With these heat waves we’ve been experiencing, hot weather riding is on the mind more than ever. Here are some tips for staying cool during your rides.
- Ride early. The temperatures in Oregon peak around 5 or 6 pm most days. Plan your rides to end by 1:00 on extremely hot days.
- Bring plenty of water. Drink before you are thirsty. If it’s not coming out the other end, you’re definitely not drinking enough.
- Be prepared. Don’t expect to find water sources if you’re riding out in the countryside. Plan to bring two water bottles with you, then research and plot your water refill point.
- Wear a wet bandanna on your neck. Even if the water isn’t cold the air on the dampness will do wonders for bringing down your body temperature.
- Wear light-colored clothing that will dry quickly and wick away moisture.
- Take breaks. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the riding before we realize how far exhausted our bodies really are. Take shady breaks, jump in the river, drink water, and take some time to cool off.
- Listen to your body. Heat exhaustion often creeps up somewhat quickly. If you start to feel ill, dizzy or just a little off, take a break, relax and drink water. Duck inside a air-conditioned building, sit down for a while, and assess your condition before heading back out on the road. Call it quits if you’re not feeling right, and consult a medical professional if you still feel sick.
- Add an electrolyte supplement to your water. Nuun makes an easy-to-use tablet that fizzes in the water and tastes good. There are plenty of other options out there. While it may take some trial and error to discover which one you like best, the important part is that you ingest some sort of electrolyte on hot days.
- Reward yourself afterwards. Take time to recover, drink plenty of fluids, and down a few glasses of water before you start treating yourself to beers.
How do you stay cool?
List your tips in the comments below.