Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer time, and the ridin's easy

Sorry for the long delay since the last post. I've been distracted... and will continue to be distracted for a few more weeks. And, there's not a lot new to discuss, at least in my scope. However, I continue to faithfully ride my bike EVERY DAY whenever bike and I are in the same town. (I missed 4 days earlier this month, when I was out of town for 6 days.)

I love riding in the summer time! All that winter-time sand is gone from the shoulders of the roads. And it's still a bit early for the peak of Goathead Season. Of course, in these parts you're dealing with the chip-seal crews, out working on sections of road. But they can be avoided.

Strangely, the cyclist population seems to drop off in mid-summer. Except for recreational bike-riders in the parks, on the Greenbelt, etc. I'm guessing that many of the fair-weather riders who hang up the bike in winter are also scared off by the hot weather.

They are missing out! As long as I can stay hydrated, summer is a wonderful time to ride! The bike just seems to roll easier, most likely due to the fact that everything is loose and "viscous."

When I'm riding on hot, I try to fill the radiator before I leave, and have plenty of water to drink along the way. I also soak the shirt when the opportunity presents itself. (I spoke of a "roadside oasis" a couple summers back.) It makes a big difference for 10 minutes or so.

Sometimes you choose where to ride; other times you don't. (Transportation cyclists typically have a destination in mind, and the "where" is the route to their destination. By contrast, if you're on a fitness or recreation ride, you can choose the "where" based on current circumstances.) When I'm choosing, I'll try to pick shade and/or cool, for those summer rides.


F'r instance, last evening I was riding on Overland Road, near Orchard. As I rode past the edge of Hillcrest Country Club - acres and acres of cool, green grass - I felt a very distinct cooling in the air. I bet the temperature dropped 10 or 15 degrees. If you can choose, choose a route near green grass, or lots of water, or shade.

Happy riding! Stay hydrated!


Clancy said...

I rode a bit of the Greenbelt yesterday when running an errand. It was much cooler next to the river and in the shade of the trees.

bob t said...

I live only about 3 miles from work so I'm fine on even the hottest days if I take it slowly.

At least we don't have to deal with heat and humidity in this part of the country.

Scott said...

You have to love summertime riding in Boise. You get a really cool helmet tan, and a tan line on your fingerless gloves as well. And the morning smells; Corn, faint manure, water, sage, soil. Aaahhh. Drivers miss so much.

As far as staying cool, I'm with you in that cyclists tend to be better acclimated than non-cyclists because we're out there in it all year. Yes, it gets hot in the summer, but your body becomes an efficient sweating machine in Boise's dry air.

When that isn't quite enough, there's nothing like hopping from canal to canal to dip your helmet and shirt in icy water.

db said...

I noticed that, too, Clancy, about the greenbelt. A noticeable temperature difference. And sometimes the heat keeps people off the path, too.