It is already a hot one in Texas. The last weather report I saw was calling for a high of 103°F, and a heat index of around 110°F. For those who live further up north where it does not get quite as hot, you may not know what a heat index is. Basically that is the “feels like” temperature. Normally humidity will help drive this figure up higher.
In short, it was going to be really hot! My niece stayed over the night, and we were going to head out for a bicycle ride. She loves to ride her bicycle. We decided we were going to go on a decent little ride to this park she likes. The park itself is well shaded, but it does not allow for much wind. I packed a couple of water bottles and we headed out. After about 100-ft of riding, I knew this was going to be a real hot one. The funny thing is, it was just after 11:00 AM! We got to the park, which is a pretty decent ride. There are tons of trees along our route that help keep the sun off of us. There are some swamp-like areas along the path with viewing platforms. We stopped at one and saw a young alligator. This one is maybe 5-feet long. Still a little one. It was sitting there just below the platform, most likely hoping that we were going to toss a little snack its way. Well we did not have any food. Sorry little guy!
We continued on the ride. Even with all the shade, we arrived at the park a sweaty mess. I think we were there maybe 20 minutes, and my niece wanted to get back on her bike. We rode over this little hill, and she crashed on her bike. It was not anything bad, just a minor bump. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. She was done. The heat and the minor pain was enough to make her want to go back to the house. We started a ride back and got home pretty quickly. I really wanted to jump in a pool, it was that hot outside.
My wife was back home, lucky me. So I took advantage of this and hopped in the shower. The faucet was set to cold and I cooled myself down. That sun will get to you fast if you are not careful. I also was not drinking as much water as I should have, since I only took one 12-ounce bottle of water for each of us.
I just wanted to post this for you all. The ride was maybe 3-miles total, and we were only outside for about 45-minutes. However, this was enough to really get to you. Just remember to take care of yourself and stay hydrated this summer! Pack more water than you think you will need. If you are going on a long bike ride, make sure there are places to stop to top off your water bottles.
Also, dress accordingly. On a hot summer day, please do not wear your almost all black Leopard Trek kit. Wear white and a lot of it. In the past I have considered getting white compression sleeves for my arms to help guard against the suns rays. One of the brands I really like is 2XU. I have a pair of calf sleeves already. Well after this last ride, I think I will break down and get a pair of the white arm sleeves to help protect me from the sun. The arm sleeves are rated SPF-50. It is worth the cost to help reflect some light/heat and give some sun protection.
Click the following image to go to the 2XU web page:
Image from http://www.2XU.com
So take the steps to protect yourself! Wear sunblock, wear light colors, and wear sunglasses. Sunglasses are a must to protect from dust and debris, and also protect your eyes from UVA/UVB rays that can cause permanent damage.
Be safe fellow riders!