Humidity

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by franklen, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. franklen

    franklen New Member

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    Anyone have any stories or advice for riding in high humidity? I started commuting 5 miles to work this spring, but wasn't prepared for the heat and humidity wave that suckled over central PA for the past couple weeks. I took 2 days off because it just drained me on the ride home and I felt the need to crash (into the couch) and rest up the rest of the night. I try to swig some gatorade and lots of water, and to take it slower than usual. Its just a little debilitating physically and mentally. Still pedalling though!
     
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  2. Babbar

    Babbar New Member

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    Maryland in the late summer is horrendous. Most summers, we have "humiture" (temperature + humidity) ratings in the high 90's/100's on many days. It is brutal if you are not moving!

    I used to umpire baseball and would take two gallons of water and one of Gator-ade, and a cooler filled with half ice-water and half witch hazel. I would dip a cloth in the water concoction and put it on my neck between innings. That and the water/gator-ade would get me through the game.

    Riding I find in very hot and muggy days, I have to keep moving. If I get a tail wind, and end up in zero relative wind, I bake. I need a head or quartering wind to keep me cooler. I have plotted out everyplace where I can replenish my water and carry little bottles of Gator-ade powder with me.

    Riding in high humidity, like anything, takes getting used to. After a while you become acclimated. Last summer, there was a stretch where the humiture was over 105 for two or three days. I still rode 20miles per day, but, then, my wife says I am not wrapped too tight! That and being a fanatic.
     
  3. Brunswick_kate

    Brunswick_kate New Member

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    Best approach -- take rest when and if you need it. Give yourself and your body a chance to develop the strength and endurance you need to deal with adverse weather conditions. The point is to keep your commute enjoyable. When it ceases to be a thing of joy, then you need a break and that's OKAY. I find that when I get to the stage when I'm just "OH God, not today", that a one day rest from the bike is what I need. I come back stronger and more capable than I would have been had I slogged on.

    Keep yourself well hydrated all day (not just during the ride). Start off well hydrated rather than starting off in a "catch up" position.
     
  4. Randal Lovelace

    Randal Lovelace New Member

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    Humidity.....I can't help but laugh, I've lived in Central Florida for 15 years and have yet to get used to the 90+ % humidity levels.

    I ride daily, have yet to find the exact mileage.

    I also work in the humidity...throwing 50 lbs bags for 8 hours.

    Water, I probably drink about 4 gallons a day.

    2 while at work.

    1/2 about an hour before my ride.

    a pint during my ride to + a pint during my ride from.

    and a little over a gallon after work over a couple of hour period.

    A couple of pointers -

    1. Start slow, then get to a pace, near end of ride slow again.

    2. Water during ride should not be cold (ie not from ice box), but should not be hot either.

    3. Learn places on your route to get water in case your water gets hot (this is a problem for me as my water bottle is black....can't wait to get a light colored one.)

    Hope this helps with your commute.
     
  5. dwj444

    dwj444 New Member

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    I live, work, commute, and train in Washington DC, which much like PA and MD is humid as all get out during the summer. Down on the river here (Potomac) it can be really excruciating.

    The consensus seems to be, and I agree, drink water like there is no tomorrow. I usually take two liters out with me on a training ride, and I plan my routes so that I can stop at public fountains or stores to buy more. Stay away from chilled water, since it'll make you cramp more easily. Gatorade, or Accelerade if you like it, are both good supplements, but it's hard to beat water.

    Also -- I ride in a cutoff t-shirt alot of the time when going to and from work. The added skin surface area exposed to rushing air helps to cool me a bit more, and keeps me a bit more comfortable.

    Good luck, and don't give up the cycle-commute!
     
  6. Randal Lovelace

    Randal Lovelace New Member

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    I ride in Hiking Shorts, and T-shirts myself.....(haven't cut off the sleeves yet, but the way they flap in the wind can't be helping me go faster....lol)

    Randy
     
  7. Chris_L

    Chris_L New Member

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    Humidity is a year-round problem here. Personally I drink between 5 and 10 litres of water per day, summer or winter, regardless of activity level as a matter of general health. It's also something you need to adjust to over time.
     
  8. Randal Lovelace

    Randal Lovelace New Member

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    Haven't been on for a while, been busy 'gaming'.

    Weather here has cooled dramatically...(thanx to a tropical depression from the gulf and a hurricane to the east - sorry about N.C. and VA....they got a mess to clean up now...)

    Randy
     
  9. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    I have moved away from humidity but occasional it shows up. I've learned not to look at the speedometer because I'm going to be going slower, and that if I'm thinking I'm especiallyh sluggish ... it's probably a warm muggy day... and drink lots and expose as much skin as feasible without causing public nausea... and wait for those cool, DRY days when the bike just flies.
     
  10. msrw

    msrw New Member

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    I live in Miami--I spent 10 years in San Juan, Puerto Rico before coming here--in both places the humidity during the summer is so high that you can almost cut the moisture with a knife, leather shoes grow mold in your closet, etc. I routinely do long hard rides in the middle of the summer, and don't find it all that difficult--I also commute about 15mi/day during the summer.

    I think the main reason people don't get used to heat and humidity is that they spend so little time in it. If you live in air conditioning in your home, office and car, it's going to be difficult to adapt to the conditions outside.
     
  11. franklen

    franklen New Member

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    I can only imagine how humidity affects the southern climes, though I know that noone goes outside here in PA anymore. Between the air conditioning and the heat pumps, there is no reason to open the doors and windows to let the outside in, or vice versa. I see romantic visions in my minds eye of blowing curtains in a country farmhouse in the spring, or fluttering netting around a big posted bed in a tropical setting.

    I am dealing less with humidity now in december, today was virtually nil humidity with temps in the low 30's and wind chill in the 20's. I have to make a complete change in my routine compared to the summer (read about it here www.bicyclecommutingnow.blogspot.com), but it helps honor and mark the season changes more so than the switch from halloween decorations to xmas lights, to valentines day for me.
     
  12. franklen

    franklen New Member

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    Now its time to talk low humidity? How do you all deal with that? Since the weather turned cold and dry, my throat has been raspy and raw from breathing in the air during my commute. I wear a balaclava over my mouth to cut it some, any other suggestions?
     
  13. DuckRider

    DuckRider New Member

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    Here in South Louisiana we suffer with a bit of humidity as well. I find that it is beneficial to begin the "to" part of my commute prior to sunrise. The reason could be the slightly lower temperature or the added time to complete the commute. I have to be reasonalby presentable at the office so I cannot arrive in athletic clothing.

    The "From" side of the trip I go balls out because it doesn't matter how sweaty I am to get home.
     
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