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For much of the country, it’s still pretty toasty out there. If you’re like me, heat really zaps my strength, so I thought that I’d pass on some tips on how to beat the heat when riding:
1. Fill your hydration bladder the night before you ride, but only half way. Toss it in the freezer and before you leave the next today, top it off with water and stow it in your cooler. The ice will keep your water cold and will make more cold water as it melts on the ride. Just make sure to orient the bladder so that the suction hose doesn’t freeze shut!
2. Between motos for MX or when you come back for lunch on the trail, take those boots off!
3. Eat foods with high water content that also become cold when stored in your cooler. Melons are a perfect example, but fruits like oranges & peaches are also good examples.
4. Keep a damp towel in your cooler. When taking a break, drape it around your neck. The carotid artery runs down the side of your neck, so cooling the blood in this area goes a long way toward helping your entire body cool down a bit faster.
5. Hydrate! Well duh, right? But, there is a right and wrong way to hydrate. The key is to sip water all day long rather than to gulp massive amounts a fewer number of times.
6. If you come back to an RV with AC, you’re better off sitting in the shade outside and using a fan to cool you down. Large temperature differentials can shock the system, so you’re better off allowing your body to acclimatize outside. When sitting in front of the fan, use a spray bottle full of water to wet your skin. The evaporation process will feel awesome and of course, cool you down. Use the same bottle to wet your hair just before you put your helmet back on.
7. Instead of using ice in your cooler, pack it with frozen water bottles. The bottles will keep the rest of your stuff cool, won’t fill your cooler with water as they melt down (soggy food sucks!) and since you’re not wasting space on ice, you’ll have more room for your consumables.
8. When you sweat, you lose electrolytes. Plain water won’t replace them, so choose a low sugar, quality sports drink or water additive that will replace them. Pedialyte has been around forever and I know it’s popular among many riders. I’ve used a water additive (powder form) called Moto Fuel with good results. Stay away from diuretics such as soda and coffee.
9. There are a whole host of products designed to aid cooling. Most of the top apparel manufacturers make good vented gear, including Thor Core, Moose Sahara, & Klim Mojave. There are also a number of well vented helmets, the Klim F4 being the most focused on heat reduction.
10. Don’t forget the sunscreen. The back of your neck is especially vulnerable!
Hopefully this list has given you some good ideas.