Getting Beat By The Heat


Yesterday’s Sunday morning ride kicked my butt, don’t let the picture fool you.

A heat wave swept into New York on Saturday accompanied by high humidity. It was hot enough on Saturday that I did not even try to ride the bike, so I put the ride off until Sunday morning. I set out early in the morning (early for me = 8:00 am) to get to the local parking lot where many cyclists ride from. By the time I unpacked and mounted up, it was already approaching 80-something degrees. Not wanting to wipe myself out in the heat, I chose to do a shorter ride of approximately 35 miles. I took a relatively direct route to the north shore of the county characterized by a few gentle hills and plenty of shade.

I hit the north shore feeling pretty good but thirsty, both of my bottles drained. I road east through Bayville, stopping at a town beach to catch a breeze and make a picture. While on the beach, I watched  the local fire department drilling with its aerial ladder.


I really could have used that stream about an hour later!

It was about 92 degrees when I left the beach late morning. I rode back into town, got more water and began my return trip. I pretty quickly realized that the heat and humidity were getting the best of me; within a few miles, I had to pull over to cool off and catch my breath. I had to stop twice more and stop for more water before I completed the return trip. It didn’t help that I chose a return route that included two climbs. It was a  meager 17 miles, but it felt like 40. It stinks to be exhausted and thirsty.

Reflecting back on the ride, I was probably not adequately hydrated going into it. I should have hydrated days before the ride, particularly since it was apparent it would be hot that day. My bad. If you’re riding (or motorcycling) in the summer heat, make sure you are hydrated: drink plenty of water prior to your event, and don’t be shy about stopping to rest and drink. You can’t rely on a fire truck to cool you off on demand.


About robertkerner

Educator, registered nurse, attorney, inquisitive mind
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