city. Of course, when I lived there, I rode for an hour+ every day after school (~3:00pm). I never knew how bad it was until I moved to the Rockies and found out what heavenly weather is like...

Here in New York, I usually ride as early in the morning as possible - even when it's not hot out during the day.
Temperature is just one factor . . .ms
Jun 3, 2003 8:06 AM
the light conditions (e.g.., full sun, rising or setting sun, shade) and relative humidity make a big difference. Also, if you ride at the end of the day, the asphalt of the road will hold heat. The bottom line is that if you feel uncomfortable or sick, go home. Dehydration in extreme heat is not something to be ignored -- every year or so some football player in summer training leans this lesson the hard way. It is better to be a wimp than a dehydrated corpse.
120 degreesmohair_chair
Jun 3, 2003 8:09 AM
It becomes almost unbearable at 110 degrees, but I figure with enough water and the love of a fine woman, I can probably make it to 120.

I've ridden countless times in temps over 100, and a lot of those were nasty rides even in cooler temps. I can't say the heat didn't affect me, but except for two instances, I got through it. You just have to drink like you are drowning, and make sure you take in sugars and salts along the way.

If you ride enough and do plenty of long rides (80+ miles), your body adjusts and it's easy to get complacent about things. I've done 100 mile rides on only two bottles, for instance. But whatever lack of nutrition or hydration you get away with on regular rides will take you down on a ride in 100+ temps. Trust me on this.

Tip: an ice cold regular Coke (not Diet) is a magical potion in the middle of a tough ride in heat.
I'll second on that CokeFredrico
Jun 3, 2003 8:59 AM
Many's the time when an ice cold Coke Classic has gotten me home on a hot day. It's got everything: soda water, caffeine, sugar.

When people start to pity me, or think I'm nuts for riding on hot days, I always come back, "You'd be amazed." Once you get moving, the wind evaporates the sweat on your body, like in an air conditioner radiator, and you actually cool right off. That constant 15-25 mph headwind elevates cycling into one of the best ways to get an aerobic workout on hot days.

Just follow the other posters' advice: drink lots, replace minerals lost in persperation, and go home if you feel bad.
i did try gatorade/powerade instead of just watergsgal
Jun 3, 2003 9:24 AM
yesterday. it was about 98 degrees or so. i didn't feel hot, or overheated - especially with the constant wind. it was actually really pleasant. but, that stupid sugar water crap gave me a stomachache everytime i took a drink. its too heavy for me. my other bottle had water, and that didn't have the same effect.

when i run, it has to be on an empty stomach. i just started to ride a month ago, and i'm surprised that its the same story, even without that jarring impact. is that sick feeling attributable to overheating or is anyone the same in that they have to be basically "empty"?
lemonade, that cool refreshing drinkmohair_chair
Jun 3, 2003 9:40 AM
All of that gatorade/powerade/cytomax/etc. stuff becomes disgusting after a while, and even plain water tastes awful. When this happens to me, I switch to something else, like lemonade or fruit juice, which is basically mildly flavored water, so I can get it down. Throw a Coke in the mix and you are good to go.
instead of just waterFredrico
Jun 3, 2003 10:22 AM
Failed to mention that many dilute their sugary drinks with water, up to half and half. Flat, watery Coke is really nicer than full strength carbonated Coke when its really hot, your heart is pumping a mile a minute, and your stomach is in a knot.

Don't guzzle, sip. Take in small amounts of liquid instead of big gulps.

If you've only been riding a month, your cardio-vascular system will improve its ability to handle the heat. By summer, you'll probably be feeling much better.
I don't think its ever too hot to ridepmf1
Jun 3, 2003 8:13 AM
Too cold maybe, but not too hot. Drink lots of water and get some hammer nutrition electrolyte pills, they work great.
re: how hot is too hot to ride?MR_GRUMPY
Jun 3, 2003 8:19 AM
The hottest it's ever been when I went out on a training ride was 107. That was a few years ago, the year that over 100 people died in Chicago in a week. It wasn't pleasant.
The hottest that I every raced in was 95. Also not pleasant.
Depends on how acclimated to the heat you are...Lon Norder
Jun 3, 2003 8:33 AM
I talked to a guy who does a running race from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney that's held in the middle of the summer. He trains for it by running all day in the desert while pushing a jogging stroller carrying a cooler.

Also, the winner of the Atlanta Olympics mountain bike race prepared for the heat and humidity by riding a trainer in a sauna.
I agree here.....Dave Hickey
Jun 3, 2003 9:15 AM
Where I live, if you don't want to ride when it's over 90 degrees, you better get out the rollers in May and put them away Oct 1st.
Train for it; It's hot on race day too. nmpitt83
Jun 3, 2003 9:18 AM
Clothing makes a big difference...Dave Hickey
Jun 3, 2003 9:33 AM
I've found Nike Dri-fit to be very comfortable in hot weather. It seems with wick sweat away from the body better than others I've tried. I also make sure I'm using a sweat wicking bandana or just a headband. When it's below 90, I'll wear the cheap cloth bandanas. Over 90, and I make sure it's come type of coolmax,dri-fit,etc....
i wear Nike dri fit. its great.gsgal
Jun 3, 2003 9:34 AM
What state do you live in? nmDave Hickey
Jun 3, 2003 9:45 AM
Ca, (Northern)gsgal
Jun 3, 2003 9:52 AM
its usually just dry heat.
but it's a dry heatDougSloan
Jun 3, 2003 9:41 AM
I rode 15% hill repeats in 102 degrees last week. The second day of the Furnace Creek 508 it was 106, and over 100 the first day. It was hard, but doable. But, that's dry heat. If you drink about a gallon an hour, seriously, you can be ok, if you are acclimated to it. Hydration is essential. It's over 100 here every day, now. You get used to it.

I've ridden up to 112 degrees. That is really, really hot. The air almost burns. You just can't go hard. Helps to keep a separate water bottle full of ice water to dump over your head and down your back.

With humidity, I doubt I ride over 100 degrees. You just can't get any cooling from evaporation. I ran a marathon in Indiana when it was 92 degrees in June, and nearly died. Much worse than 110 here.

re: how hot is too hot to ride?brider
Jun 3, 2003 10:30 AM
I've raced in 110 in the shade (and there was none available) with no real problems. People were wilting around me, and we had a couple of women collapse in their race, but as long as there's enough fluids available, and you're intelligent about monitoring yourself and ingesting fluids appropriately, then there's little to worry about.
I'm used to the heat. HOWEVER, air quality usu is the limitingFez
Jun 3, 2003 10:46 AM
After getting used to 100 degree days last summer, I can honestly say the heat doesn't bother. Just bring plenty of water.

These things do bother:

1. Excessive sun
2. Bad air quality, which usually gets worse the hotter and hazier a day gets.

And after riding a few full winters and having to battle cold feet, hands, and windburnt skin, I can honestly say I prefer hot rides.

Sometimes when I ride in 65-75 degree weather in short sleeves, I actually get a little chilled, especially at the start of the ride or when the route is tree covered.

Although I do drink, I don't have to for over 90 minutes as long as the air is clean and the temps stay below 75.
Humidity is my worst factor....coonass
Jun 4, 2003 6:56 AM
Here, it's typically 75%-95% humidity; add >90°F., and this combination really takes it out of me. In addition to drinking more, electrolites, witch's brews, etc. Pace yourself to ride another day; Heat Stroke is a nasty thing! FWIW: I have found a product that helps store water in your body: Twinlab's "Glycerol Fuel" contains 99.7% USP Glycerol. The following site also offers some good info: and their 'Home' page offers more information than you'll ever need to know.