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  1. #1
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    Riding in Arizona Summer Heat

    So, yesterday, I wanted to take a ride in the Arizona summer heat, just to see if it could be done. I rode the Black Canyon Trail Boy Scout Loop at about 4:00. At that time, the temperature was about 104 degrees. I took plenty of water. It was a rather strange experience because while I was riding, I really didn't feel that bad. There was a bit of a breeze and, yes, the sun beat down on me, but, it didn't feel excruciating. I was able to complete the entire loop, although a crash 2/3rds of the way through the ride busted my gears. I was able to limp out by converting my bike to a single speed.

    Although I didn't feel bad on the ride, when I got home, I got a really bad headache and felt really fatigued. I hit bed at about 8:30 and just zonked out. The headache lasted all of the night and I still have the headache now. Maybe the adrenaline during the ride prevented me from feeling the effects of the heat. I was hoping to report on the forum that, after two summers riding here, I was getting acclimatized to the heat and was now able to ride even in the 100+ degree weather. However, the post-ride fatigue and headache have me second guessing.
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  2. #2
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    I've been riding Phoenix late afternoon summers for twenty years but never at 4:00 pm. Some people can ride in the middle of the day when it's 110 but not me. Try riding the last two hours before sunset. I eventually figured out how hard to push without overheating but it takes practice. Ice in my hydro pack helps too. I'll drain 100 ounces in 90 minutes.

  4. #4
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    You've never done this before, so you decided to pick some place that's well out of town, with limited shade opportunities, that can have spotty cell reception(depending on carrier), where, if you did need help, it might take a while for it to get to you and/or find you? Anything else I missed?

    That's a total set up to get fu*ked. Glad nothing happened, but damn, this sounds like a bunch of unnecessary risks piled on top of each other. It would have been a lot smarter to go to Reach 11 or something first.

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    Following up on Easy_E ... Glad you made it back alive.

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    So far, compared to the humid hell I'm used to in Austin, this is child's play.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  7. #7
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    Congrats on your heat exhaustion.

  8. #8
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    Riding in Arizona Summer Heat

    Try a few beers after the ride next time- always seems to help!

    But in all seriousness, don't ride at 4:00! That's the hottest part of the day!

  9. #9
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    hah,, it not even august yet

  10. #10
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    They had a small marathon at westworld yesterday purposely held at the hottest part of the day. 2 people were hospitalized.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike View Post
    hah,, it not even august yet
    LOL
    That's what I always tell the new to AZ folks, when they start telling me it's hot.

  12. #12
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    I guess you guys are right..I always see mountain biking as a sport of pushing the limits but perhaps I was pushing a bit far on that one. I would be interested to know if anyone is able to ride in that kind of weather consistently. I was wondering if you can get used to it over time. I still have a headache and its been almost 24 hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    I guess you guys are right..I always see mountain biking as a sport of pushing the limits but perhaps I was pushing a bit far on that one. I would be interested to know if anyone is able to ride in that kind of weather consistently. I was wondering if you can get used to it over time. I still have a headache and its been almost 24 hours.
    Sure !!
    You can get acclimated to the area ... But if you're not acclimated, you're just asking for trouble, and even then, you can get into trouble rather quickly, if you don't know what to look for (recognize the onset of heat exhaustion).

    It's just not smart to take off alone in the desert during the summer.
    Next time, take a friend.

    FWIW,
    People who are acclimated, and work in the heat daily, sometimes end up in the hospital because they don't pay attention to the signs their body is giving off.

    Again,
    Glad you're OK ... Drink plenty of fluids ... Down some Gator-aid ... Eat a banana or some potato chips.

    One of the first things they do when someone is admitted with heat exhaustion/stroke is give them a potassium IV ... The banana or chips contain a high level of potassium, and will absolutely help your recovery.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post

    That's a total set up to get fu*ked.
    Haha, no doubt he came close with a bike malfunction. Wouldn't have taken much more.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  15. #15
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    I have been ring from 11am to 3pm in May, June and July until Monsoon actually starts for over 10 years now 2 to 4 times a week.

    The + is u own the trail the minus is it takes ~2x time to ride and 2x the water. As stated above you have to watch out for how you are feeling and know when to stop and head back.

    I find too much ice in the water makes it very hard for me to drink

  16. #16
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    I ride in the heat of the day all of the time. It's not uncommon for me to go out with 200-250 oz of water, ride for 4-5 hours, maybe a Picket Post out and back at 110 degrees, maybe a Natty C2C2C. You have to be aware that you are pushing very dangerous limits and adjust your performance level accordingly. It also would be wise to do some research on what actually transpires in your body as you are exercising vigorously in the dry heat, and fuel accordingly. HammerNutrition.com has some very informative research based info.

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    I'm similar to mtnbike todd. I've been riding in the afternoon about 2 times a week starting off at about 3:30 - 4:00PM for the past few years.

    It really helps (actually, it's mandatory for me) to 'ride into the heat'. When early May comes around make sure to get a few rides in when it hits the 90's....and then keep going. You can acclimate.

