Friday, April 20, 2012

100 Again


You've seen these before, one year ago...

We had a mild winter here in the desert, and now the weather forecaster is giving a strong indication that we will blow past the 100 degree mark this weekend. In April. And I love it.


Mr. Barrel cactus also loves the heat


100 degrees is the magic number for me. Not only does it smash down the pollen count, which is key for an allergy guy who commutes by bicycle, but I find that really cold weather, like we had in Feb 2011 for example, saps my will and strength, while heat boosts those up. The hotter the better for me. I stay hydrated, get as acclimated to it as one can get to 110F, and ride harder.

The hotter days make me feel like doing more push-ups during my workouts. They push me to ride faster, and farther. Heat clarifies my mind and hardens my body. Plus, the mountain bike trails tend to empty out in the heat of the day, particularly in July and August, which is when they appear most alluring to me and my mountain bike(s). 

Welcome, April Heat! Bring it on!. The three barrels and I couldn't be happier. Cold weather, catch you this fall sometime. Let's do coffee. Have a good trip, wherever it is that you go. Take your time coming back.
 


11 comments:

  1. I'm sure I've said this before, but I'm no fan of heat. I've gotten better at tolerating it over the years, but that's all I can do: tolerate it. I rarely (but not never) enjoy riding in heat. Then again, we have oppressive humidity here. I wonder if I'd feel differently without the humidity.

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    1. Oppressive humidity is not my favorite either Apertome. My love of heat is for the extremely dry, arid type. I don't think I could both ride hard and eliminate body heat quick enough through perspiration in the humidity. In the desert, my body evapo-cools through constant hydration and evaporation.

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  2. I guess the lack of humidity makes it bearable, but still. ~wilt~

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    1. Heat=power Melanie Susanne! It takes a lot of getting used to certainly. But it beats the heck out of ten below zero with snow and ice. Give me blazing hot sunshine for any ride, please! But please note: if I start to wilt, I definitely take a break and chill out with some shade and water. Heat stroke is a no-no. Also, with my cowboy air conditioner, a bandana soaked in water and wrapped around my neck, I can cool off a bit, long as I keep a breeze going.

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  3. Ah, yes, time to acclimatize again – 91 here today. I rode home in shorts last night!

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    1. Love it. Time to kick up the pace a notch, no?

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  4. Ick, anything over 80° is just oppressive in my opinion, even though I live in the dry climate of southern Colorado. I'm happiest when it's 45-55° out, make it overcast with no wind and I'd say that's the perfect riding weather.

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    1. David, you should avoid Phoenix in the summer then. However, from November thru March (approx) you'd be golden. Also, in the morning, or at night. 90°F with ultra-low humidity, in the dark, is a whole other sweet riding thing. But I'm with you, in the sense that I can switch into 55°F mode and ride in a t-shirt and love it, too. And if I think I could comfortably ride long distances in the heat I am probably deluding myself. I reach a point at about 30 miles where I should go no further without several hours of rehydration and body temperature lowering.

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  5. I've suffered heat exhaustion twice. In the dry, Sonoran Desert I have established specific riding temperature ranges: Anything between 90 and 100 is perfect; 100 to 105 is doable, as long as I take it easy; 105 to 110 happens only if there are mitigating circumstances (i.e. the route has lots of shade, it is overcast, a gorgeous female roadie pedaled by in front of the house, etc.); Anything over 110 and I stay in an air conditioned environment: I don't need to complicate life for myself or the EMT's!

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    1. I've been close to it, BluesCat, but never been there myself. Probably closest on a summer hike in the Superstitions once when I ran out of water, my stupidity on that hike almost cost me. I monitor my status closely and don't overdo it. I drink an enormous amount of water and make sure there's a little bit of salt in there too. Cowboy air conditioner bandana soaked in water and wrapped around neck sometimes is employed. Pre-ride ice water hydration has sometimes helped. Also, when it's seven percent humidity and 110°F, I'll pour water on my shirt and almost start to shiver as the rapid evap kicks in.

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