5 Ways To Stay Cool While Riding Hot

//5 Ways To Stay Cool While Riding Hot

5 Ways To Stay Cool While Riding Hot



Some people ride in the heat by choice, some out of necessity. When it’s a choice, a Sunday ride in triple-digit weather can be postponed. On the other hand, commuting and cross-country riding are not always weather dependent. Regardless of the circumstances, riding in the heat can be made more bearable.  Here are five tips to stay cool while riding in the heat.

Stay Hydrated

Once you feel thirsty, you are in the beginning stages of dehydration. We know we need to drink more water when it’s hot. But how much is “more?”bottle of water

On normal days, you should drink half your body weight in water. If you weigh 200 pounds, that’s 100 ounces; equal to six bottles of water. And that’s on normal days. When riding in the heat, you should add at least four more bottles for the day.

But forget about all that math. Drink two glasses or a bottle when you wake up. Then drink a bottle of water every time you stop for gas. And avoid the caffeine.

The Caffeine Dilemma

We rarely drink enough water, but are quick to consume the caffeine we crave. To stay hydrated, there are two reasons why we should avoid caffeine.

First, caffeine is a diuretic. It flushes water out of our body; water that we need, especially on sweltering days.

Second, most caffeinated beverages satiate us, making us forget that it’s water we need. Unfortunately, the water component of these beverages is hardly enough to hydrate us.

If you’re going to drink caffeinated beverages, do so sparingly. Once in the morning, to get your fix. Then switch to water. And surprisingly, by staying hydrated you will feel less tired.

While we’re at it, a cold beer is also not a good idea for hydration. Like caffeine, alcohol acts as a diuretic.

Eat Less, Often

Large meals are less healthy than eating smaller meals more frequently. More metabolic heat is created during the digestion of larger meals. Your body will need to work harder to cool itself down. Also, water is used during digestion. More food being digested requires more water. I think you see the pattern here.

When it’s hot out, eat more often. Eat smaller portions. Drink a glass of water before your meal. Drink water during your meal. And if you are riding after the meal, drink more water before hitting the road.

Light and Loose Fitting Clothes

I used to choose looking cool over feeling cool. Black is usually the cool color of choice among Harley riders. In hot weather, the color choice to feel cool leans toward white. Light colors reflect heat, making you feel cooler throughout the day.

Color choice is one option, fit and materials are two more. Loose fitting clothing allows the air to circulate. Cotton is a more breathable fabric. Loose fitting white cotton shirts will provide hours of comfort for your ride.

Cooler Heads Prevail

Most of our body heat is lost through our heads. Save some water during your gas stops, and use it on your head. heatPost0716-2If you don’t want to douse yourself, soak a kerchief, bandanna or head wrap. Pour a little in your helmet.

Keeping your head cool will benefit every other part of you.

So there you have it – five tips to stay cooler during hot weather riding. By following these strategies, riding in the heat can be more bearable.

There’s no reason to say “it’s too hot to ride.”



By |2016-07-20T11:04:35+00:00July 20th, 2016|Categories: Riding Tips|Tags: , |6 Comments

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  1. Howard September 3, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    I always wet a bandana and wear it under my helmet. I also wear a long sleeve T-shirt under my leather jacket. Every hour and a half, or so, I stop at a gas stop, go into the rest room and soak the shirt. Wearing under the leathers with vents open keeps me cool. I’ve ridden I-90 across South Dakota in August with temps over 100 and stayed fine riding this way .

  2. Jonathan Green August 31, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I live in Tucson and ride all year. Evaperative vest is a summer escential; soak, squeeze and put into a ziplock in the AM. When it gets hot put it on under another vest. This keeps it from drying out. Never mind that it will be hot when you put it on. You’ll feel the moisture’s cooling right away. TIP: don’t use with leather belt. Get a fabric belt. Cooling sleeves block sun and you can still wear t-shirts. Boots with ventilation and your thinnest socks. Get some cheap hardware gloves with fabric back and coated front; those controls get very hot in desert sun. Let e know if someone invents other evap gear that won’t dry out in 10 miles. I have wrist bands, head bands, etc that don’t last long enough.

  3. G July 20, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Rode through death valley. Some a sweatshirt under my leather, wetted rag inside full face helmet. With vents open, it creates a natural air conditioner as in evaporates.

    • Joe Peek July 21, 2016 at 11:51 am

      I should have thought of that! I rode through Death Valley last June; the HOTTEST ride I’ve ever done

  4. Keith July 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Those hydro vest are great. I soak mine in the sink, pat dry then freeze it. Put it in a zip lock bag and go.

    • Joe Peek July 20, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      Haven’t tried one yet Keith, but thanks for sharing the info!

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