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extreme heat danger cycling

Old 05-22-22, 05:08 AM
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rumrunn6
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extreme heat danger cycling

ever find yourself "on the brink" due to extreme heat & unable to cycle to safety? or just barely?

last August, I was some distance from my car, but found some shade & laid down, then found some water to jump into. after a good cool-down was able to make it back to my car. was thinking if that situation was lacking the shade, water in my bottle & a nearby pond, the result of riding a cpl hrs in that heat might have ended differently
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Old 05-22-22, 05:15 AM
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BTinNYC
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Yesterday's heat killed one runner in the Brooklyn half marathon and sent a dozen to the hospital.
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Old 05-22-22, 06:28 AM
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I had to stop and rest in the shade during my 13 mile ride from a coastal town in NJ to my campsite. The sea breeze off the cold water made it feel nice on the promenade. The inland temperature where I was heading was 94 with high humidity. I went through over 60 oz. of water during that short distance.
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Old 05-22-22, 06:29 AM
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Suffered the worst cramp(both legs) I had to date yesterday, turns out I was probably lacking sodium and I couldn't move for 20 mins, had to lie on the grass to relieve myself..

Was 39 degrees celcius at peak temp in the afternoon(in Malaysia).
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Old 05-22-22, 06:42 AM
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Last year in a 65 mile gravel race, the combination of high heat, high humidity, and poor nutrition (damn hotel was supposed to offer a full breakfast!) did me in. I started cramping at about 30 miles -- cramping so badly that I couldn't pedal up the very steep hills, but could barely climb off the bike to walk as my legs were both locked up. Had no energy, so every pedal stroke was torture. At some point I missed a turn (GPS wasn't working and the course markings were almost nonexistent), so ended up riding longer than the race distance but still ended up back at a mid-route aid station through sheer coincidence. Fortunately, a guy was heading back to the finish line and gave me a lift.

First DNF in 15 years of bike racing. It was the single worst day I've ever had on a bike.
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Old 05-22-22, 06:45 AM
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Many, many times.

Somewhere between Pueblo and Newton, Kansas I was a hurting pup in need of water. I remember a UPS driver stopping to tell me to get off the road because the heat index was 161 (doubt it). I was out of water. So, I prayed and prayed while down on the aero bars. I look up and on the left in the middle of nowhere in the plains is a building. A little white one. A seemingly abandoned, old church. With a hand pump down to a well out front and a shade tree off the side. I mostly remember the well. It took forever to get the water to flow but damn it was cold and tasty.
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Old 05-22-22, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
ever find yourself "on the brink" due to extreme heat & unable to cycle to safety? or just barely?
I've never been "on the brink" while cycling in hot weather...My strategy for dealing with heat and humidity is to pace myself, take it easy, stop regularly to take a drink and stay well fed and hydrated.
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Old 05-22-22, 07:50 AM
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Not while cycling, myself. I suppose I often pushed it, back in the day, but since I rarely went longer than 25mi a leg, I was rarely out of contact with a source of water/food if needed. (And I carried plenty.) Often cycled in 90F, not infrequently over 100F. So I took as many precautions as I could ... while still heading out anyway. I figured that being well-watered, carrying plenty with me, drinking frequently, and adjusting my pace were a good way to avoid the worst of it.

Once while distance running I did overheat. Essentially, it was a 20mi hill run. Yeah, well. Basically, heavier effort with insufficient water for that effort. No way to carry it all with us, and the number of stops didn't quite do it for me. The next 8hrs (after the run) were, um, ugly. But other than that I've been lucky, given how hard I've trained over the years.

Good rule of thumb: water 'til output's clear, and keep watering. Hard to get overheated by surprise, doing it that way.
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Old 05-22-22, 08:33 AM
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When cycling in temps over 90F I empty my 25 fl. oz. bottles in 40 minutes instead of the normal 50 minutes. As temps approach 100F that goes down to 30 minutes per bottle. Makes it challenging to carry enough with me or find spots along the way to refill.

