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Temperature - What's your limit?

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Temperature - What's your limit?

Old 07-09-20, 07:42 PM
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eduskator
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Temperature - What's your limit?

We have had a few heatwaves since the beginning of the summer and it made me wonder...what is everyone's limit when it comes to riding in harsh weather? The outside temp in my area reached 35c/95f today (44c/111f with the humidex factor) and we've been getting 30-35c (85-95f) on a regular basis since 2 weeks now. Very humid all the time unfortunately.

I went out for a ride last week and I had difficulty breathing. I went out this week thinking it would be better, but I simply couldn't get used to it. I am used to ride 100+ kms per weeks, but that temperature is really killing me and to be honest, it's frustrating not being able to ride as much as you are used to. Are any of you currently riding in similar conditions? If not, what's your limit?

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Old 07-09-20, 08:06 PM
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I live in Adelaide South Australia. Our summers can peak at 48c+ - and thats in a metro beachside town (not desert).

25-35c weather here is optimal and what we consider perfect riding weather. North of 35c requires good electrolyte and hydration managment.
15-25c is nice weather, also good for riding but not prime.

under 15c and it's getting cold, we will normally start to layer up. I've been riding in the 0-4c mornings lately as we're in the dead of winter, and some of my suishy in the middle riding partners have been bailing out due to the chill.

It's all about what you're acclimatised to.
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Old 07-09-20, 08:09 PM
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I'm not sure - I've never set a hard limit. We've had generally the same weather over the period that you're talking about. I did go out once in the full sun, heat of the day, and I was perfectly fine. That said, I generally try to ride in the mornings - it's cooler, traffic is calmer and it doesn't break up my day with the family as much.
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Old 07-09-20, 08:17 PM
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I live in Florida so I'm used to the heat and humidity. It doesn't bother me too much (95-100F would be a hot day). The biggest issue for me is sweat, soaking my clothes and making it more difficult to hold the bars.
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Old 07-09-20, 08:40 PM
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Anything above 105ºF just becomes inconvenient. Unless I keep the rides really short, it's just an exercise in riding from water source to water source.

OP, just do what we do here in the inland desert-- head out between 4 and 5am, be home around sunrise. Even at that, sometimes it's 90º by the time the sun comes up.
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Old 07-09-20, 08:40 PM
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I'm good for just about any kind of ride up to 100°F, assuming I can maintain steady access to water. Did this ride last summer without too much trouble.
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Old 07-09-20, 09:12 PM
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If 110°F or over was predicted, I don't think I'd go out. On one ride I do almost every year, it's twice been 105° at the bottom of the last pass climb at about mile 100. Those rides went fine. Almost all of that 2400' climb is in the direct sun, with a long switchback near the top next to a dark rock wall about 6' away. The last time it was that hot, they sagged about 100 riders off the course. One of those years we were on our tandem and thus really slow. Starting that last climb there was a young fit looking guy in front of us dressed all in "cool black" to his wrists and ankles. He was riding no hands, arms held straight out at his sides, barely managing our pace. He pulled over pretty soon and I assume was sagged off. Cool black is not, no matter how cool it looks.

That was one of our most memorable tandem rides, though. The last 30 miles were cooler and upwind and we were passing young guys on singles. We had a great time.
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Old 07-09-20, 09:29 PM
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Protons break down into a quark-gluon plasma at about 2 trillion degrees, so that certainly sets an upper limit on riding outside.
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Old 07-09-20, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimmy Wisdom View Post
I'm good for just about any kind of ride up to 100°F, assuming I can maintain steady access to water. Did this ride last summer without too much trouble.
You did 100 miles with 1,414 of ascent? That's hard to fathom!
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Old 07-09-20, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
You did 100 miles with 1,414 of ascent? That's hard to fathom!
It's not too difficult to keep it to the flats around here if that's what you feel like riding on any given day. With temps that high, I wanted to do a century ride that day, but also didn't want to kill myself. I did a another century ride this past Sunday with temps in the 90s where I did a fair bit more climbing. 🙂
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Old 07-09-20, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
You did 100 miles with 1,414 of ascent? That's hard to fathom!
East Lake Sammamish and Sammamish River trails have an extremely long stretch of near-perfect flatness. By riding up and down it a few times, you could probably achieve a century with around 500 feet of climbing, maybe even less.
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Old 07-09-20, 10:31 PM
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I used to ride right into the 30s, but not anymore. What's the point? Now I go for night rides. The comparative coolness of the air in the mid 20s is positively delicious and refreshing. I've barely done any daytime rides this summer.
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Old 07-09-20, 10:49 PM
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I work as a courier during the day in the desert! This Sunday it'll be 117 F and I'll be out there delivering! Short rides, lots of shade, and AMPLE fluids all day are a MUST.

Keep riding, but not too hard!
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Old 07-09-20, 11:44 PM
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I have no idea what the actual temperatures were, but this has been the hottest I have faced, and would rather not face such heat again if I could help it... but since I ride audax events, I have to take whatever the weather throws at me.

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Old 07-10-20, 05:53 AM
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My weather condition limit (whether cold, heat or wetness) has always been when biking stops being fun and that has changed with age. If you are an endurance athlete or racer, different story - I'm neither.

