Tips for Biking in Extreme Heat

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I just came back from a trip to Phoenix, Arizona and was completely impressed at how every road had a bike lane painted on it. The city has managed to maintain their roads with their growing population and at the same time incorporate bicycling in a car-dominant city. Obviously, cars dominate this town due to its sprawling suburbs and the extreme heat in the summer.

However, even in 107-degree temperature, there were some hardy souls bicycling the city. How do they do it? In the middle of the day, there are few cyclists around, but morning and evening, a few more people venture out on bikes. Phoenix cyclists know:

  • Take lots of water. Staying hydrated is important. In Arizona’s dry heat, it’s easy to become thirsty.
  • Take it slow. No need rushing around when temps reach 100.
  • Make use of the morning and evening when the temperature drops a few degrees (unfortunately in Phoenix, the evenings only get down into the 80′s). I even saw people riding after dark –  a terrific idea for that area. Just be sure to use lights.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who avoid the summer months completely and only ride from Fall through Spring – another way to take advantage of the plethora of bike lanes. But for those that ride all-year-long, kudos to you!

Do you ride in a city of extreme heat or temperature? What are your tips for riding in your area?

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