I do add electrolytes to maltodextrin mix in my bottles. But not near the amount that Gatorade and other sport drink makers do. Maybe they are geared more toward something that's not cycling. It is a fallacy to believe that just because a certain amount of electrolytes is good for you that a lot must be better.

People do need to be aware of when they are about to have heat exhaustion. For me, little chills running up my back on a very hot day tell me that I need to find shade and cool off.

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Old 05-22-22, 08:57 AM
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The only time I ran in to problems was when I lived in Arizona. Back in 2015 I was out on my daily 20 mile loop and it was 115 degrees. It was 130 degrees two feet off the pavement. I had three large water bottles. I was thinking about taking a fourth but decided I could "make it". About 10 miles in I had burned through two and a half bottles. Then I ran into a head wind going back. It was like having a furnace blowing 130 degree air on me.

I burned through the last half a bottle and ran out of gas with about 6 or 7 miles to go. Uh oh. I stopped sweating with about 5 miles to go. Oh damn. Then I felt myself hitting the wall with about two miles to go. I got home, but barely. I learned my lesson. NEVER ignore your gut feeling and instincts. Take more water than you think you'll need.
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Old 05-22-22, 09:33 AM
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Sometimes I bring along a couple of face towels soaked in water. When I need to, I drape one over my head under my bike helmet.
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Old 05-22-22, 10:21 AM
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When I was a young man, I loved riding in the heat; in the full, middle of the day sun. Now I am an old man that does not deal well with excess heat, even when inactive. We are getting to the time of year when I get my ride in and am back home by 9:00am, 10 at the latest. While actually moving on a bike, it does not feel as bad, but once stopped, the heat is overwhelming.
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Old 05-22-22, 03:25 PM
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There are a few liquor stores that have walk in beer coolers. If I feel I am overheating, I go into the beer storage area. It really cools you off. I don't drink the beer until I get home.
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Old 05-22-22, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
There are a few liquor stores that have walk in beer coolers. If I feel I am overheating, I go into the beer storage area. It really cools you off. I don't drink the beer until I get home.
That's why riding on city streets is a real option as opposed to riding on trails only. Street riding always give you air-conditioned and cool places to get into.
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Old 05-22-22, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
That's why riding on city streets is a real option as opposed to riding on trails only. Street riding always give you air-conditioned and cool places to get into.
yes but the forest has shade
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Old 05-22-22, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
That's why riding on city streets is a real option as opposed to riding on trails only. Street riding always give you air-conditioned and cool places to get into.
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
yes but the forest has shade
both good points.

But riding on the open and paved road lets you stay at over 16 plus mph. And as long as I'm sweating at or over that speed I'm as cool as if I had air conditioning. In the heat of the summer I do tend to ride routes that have less climbing. Especially avoid long slow climbs where my speed will be 12 mph or less. And as delbiker1 said
once stopped, the heat is overwhelming.
so plan out where you are going to stop for any length of time.
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Old 05-22-22, 06:02 PM
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If it is really really really hot I want to make sure I have plenty of liquids ideally with some electrolytes and some sort of plan if I have to go out but at some point you might just say hey maybe I will do some shorter more boring laps in terra firma and call it quits as soon as I start feeling like I should. Nobody should ever try to push themselves so far just for a ride unless you are a professional or have a chance at winning or something otherwise be smart out there. Cycling is awesome but one shouldn't torture themselves for it especially not in extreme heat.

Maybe do the 1/3 of the triathlete crap that is tolerable and hop in a pool, if you want to work out do some laps and if not crack open a cold beverage or frozen cocktail type drink and grab a float.
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Old 05-22-22, 07:00 PM
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today was really hot. a/c not working house closed up. waiting for the cool wave tonight. went out to check the temps & noticed the atmosphere was so dense. what is all this? it can't be just pollen, can it? so when it's hot, are our lungs always burdened with this stuff? compounding the other heat effects?

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Old 05-22-22, 09:29 PM
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Know your symptoms.
Then do NOT ignore them.

Extra water, extra electrolytes. (I use trace minerals, but use what works for you)

Don't be afraid to slow down.

Don't be afraid to get Uber, or call anyone for a ride.

No ride is worth dying for.

