Riding in the Heat

Riding in the Heat

Warm, dry days are the best for motorcycle riding, right? We made it through that wet and cold spring, we deserve some great riding days! And yet, as with many things in life, too much of a good thing could warrant some precautions to fully enjoy it. And while riding last week, I recall some song lyrics along the lines of “We have joy, we have fun, we are sizzling in the sun….” – and so, nature wrote the lines for this “hot” topic.

Some of us embark on longer rides the coming weeks, and while we prep our bikes for the journey and conditions along the way, let’s not forget about ourselves in this, to make these rides in hot temperatures more enjoyable and truly epic.


Good preparation is key for a safe and enjoyable ride.

Pre-ride: Avoid carrying a “hydration debt” into the ride; A day earlier, drink plenty of water, the occasional sports drinks (electrolytes) are ok, and keep caffeine (I know, it’s hard!) and alcohol to a minimum. Be prepared with plenty of water for the ride and bring the right gear.
Plus – know your limits and conditions along the way; a little planning might get you a long way (literarily).

During the ride, a few tips might help avoid heat exhaustion:

- Stay hydrated (water is best)
Drink when you’re not thirsty, keep “topping off” your tank during breaks. Once you start getting real thirsty, you might have gone already ab it too far, and catching up will take effort.

- Avoid alcohol and limit caffeine
Especially on multi-day trips, “After the ride is before the ride”; starting hung over (dehydrated) will not improve throughout the day

- Cooling scarf/neck gaiter & skull cap
Very easy to wear & maintain cooling effect during the ride.

- More “Cool Gear” - Cooling vest, moisture wicking base layers
Not only do we like gadgets, but they can really make that crucial difference; there are many options out there, so check with your buddies on their experience

- Avoid riding during the hottest part of the day
That’s where planning can help to build breaks at advantageous locations into the ride, i.e. some indoor attractions to visit over noon and early afternoon, or an extended lunch stop, a break near a lake or river/stream etc., and/or start your ride early to make it through the most exposed section(s) of the route before high noon.

- Take frequent breaks
which will also provide the opportunity to keep your hydration level in check. And it is the check for any potential signs of HEAT EXHAUSTION for you and your buddies:

An overview of symptoms what to look for, and what to do can be found here:

On a side note: the heat takes its toll on the road surfaces, too – be vigilant for those tar snakes, and use caution on newly paved surfaces! (oil!) Moreover, if you are caught in that downpour and/or thunderstorm (those will occur eventually) which will render the road extra slippery!

Know your limits, watch out for each other during those hot days, and use COMMON SENSE on and off the road!

See you out there, and looking forward to the stories of this year’s epic rides!

 Brought to you by Arndt, Safety Officer

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Posted by FG4SHO