I’m sure most of you have your own methods of riding in the hot and humid weather of North Carolina. Here are few that I have learned over the years:
- The higher the heat and humidity, the lower the oxygen content in the air. So dial back on the watts.
- Drink at least one bottle per hour. Freeze one bottle 1/2 full and another 3/4 full and fill them up before you ride. I cringe every time I see someone with only 1 bottle on their bike.
- Add electrolytes like Nuun to your water and avoid relying on only sugary drinks like Gatorade.
- Hydrate well before the ride. Eat plenty of watery fruits and vegetables like watermelon and grapes.
- You burn more calories keeping cool than you do keeping warm. So try to eat something every hour. Gels are good for when you don’t feel like eating something solid.
- Cool off by holding a cold water bottle to the front of your neck. Cooling your jugular vein will cool your blood which will cool your whole body.
- Do not put ice on the back of your neck, only cool water. This constricts your veins and will limit the blood going to your brain.
- Cramping is more likely in hot weather. In addition to adding electrolytes, I recommend eating a banana for the potassium and bring along some pickle juice or mustard.
- There are also a controversial tip:
The attached article, as well as several other articles I read, recommend that you wear a cap (or casquette) to protect you from the sun. However the attached video says not to wear a cap because it retains the heat. To break the tie I contacted a pro racer that I met at the Tour de France a couple of years ago, Toms Skujins from Trek Segafredo. He said that he never wears a cap and has never seen any rider wear a cap on a hot July day in France.
Here is an article and video with a few more tips.
Quote of the week: “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”