    With that said...on the really hot days my rides are usually shorter than my normal ride and I try to keep near a spot where I can bail out quick if I need to. I'm fortunate in that I live very close to the PMP (near Cavecreek hill) so I can keep in that area and still get a few miles in but be able to bail home easily if needed. Doing a couple of those rides a week makes the weekend morning rides really feel good temp-wise.

    If you are going to ride in the heat make sure don't try to do too much. If you notice that you're not feeling well....it's too late.

    It will all change in a few weeks when we get a little bit of humidity in the air. That really makes it dangerous.

    ...and like mtnbiketodd...at 4PM on a Wednesday afternoon the trails are all mine. :-)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DustyChap View Post
    If you are going to ride in the heat make sure don't try to do too much. If you notice that you're not feeling well....it's too late.

    It will all change in a few weeks when we get a little bit of humidity in the air. That really makes it dangerous.
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    It's a dry heat ... Until it's not !

  19. #19
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    Everyone has a different tolerance of pain caused by the heat. The guys posting that they do it alot are right on a few things for sure. Never expect to ride at the same pace you do when its cooler. Growing up here since 1980 and always being an outside kid, I learned a few things that make life much easier.

    -Hydrate every day. I drink 1-2 gallons of water/juice per day in the summer whether I am riding or not. Downside- getting up to pee at least once a night, but since I am getting older, I consider it practice for then!
    -Use more gels when riding vs. solid foods. Gels take less energy and water to digest and get into the bloodstream.
    -Use a in ride energy drink. AVOID gatorrades as they have too much sugar. You may have to experiment with what works best for you as far as stomach discomfort etc- and don't judge a drinks taste at home. They all taste like poop to me until I am thirsty, then they taste like the best in the world! And don't get sticker shock. Heed by Hammer Nutrition sounds expensive when you read the price on the carton, but when you do the math on the stuff mixed, it is abou the same cost as gato by the case from the grocery store-and wayyyy better.
    -Drink regularly on the bike. Figure out how much you need to stay okay for an hour (by riding/experimenting) then divide that by four and drink those quarters every 15 minutes. Its easy to forget-set a countdown timer if you need.
    -Post ride- drink water, recovery drinnk or just more in-ride drink. Avoid milks, soda and beer for a bit or match 12 oz beer with 20 oz water if you must.
    -You won't feel hungry many times post ride, but eat within an hour and keep it light. Even if its gels- get some energy in your body.

    Work up to it. If one has not rode in the heat at all, start with mowing the lawn, cleaning the garage or just taking a short walk or hike. Build to it. And remember, anyone can do this. Its like anything else- some people adapt quicker but you can get there if you desire. Every year it gets easier, just like riding makes you stronger every year.

    Hope you feel better and don't give up! Riding in the heat is pretty fun and as gratifying to me as clearing a nasty obstacle. Its just another challenge!
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  20. #20
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    Very well said, cstem.

  21. #21
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    Electrolytes before during and after the ride....

  22. #22
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    Hammer Endurolytes

  23. #23
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    I really like those camelback elixir tablets. High electrolytes, low sugar, no mess in camelback.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    So, yesterday, I wanted to take a ride in the Arizona summer heat, just to see if it could be done. I rode the Black Canyon Trail Boy Scout Loop at about 4:00. At that time, the temperature was about 104 degrees. I took plenty of water. It was a rather strange experience because while I was riding, I really didn't feel that bad. There was a bit of a breeze and, yes, the sun beat down on me, but, it didn't feel excruciating. I was able to complete the entire loop, although a crash 2/3rds of the way through the ride busted my gears. I was able to limp out by converting my bike to a single speed.

    Although I didn't feel bad on the ride, when I got home, I got a really bad headache and felt really fatigued. I hit bed at about 8:30 and just zonked out. The headache lasted all of the night and I still have the headache now. Maybe the adrenaline during the ride prevented me from feeling the effects of the heat. I was hoping to report on the forum that, after two summers riding here, I was getting acclimatized to the heat and was now able to ride even in the 100+ degree weather. However, the post-ride fatigue and headache have me second guessing.
    google "hyponatremia"

    not smart to ride in "the middle of nowhere" in such heat

  25. #25
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    I use to ride mid afternoon during the summer a lot except this year due to a newborn in the house. I work rotating shift work so the weeks that I work nights I would usually hit San Tan MTN beforehand for a quick 8-13 mile ride. I'm usually there 2-3ish. I personally don't mind the heat that much but I drink my entire 3L of water that I bring with me. I have never experienced any signs of heat stress except for a greater amount of fatigue afterwards. Having said that, I have realized that 90% of my crashes have happened during the summer so the heat must affect me even though I dont notice it. I have decided that I am going to start taking it easy during the summer and only ride if I can get to the trail before noon. Also, this may have been mentioned already, there's very few other crazy F*$ks on the trail mid day so if you do get seriously injured and you are by yourself you are SOL ( I usually only see 1-2 other cars during the weekday at San Tan mid afternoon in the summer but I may never pass anyone on the trail).
    Killing it with close inspection.

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