How do you Beat the Heat?

Our regular MUni group has been moving the starting time up up up. It’s now at 730 am. We typically ride the trails that are totally or mostly shaded. We finish sopping wet and just exausted enough. Typically a 3 or 4 mile Stanky Creek Ride [NAUCC06 Muni race venue]. Temps don’t get over 95. Moving creates breeze. Therefore rest stops are brief and numerous.

I carry plenty of water and a cereal bar [or two] of some type.

Yesterday’s Coker ride was about 6.5 miles out and 5.5 miles back. East Memphis road rides are mostly flat [although on the out leg, I included a couple of miles of the tour d’Wolf Mountain B*ke trail for kicks]. The mid-ish point is the visitor’s center at Shelby Farms Park [NAUCC06ers might remember] to refill water bottle and eat a snack, sit in some AC. Outside Temp was about 100F. I felt fine on the way out. But on the way back, I bonk. The last 1/4 of the ride is no fun at all. I stopped at stragegic points to get in shade and cool down. The bonk doesn’t faze in, it hits all at once, like a surfboard in the face.

Cokering, I don’t stop too much because remounting the Beast seems to wear me out more than just riding. I’m not a newbie 36er. I ride relaxed and comfortable. With temps in the 70s and 80s we regularly ride 15 to 20 miles with no bonking.

Any tips would be appreciated. Looks like the heat’s going to be hear for a while.


I mostly ride street and I go for evening and night rides instead of going in the middle of day. The heats not bad in the evening or at night so for me its the most preferable time to ride.

Early or late!

For MUni rides we have been hiting the trails by 6am or even earlier.
We are thinking of getting “coal mining lights” the flash light that you put on your helmet and doing night rides by the light of the moon.

For Trials riding I have been hitting the promenades, High tech plazas and outdoor malls after dark there are usually plenty of street lights in those kinds of places.

It is still hot as hell here in Israel even though it is dark or very early in the morning. The thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that it is going to cool down in less that two months.

Doesn’t Global warming Suck!


You need to replace your electrolytes and simple sugars. I’ve read that you can make your own sports drink w/ 500mg of salt, 1 lemon, 2 black teabags, 3 Tbs. of sugar for 32 oz. of drink (I think those proportions are right). But the taste…well it’s like really sweet and salty lemonade:( Sports drinks taste better and often work a bit better. I’d get some at my LBS.

I’ve tried adding about that much salt to 50% diluted orange juice. It worked lot better than water and didn’t taste that bad.

Edit: I used to go running as early as I could and still sort of see where I was going, 5-5:30 in the summer. Now I’ve been too lazy to get up real early.

Threadjack: I get REALLY hot while riding and need to consume 2-3 times as many calories. In all other sports heat isn’t an issue and my needed intake will up by maybe 50%. Anybody else notice this?

I don’t find it so bad

Mouse and I rode RAGBRAI this year, and the temps were always around 95 degrees with pretty high humidity. I guess being out in it all day, you stop thinking about it. But the biggest key I think is to be sure to drink way more water than you think you need, then replace electrolytes whenever possible. But one rule of thumb is that you should never get thirsty; just always keeping drinking–a decent gulp every 2 minutes or so.

Hydrate BEFORE you go out. Drink a bottle or two (or three) of water a few hours before you head out. You’ll be well hydrated and won’t tire so quickly.

I start riding at 6:30 pm

Wearing a wet t shirt, in the shade.
For a drink I pull a 2 quart jug out of the freezer the bottom 1/4 frozen solid. To this I add a mix of black and green tea. No sugar (I am fat), and no salt (at my age I eat to much of that anyway). The ice melts by the time it’s to dark to ride anymore. I almost never drink it all, and put the last part back in the freezer for the next day.
I think the whole electrolyte stuff is put in our heads from gatorade marketing.Green tea is supposed to vaguely good for your health, and the caffeine gives a small lift. Plain cold water works as well IMHO as anything else.

try this.

I use to set my watch to beep every 5 minutes to remind me to stand up out of the saddle to let the blood flow back through and prevent numbness. I should then take a gulp or two to keep the hydration level as even as possible…

I like the sport drink recipe too. I’ll try that.

The radiator sounds like something James Bond would pull out of his nifty bag.

Thanks all.


Some good, and interesting, advice here. I liked that radiator device! Probably more effective for bikes (faster, different upper body position) but it should have some effect for Coker riders at least.

Electrolytes are real. Try a long ride on a really hot day without them and you’ll learn what bonking is! That was a great quote about bonking, BTW. I guess that’s why they call it bonk! I’ve only really experienced that once, on a MUni ride with Zack Baldwin, Ryan Atkins and Jess Riegel. They wore me out and I got tired riding downhill and had to call it quits, and become their shuttle driver.

Hydrating before you start seems to make a definite difference. I did my best to do this for that super-hot last day of NAUCC with the MUni and 10k races. I wore my Camelbak in those races. Even if I only took a few sips, it makes a big difference to at least be wetting my mouth.

I used to ride home from work, in temperatures up to 107 degrees f. Make sure you drink, don’t push your limits, and pay attention to what your body is telling you. If it says time to quit, on a day like that it’s a good idea to listen. But those extra hot days, for me, just meant riding slightly slower and drinking more.

