Hot Weather Tips for Bike Touring and Commuting
For example while riding through a long stretch of hot, dry, barren portions of New Mexico I found myself riding into winds of over twenty miles per hour. It wasn't too bad at first but after thirty minutes or so I realized the wind was drying my perspiration so that my body wasn't cooling properly. It was an oddity and something which hasn't occurred since due to the rare combination of elements at the same time. Riding directly into the sun and extreme wind in an extremely arid climate with no shade even though I was exercising it was like riding into a very hot blow dryer. Because I was familiar enough with the area I knew I could make it to a shaded desolate truck stop before my skin was damaged from what felt like a cooking effect. If I had thought of it I probably would have turned on to a side road for a bit and "followed my shadow" for a bit help my parched face and skin to cool off. Fortunately it wasn't necessary and that experience, including a few similar ones have given me some solid preparation skills for riding in hot weather.
I have been reading a bit about proper hydration methods for cyclists lately, if just to check in with what folks are fussing about these days. Debunking myth of coconut water being better than regular water, whether or not you need an electrolyte drink, adding salt and or sugar to your water for better absorption. That's all fine and whatever that is but when I start reading about "how much water you should take on a fifty mile ride" I immediately holler out nonsense! Oh sure, I will only consume twenty ounces of water on a fifty mile ride on a hot summer day under ideal circumstances. Fine, but if I get a flat, or some other haphazard event such as the winds decide to kick up off the Gulf from a different direction that wasn't in the weather forecast (which occurs quite often) then the amount of time to ride that same distance can double when riding into strong winds. I am not a worry wart or an overly prepared "expect the worst, hope for the best" type of bike folk. Rather, based on personal experience I take enough water for hydrating under ideal conditions as well as if my ride decides to last twice as long or longer than planned. Another factor besides summer heat is humidity. Humidity has been much less challenging than the blow dryer effect in New Mexico but is certainly another consideration as to how much water is needed to ride x number of miles.
At the end of a long hot ride I don't like drinking hot water but this type of water bottle keeps it just cold enough when I add ice before my ride so that the water temperature is not an issue, even after a long day of hot weather bike touring. During the winter it can be used as an excellent coffee or tea thermos for either bike commuting or touring.
However, I used to wear my old Kavu Bucket Hat for all my summer rides as shown in photo of mountain biking in Sedona, Arizona. Yep it was hot and I kept the sun on my back for most of the return ride home. That old hat lasted several years until my puppy decided I needed a new one and chewed it to pieces while he was teething. Since I still have my Kavu Visor which has lasted even longer than the Bucket Hat and Kavu Strap Cap. Kavu products, at least the hats anyway are made in the USA based out of Seattle, Washington. Excellent summer head wear on or off the bike.
This is another on of those products that I have owned for several years and continues to work as designed.
Links related to this topic:
Variation of Hydration, Got Water
Little Hydration Pack That Could, Can and Will