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  1. #1
    Boriqua Puneta
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    Riding in the summer

    I ve got a few questions for you guys. I moved from denver to phoenix almost a year ago and I went from riding 4 times a week to nothing. Im wanting to get back into riding but the high tempetures are making me think twice. Do you guys ride during the heat of summer? At what hours of the day do you go ride? Tips are welcomed.

    Im into cross country riding. I used to do 20 and 30 mile rides but here the desert sucks the water out of you so its hard for me to do a 20 mile. By 12-15 miles my 3 liter camelback is dry.

    Thanks guys
    Only type of shuttle I ride....the ambulance!

  2. #2
    EDR
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    Do you guys ride during the heat of summer?
    Yes, if by heat of summer you mean year 'round.
    At what hours of the day do you go ride?
    The temps this week I do not consider 'hot'. I can still start a ride at 9am if I want to. I can ride in +100 degree temps as long as the humidity is super low, as it is now. In July and August I need to be on the trail at sunrise and be done by 9am or so. It's either that or ride after the sun goes down. It might still be well over 100 after dark but the sun is not there to torch your brain and suck the life out of you. Acclimation is key.

    Heck, who am I kidding? I took a 6 week hiatus last year during the "dog-days" of summer

  3. #3
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    I start off the summer months riding early morning and late afternoon. By July I'll take on whatever the afternoon sun can throw at me. Nothing gets you in better shape than a afternoon ride on a 115 deg day... Like eatsleepdrink said, it's all about acclimating. Helps to be a little on the crazy side too.

  4. #4
    Pivotal figure
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    Acclimate, bring tons of water, drink plenty of water the night before you ride, start early. I usually set my cutoff at 10 am but that can vary as well. One helpful tip for riding during the Monsoon is to carry a spare set of gloves. Mine are usually soaked after an hour or so of riding and it's nice to have a dry set for the return trip (helps avoid pruny hands)...
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  5. #5
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Stick your head and feet in the pool before you take off for the ride - this will provide very effective evaporative cooling! But like Kenny said - acclimate! Don't expect to do 20 or 30 at first - shoot for 5 miles, then 10. Start off on easier trails like Desert Classic at South Mountain (even our easy trails can be difficult for someone not used to riding rocks and non-buff trails). Set your expectations low and you will not be disappointed!!

  6. #6
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    If your sucking thru the water that fast, start bringing a back up bottle or two in your pack, or just plan your rides around water stops.

    As Durt Gurl said, DC is a good option as you have water at either end of the trail. Also doing loops at any of the comp tracks in town or at Pemberton can bring back past your car where you can keep extra water in a cooler for refills.

    I usually ride trails where I am can run a faster pace during the summer, which also helps catch a little wind. Also some peeps ride road more during the hot months, especially if you cant get out for the 5:30am starts!

    I bought a set of Arm Coolers last year and use these a ton. Saves on using sunscreen and keeps at least on part a bit cooler!

    http://www.roadrunnersports.com/rrs/...-rrs206-NYTAC8

  7. #7
    Need more cowbell
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    Summer is a great opportunity to ride at night....even the most mundane trails change at night.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chtorres2 View Post
    I ve got a few questions for you guys. I moved from denver to phoenix almost a year ago and I went from riding 4 times a week to nothing. Im wanting to get back into riding but the high tempetures are making me think twice. Do you guys ride during the heat of summer? At what hours of the day do you go ride? Tips are welcomed.

    Im into cross country riding. I used to do 20 and 30 mile rides but here the desert sucks the water out of you so its hard for me to do a 20 mile. By 12-15 miles my 3 liter camelback is dry.

    Thanks guys
    If you think it's hot now....wait until Sept.

    I've been in AZ for 35 years, so the heat really does not get to me. But I definitely would not recommend riding in the middle of the day. In the summer, I typically ride after 6 pm, which is still unbearably hot. Just be sure to drink lots of water, and if you get dizzy or lightheaded, stop immediately. One redflag for me is when I stop sweating. When I stop sweating, that's my cue to stop riding.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  9. #9
    How much further ???
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    Quote Originally Posted by chtorres2 View Post
    I ve got a few questions for you guys. I moved from denver to phoenix almost a year ago and I went from riding 4 times a week to nothing. Im wanting to get back into riding but the high tempetures are making me think twice. Do you guys ride during the heat of summer? At what hours of the day do you go ride? Tips are welcomed.

    Im into cross country riding. I used to do 20 and 30 mile rides but here the desert sucks the water out of you so its hard for me to do a 20 mile. By 12-15 miles my 3 liter camelback is dry.

    Thanks guys
    Like others have said.

    -Ride very early.
    -Ride at night.
    -Hydate several hours before a ride.
    -Ice in the camelbak
    -Bring extra water bottle. Ive run out of water on 2 occations and Id rather finish a ride lugging around an extra 100oz bladder than run out on the trail.
    -Stick with it/suck it up. Its comes with the territory for better or worse.
    -Look forward to the winter
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  10. #10
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    Like it was said before, getting acclimated is the key. The transition period from the cool temps to warm then hot then AZ temps is tough. Try staying hydrated all the time, not just before or during your rides it helps a great deal. Avoid riding in the middle of the day, when the sun leans on you the most.
    When It gets hot (100+) sometimes I will actually put my jersey in a cooler of ice water, wring it out a little and put it on wet when I get to the trail head, freeze my water bottle, put ice in or partially freeze my water bladder, I also will bring a couple of the small 3"x5" frozen cooler blocks in my pack incase I get too hot.