I only ever put water in my Camelbak. For longer/hotter rides, I’ll also bring a bottle of sports drink for the electrolytes. You can also use the sports-related food bars or gels instead, but make sure they’re the real thing. Some bars just taste good, while others are actually made for athletes. Others are nothing but candy bars in “healthy-looking” packaging.

Power Gel, Gu, or the other versions of “sports glue” actually work. Many people find them gross, but using one made a huge difference for me in the 42k race at Unicon last year. Before eating it I was slowing down and feeling defeated. A few minutes afterward, I felt better and was riding faster. I think I actually finished the race going faster than when I started.

Always drink before you’re thirsty, and never go out without water or something else to drink.

I disagree. I don’t know if you ever been in Africa in the summer, but you can definitely feel a difference fron drinking water compared to something with electrolites. Drinking water for three straight days in 100+ heat, sure we were hydrated, but our energy lvls were way low. Drink a cup of gatorade, we almost immediately felt energized as the electrolites did thier thing.

If you sweat profusely, you will need something with electrolites in it. Water is good if you aren’t over-doing it, or not doing it for long. If you are going out for 2+ hours, you will need gatorade, or what have you. Also good to have energy gels, and some snacks to munch on during that time too.

…and wearing a wet t-shirt might help, but it will dry out sooner than you think to be any type of benefit.

Salt causes dehydration, kidney stress

The amount of salt lost by perspiration is insignificant. Sports drink makers spend millions of $/yr. creating the impression you will perform better using their products. The placebo effect this causes is enormous. Unfortunately, there is no way to do a double blind test for this :thinking: (drink salted water sometimes, plain other times, to see if you feel different), because you can always taste the salt.
Do a google search on this and you will learn these facts.

  1. Everyone who eats a normal diet consumes 3x as much salt as they need. It is a part of almost all foods. It is hard to avoid excess salt consumption.
  2. Extra salt consumption hurts athletic performance by increasing body weight.When you intake excess salt (as we all do), the body responds with edema (water retention), so you carry excess water weight.
  3. The body responds to excess salt by increasing urine production, and thirst. This is why so many bars give away free salty nuts and pretzels,because it makes you drink more.
    4 . Extra salt will increase the salt in your sweat. The body uses salt in sweat as a way of getting rid of something it doesn’t want. Your sweat will be less salty if you eat less salt. You don’t need salt to sweat, you need water.
  4. Extra salt increases blood pressure by constricting vessels. This in turn reduces blood flow to all parts of the body, including the skin (increasing body heat). While serving to weaken your muscles, and increasing bad stress on the heart.
    So if this is true, why does your favorite hero endorse “power drinks” ? Simple, because although there was more money in endorsing cigarettes, that isn’t allowed anymore.:stuck_out_tongue:
    If you want to disagree with any of these facts, please post a link to a non commercial site that will support what you write.
    For sure, if your drink tastes to salty to you, your body is trying to tell you something. :slight_smile:

Another piece of advice that I’ve found, though it’s not always available, is to try and ride near a large body of water, i.e. a lake or ocean. Me and my friends enjoy riding at this one harbor that sits on a major lake of our area, and even in the middle of the day it’s noticeably cooler than it would be elsewhere.

Drink water water and more water. I think it helps.

After 6pm only! Cool(er), and stays light 'till almost 8:30pm (here in SoCal :slight_smile: ) I can do my usual hardcore Muni ride plus a 12-20 mile 36er ride within this 2.5 hour time frame. It’s just plain stupid to subject yourself to the ravages of the sun by riding in the heat of the day anytime between 9am-3pm.

You risk dehydration, unecessary heat exhaustion, sunburn, premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. Just wait 'till after 6pm. Problem solved. Even if it’s still hot at that time, the sun has dipped low enough as to not have significant negative effects as listed above. And don’t forget to use the best sunblock in the world:

And here’s why it’s so good:

When we say electrolytes is it the same as salt? I’m no expert, I just know when I’ve run out. I don’t deny that I probably eat well beyond what the USDA recommends for me in a day. The question is whether I need more on a very hot, long ride. Sports drink is more than just a bunch of advertising, or else the guys it was invented for, and other athletes all over the world, wouldn’t still be using it.

On a very hot ride of Downieville a couple years back, I was pooped after about half the trail. Drinking plenty of water, mind you, but water alone just makes you feel bloated after a while. Too much sodium, as Feel the Light mentioned, is almost surely not good for you either. But I definitely ran out of something, and I think that something was electrolytes. So I drink sports drink along with my water, or use some Power Gel or similar. I know it works for me.

And obviously, avoiding the hottest parts of the day is always a good idea. :slight_smile:

I keep my room cool buy turning the ceiling fan to push the air down, and then put another fan by the window blowing the air out. Keeps my room roughly 6-10 degrees Celsius cooler than outside.

I have an air-conditioner in my living room. The door of my room opens to the living room. I jsut leave my door open with a fan in the doorway, brings in all the cold air-conditioning air.

When I am riding out side, I dont even care about the heat. for the last month or so, its been 80, 90, or in the 100s, and ive been out riding. I just sweat a lot, and keep my hair in a ponytail, and keep my camelbak on me, or close by at all times.