ALso:
Heat stroke symptoms can manifest hours after you finish a ride, have a shower and think you're in the clear.

KNOW YOUR SYMPTOMS!!
Each persons' is different
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Old 05-23-22, 09:39 AM
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came close a handful of times. Had plenty of water stowed for a long ride, but one developed a leak from the cage putting a pinhole in it. That liquid gold leaking out was quickly caught & I unwantedly pounded down that water rather than let it leak out.

City riding has the potential of being better for hot rides than using the trails, only because of the population density & possibility of nearby staged EMT, & assuming that the general public actually cares to alert for help...
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Old 05-23-22, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
There are a few liquor stores that have walk in beer coolers. If I feel I am overheating, I go into the beer storage area. It really cools you off. I don't drink the beer until I get home.
In a situation of true distress I could see the role, but oddly enough I personally find air conditioning almost intolerable during a peak summer ride - even if I bought food somewhere with indoor seating, I had to go right back outside to sit down and consume it.

And if I'm buying fluids I'm always looking for the stuff they haven't put in the refrigerated case yet, if I get stuck with only refrigerated options I have to carry them for 20 minutes before it's not painful to consume them.

The big thing about heat distress though is how rapidly it can sneak up on you - from not feeling quite right to being in real trouble can be only a couple of minutes, and then even if you start doing everything correctly with a break, fluids, salts, sugar, etc it can be hours before you're riding well again.
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Old 05-23-22, 11:27 AM
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Made the mistake of riding to the river on our tandem it was 115 but only about 7 miles on our e tandem. we felt bad before we even got there with a too fast heart rate and it was not a hard ride all flat. we waded in the river and cooled off and got ourselves wet before riding home. lesson yearned. I had to ride home from work a day or two later 8.5 miles I had to stop and get a bunch of water to finish the ride. my garmin showed 135 degrees on the pavement.
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Old 05-23-22, 11:52 AM
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Too hot and no water... Never been there on a bicycle. I keep an eye out for water sources constantly. Front yards, ranch houses, muddy creeks, sprinklers, even stopping on the high way and waving my empty water bottle at the passing cars can git ya Water! Now shade, that's another matter cause believe it or not there are places where there is not any.

In the 70s there once was a couple of US Army Medics escorting a Stick of Canadians on a MEDCAP on the high plains of Ethiopia. They ran out of water. Luckily the medics were from Texas and Arizona. We called in our position and stacked rocks for shade. It was a long... Long 24 hours... Yep... I keep an eye out for water all the time...

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Old 05-23-22, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Too hot and no water... Never been there on a bicycle. I keep an eye out for water sources constantly. Front yards, ranch houses, muddy creeks, sprinklers, even stopping on the high way and waving my empty water bottle at the passing cars can git ya Water! Now shade, that's another matter cause believe it or not there are places where there is not any.

In the 70s there once was a couple of US Army Medics escorting a Stick of Canadians on a MEDCAP on the high plains of Ethiopia. They ran out of water. Luckily the medics were from Texas and Arizona. We called in our position and stacked rocks for shade. It was a long... Long 24 hours... Yep... I keep an eye out for water all the time...

https://photos.willbl.com/wp-content...1211080048.jpg
Nice. Ever try the solar still thing?

I once raced from the East Coast to Bermuda on a ****** old boat with a leaky water line that the cheap slob of an owner didn't know about. We lost most of our supply into the bilge before we noticed and had to ration for a few days. As it turned out, the tank was so dirty that the water we managed to save was brown and nasty and my main challenge as medical officer was making sure the crew actually drank their rations. The jug of distilled water for the flooded-cell batteries went early. We were fine in the end, but it was disconcerting.
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Old 05-23-22, 02:44 PM
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Me, personally? More times than I want to count, averaging once every June for the last 20 years or so.

I finally realized the truth in the saying that mental faculties are among the first things to go in heat exhaustion. Passing who-knows-how many fast food places and convenience stores because I was only 10 miles from home, for example. Last summer I caught myself in that situation just 2 miles from the house and stopped to buy some bottled water. Will I remember that lesson next month? (Wouldn't bet on it!)
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