  11. #11
    kAZ
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    On the hottest days, if I start riding just as the sun comes up, say around 5:30 or 6, I can get a solid 3 hours of riding in before I start to want to get out of the heat.

    One tip is that some trails are shaded in the morning or evening, which can make riding at almost any temperature not that big of a deal. Desert Classic, the east loops, and Javelina at S.Mtn are all shaded by the mtn for the last hour or so of the day. Hawes and the west side of Pass Mtn are shaded in the early morning.

    Also, go to Flagstaff.

  12. #12
    Boriqua Puneta
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    Awsome guys. Thanks for the tips. I didnt want to be "that guy" that didnt know you shouldnt ride in the summer and ends up in the news. Ill take your tips to get back in shape. One more question and I know there will be more then 1 answer. Which is your favorite bike shop either in Phoenix or surrounding areas and why? Thanks for all the replies
    Only type of shuttle I ride....the ambulance!

  13. #13
    Ridin bikes is fun
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    I bought me a road bike mostly so I can keep in some shape over the summer. I will still be hitting the trails once or twice a week. I don't get off work until 9pm so getting up at 4:30 to be FIP by 5am is difficult for me. In years past when I did not have a road bike I would keep you trail rides short, for me that's an hour and a half or less and just try to get in 4 to 6 short rides a week..

    Start off slow and soon enough you'll be riding in 100+ temps with little problems.
    Better than most, not as good as some.

  14. #14
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    If you're drinking that much water you ought to carry a bottle with some Cytomax or something to sip on during the ride.

    Drinking that much straight water will wash out your sodium and other minerals leading to cramping , lethargy etc.

  15. #15
    pedaller
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    +1 on everything that's been said so far.

    NOT riding when the sun beating directly down on you is key.

    Another thing about acclimation, getting out there early when it's cooler and riding while the temps rise lets you acclimate to the heat of THAT DAY. I can ride into the 100s that way no problem but if I head out late and start with the temps already that high, I'm cooked.

    Early summer rides and then jumping in the pool is awesome though!
    (followed by a nap later in the day )
    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  16. #16
    My other ride is your mom
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    quit your job and head to the pines....

  17. #17
    drink coffee, ride.
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    All the stuff said above, but I still look at it like riding at high elevation, you can do it, you're just doing it slower. I'll will bike commute during the summer, leaving work at 330 in the afternoon. So, 114 it fairly regular, it's only at the stoplights that the heat causes me difficulty. When moving there is enough evap cooling to keep things rolling, and I'm not climbing anything significant.

  18. #18
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    Ice in the camelpak works well.

    Recently I started wearing a skull-cap-beanie-sweat-vac-doo-rag-thing under my helmet and I swear it keeps me a few degrees cooler. Plus it keeps the sweat from dripping out of the front helmet pad and all over the shades when going down hill. Was I alone with that phenomenon?

  19. #19
    Meatbomb
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ_Wook View Post
    Ice in the camelpak works well.

    Recently I started wearing a skull-cap-beanie-sweat-vac-doo-rag-thing under my helmet and I swear it keeps me a few degrees cooler. Plus it keeps the sweat from dripping out of the front helmet pad and all over the shades when going down hill. Was I alone with that phenomenon?
    nope.. same issue here.. where did you get the skull cap ?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chtorres2 View Post
    One more question and I know there will be more then 1 answer. Which is your favorite bike shop either in Phoenix or surrounding areas and why? Thanks for all the replies
    I would like to recommend South Mountain Cycles. I have never made a purchase there... only window shopped BUT they are very helpful and friendly. They also have a good selection of bikes (both for brands and types). However, most of the shops in the Phoenix area are pretty good.

  21. #21
    DFL>DNF>DNS
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    All great tips/suggestions. I do a little of each, ride early on the weekend, mix in a night ride during the week if I can and knock out a shorter ride with a 3:30p start time on Wed/Thurs. When I ride during the peak heat times, I limit my rides to more accessible areas just in case something were to happen.

    I'll also try to get in a few rides up north.

    I can't tell how much I like riding with the sun sleeves, they really help keep my arms cooler. Also, I keep a bandana in my pack and If I need it, drench it and drape it across my neck for a bit. Tons of ice in the Camelback.

    As was stated repeatedly, acclimate & know your limits. I like the empty trails of summer!!
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  22. #22
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    I just rode Trail 100 at PMP yesterday evening and I have found this trail to be shaded by the mountains quite a bit. I felt quite cool most of the ride.. although the constant sweating did help. but as someone has suggested before -- start small ( shorter rides ) and see how your body reacts to the different climate. Eventually you will get used to it ( if not already ) and be riding similar distances that you were in the past.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    I would like to recommend South Mountain Cycles. I have never made a purchase there... only window shopped BUT they are very helpful and friendly. They also have a good selection of bikes (both for brands and types). However, most of the shops in the Phoenix area are pretty good.
    I only use SMC for LBS purchases. I've gotten great customer service from at least 5 people that work there. Customer service is key for me.
    a real Dirkbag!

  24. #24
    EDR
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    IME Rage in Scottsdale is great as it caters to real mtb'rs. Cactus next to SoMo is good to, a real mtb crowd in there as well.

  25. #25
    Dirt Merchant
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    +2 on everything. Especially the do-rag. I got one, and it keeps the sweat from even breaking through to my forehead and totally out of my eyes. It helps keep the heat in a little on your head during the cooler season.

    Question about extra hydration packs and ice... Do you guys freeze your packs, or just fill them about 80% and load the rest of the way with ice?
    Keep pedalin'. You can catch your breath on the downhill!

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