We all welcome warmer riding weather in the spring and expect hot riding weather in the summer. Don’t be so excited to get your wheels rolling that you forget to prepare for the heat.
Last summer, I was returning from a ride down the Carolina coast when I experienced many of the symptoms of heat exhaustion. I was fortunate enough to be able to stop at a roadside rest area and my great guy got cold water and cold compresses for me. The symptoms I had included headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea and feeling very fatigued. Once that fatigue got ahold of me, it lingered for days. I was completely dehydrated.
Since then, I pack a a very small, soft side cooler with some bottled water. Hydration is the key. So, have some water when you stop even if you’re not feeling thirsty. Also, at the suggestion of my cousin Rachel, I found that the cooling neck wraps are great. There are several options you can choose from, pick the one that best suits you!
You will see a lot of riders with their jackets on hot summer days. These are mesh jackets and people who wear them love them. I have a friend that will wet down his t-shirt and put the mesh jacket over it for a cooling effect.
Let’s make sure you know the most commons signs of heat exhaustion.
According to WebMD these include confusion, dark-colored urine (sign of dehydration) headache, muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, vomiting and profuse sweating.
If you or someone you’re riding with has symptoms, you should get out of the heat and rest. If you can’t find air conditioning, find a shady place. Drink plenty of water and use ice towels if you have them.
Don’t forget that heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, and this is very dangerous.
Keep cool this summer and enjoy your ride!
What tips do you have for keeping cool on summer rides?