We have settled into a hot stretch that doesn't look to end any time soon. For many riders, just the forecast of triple-digit temperatures is enough to melt down a ride routine, but it doesn't have to. With caution and a little planning, you can still enjoy your evening ride and perhaps I'll have some company out on the trail!
OK, it won't get too much warmer.
If you've ever complained about crowds on the BDB, come on out on a 100 degree afternoon and you'll have plenty of elbow room.
I'm not suggesting that previously sedentary folks jump up off the couch and roar off into the sauna, but most folks who read this are likely fairly fit and well acclimated to some heat. Extreme heat requires a little more preparation and caution in order to enjoy your ride and stay safe. On top of my list is having a supply of cold liquid. Ice cold, for as long as possible. I mix sports drink in an insulated bottle with half the required amount of water. Freeze that overnight and top it off with water and maybe some ice cubes as you leave for your ride. I do the same thing with water, but only freeze about 1/4 of the bottle and top it off with cubes and water. You can play with the mixture, as it can start off a little weak. I usually don't get into my sports drink much in the first hour of the ride, but may have already topped off my water. Slushy, ice cold Gatorade
two hours into a hot ride is a treat and helps you feel cooler, plus it's easier to absorb on a scorching day than 100 degree citrus soup. Replenish ice at any opportunity!
Prehydrate. Drink a bottle before you get on the bike. If you get behind in hydration on a really hot day, it's hard to drink and absorb enough to catch up. Then, just take it easy and work on your tan lines. Come on out for a ride. It's been lonely.
The skate park is almost always hoppin', but the heat even shuts down the black T-shirt boys. I'm not sure where they're hiding during the heat of the day, but as soon as the shade hits the bowl, it's game on again.
Speaking of tan lines...
Arkansas Cycling and Fitness has got a Tan Line Contest going on! Sure, it's been done before, but if your tan is razor sharp, you might pick up a $150.00 gift certificate! Here's the deal from AC&F:
Show us your cycling tan and WIN! We will be giving away a $150 AC&F gift card for the best cyclist tan line, a $100 Gift Card for 2nd place and a $50 gift card for 3rd place.
Send your tan line photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline to submit photos is July 16th.
AC&F will choose finalists and you'll be able to vote for your favorite on on our website. Deadline to vote for the best photo is July 21st and winners will be announced on July 24th at 7:00 pm.
Unless I start driving my tractor in my bibs, I don't stand much of a chance, as my tan line is kind of an indistinct fade from knee to pale, but if you're the kind of rider who only leaves the AC to ride, then you may be a winner.