When I was in my mid 30s I did a century ride in the mid summer (Maryland/Delaware) high 90s in temperature and high humidity and not much shade - not fun. For many years 95f was my limit. I'm now 63, and I am actually in better cycling shape than I was 30 years ago but shadeless rides in the mid 90s are less fun - I either go out earlier in the am or do routes I know are more shaded.

The same thing happened with my cold weather limit - below 35f isn't fun anymore. So, 4 years ago I bought an indoor smart trainer and really enjoy getting mileage in on Zwift over the winter - and have found on those summer hot days or rainy days, I will still get mileage in on the Zwift where older trainers just bored me to tears.

That has made me soft! My "fun" levels are starting to creep away from those limits as rather than bundle up or start a ride very early in the am, it is very easy to have a fun (but not as much fun) ride in the basement!
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Old 07-10-20, 06:47 AM
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I'll ride in hotter weather, just choosing shorter or less strenuous routes. For whatever reason heat kicks my butt from HR perspective. 2 identical rides, completed in times within seconds of each other, but 10 degree difference:


Cool Ride

Hot Ride
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Old 07-10-20, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by illdrag0n View Post
I live in Adelaide South Australia. Our summers can peak at 48c+ - and thats in a metro beachside town (not desert).

25-35c weather here is optimal and what we consider perfect riding weather. North of 35c requires good electrolyte and hydration managment.
15-25c is nice weather, also good for riding but not prime.

under 15c and it's getting cold, we will normally start to layer up. I've been riding in the 0-4c mornings lately as we're in the dead of winter, and some of my suishy in the middle riding partners have been bailing out due to the chill.

It's all about what you're acclimatised to.
Indeed. The problem is that we have 4 seasons here and the weather varies from -30c (-22f) in winter to +30-35c (85-95f) in summer. It's hard for a body to constantly adapt
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Old 07-10-20, 08:18 AM
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No limit so far. However if I were in areas where shade is scarce I might change my habits. Here, I do think about which routes are more shady on the near 100°F and higher days. Looks like we have a week of those days starting now.

Water availability determines routes too. I drain my bottles almost twice as fast.
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Old 07-10-20, 08:27 AM
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I'm not sure what my upper limit is for temperature yet. I've ridden a lot in the mid 80*f with relatively high humidity. My only complaint so far about riding in hotter temps is when sweat gets in my eyes. I've the gutter headband thing and didn't like that. Recently I've been wearing headsweat beanies that seem to work well so far. I won't usually ride below 40*f unless it's a really nice day.
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Old 07-10-20, 09:28 AM
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I also live in FL and if I let humidity and heat stop me I'd never ride in the summer. It takes a while for me to get acclimated, however, and some years I handle it better than others. We have already had heat indexes in triple digits. If I had a limit it would probably be 100 degrees in the afternoon.
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Old 07-10-20, 11:02 AM
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Depends on how late in the season it is, and how much riding I've done that year. September and October are our warmest months, and I'll ride if it's up to 95 F.

But in spring, I find the first warm (>80) day ride sometimes doesn't sit well. I get nauseated, weak, lightheaded sometimes. Weird thing is, it's literally only that one ride. Usually, one week later I can ride at higher temps and greater intensity with zero problems. Mentioned it to my doc, who said, as long as it's only the ONE time every spring, not to worry. So I don't.

EDIT: Note that this is in a place with pretty low humidity, especially when it's hot. Last time I tried riding in the heat and humidity of a Pennsylvania summer, MAN did I suffer! Sweat doesn't evaporate, it just runs off.
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Old 07-10-20, 11:39 AM
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I'll ride in triple digit heat but I dial the effort way back. Not much choice in Texas summer unless I ride early in the morning or at night. And I'm not a morning person, although I did get out this morning at the crack of nine.
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Old 07-10-20, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Jimmy Wisdom View Post
I'm good for just about any kind of ride up to 100°F, assuming I can maintain steady access to water. Did this ride last summer without too much trouble.
1400’ in 101 miles is a good way to make sure you are not overexerting! Where is this flatness?!
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Old 07-10-20, 12:12 PM
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A couple of years ago I rode in 114f in the shade temps. I was in the sun saw some shade, and stopped in the shade. It was too hot when stopped, I had to keep going. Low effort and one big bottle every 1.5 hours.
The coldest it's been here when riding is about 15F.

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Old 07-10-20, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
You did 100 miles with 1,414 of ascent? That's hard to fathom!
Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
East Lake Sammamish and Sammamish River trails have an extremely long stretch of near-perfect flatness. By riding up and down it a few times, you could probably achieve a century with around 500 feet of climbing, maybe even less.
lol, I thought the same ... on both accounts. Just getting to Lake Sammamish and back home gives me around 600 feet of elevation gain. One lap around Lake Sammamish gets me up to 1250 feet. Four laps around the lake would get me close to a century with ~3300 feet of climbing ... from my front door ... YMMV.

Edit: I played some more with a route builder and if you drive to the start of the ELS trail and ride back and forth between Issaquah and Woodinville (just a point I picked, you could continue further), you can get a century done with ~1500 feet of gain. I’d die from boredom though before I finished it.

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