Texas Newbie Afraid Of Overheating



mrgrn

New Member
Sep 20, 2015
1
0
0
Hi,

Sorry if this is in the wrong place! I am a pretty new cyclist living in ATX. However, I've been afraid to ride because of one problem- I tend to overheat and faint easily. I have been to the doctor about it, and they said it's a vasovagal response to being too hot. I drink plenty of water and my doctor had my increase my salt intake, which helped. However, I fainted once shortly after a bike ride on a hot summer day last year and now I'm terrified to bike alone in case it happens again. My boyfriend is happy to ride with me, but he is busy and I would like to be riding more. Do any of you have any tips to avoid overheating?
 

texbiker

New Member
Sep 20, 2015
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0
Kingwood, TX
texbiker.net
Early or late in the day when the heat is not as intense might help. You might try using a Camelbak with ice water and drink frequently. The Camelbak can provide insulation from the sun on your back, coolness from the water inside and cold water to drink. Wear light colored clothing. A helmet can provide coolness if the vents are big enough to allow a strong airflow. I use a Catlike helmet and when I switched from my Bell I could feel the increase in airflow. Pick routes with shade more than sun.
 

RapDaddyo

Well-Known Member
May 17, 2005
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Yes, there is a solution to your problem. I live in a climate where the temps reach 100+ F by 8:00AM in the summer. I don't faint due to the heat, but my performance suffers and I just don't enjoy riding in such temps. A while back, I researched solutions to the problem of overheating during intense exercise and ran across this interesting article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/166

This led me to research cooling vests. There are several cooling vest products in the market today, but I selected this one: http://www.icevests.com/

I am very happy with this product. I use it on hot days outside and use it on my trainer inside. Outdoors at 100F OAT it is good for ~3hrs. The reason I use it indoors is not because I overheat in 72F temp with a fan, but because using it enables me to increase the intensity of my workouts. I have a dedicated trainer room and I have looked into ways to cool it down to about 35F when I do my indoor sessions, but that turns out to be a complex and expensive proposition. In my next house, I'll build a bike trainer room with industrial refrigeration where I can bring the temp down to about 35F (and, by the way, where I can control the altitude up to, say, 20K feet).
 

Corzhens

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2015
1,287
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Pardon me but that ailment is dangerous for a rider. As you had said, you had experienced fainting due to overheating so that should make you stop on your tracks. If the doctor cannot totally solve your overheating, I would advice you to refrain from riding. There are other sports and physical activities that you can indulge in without endangering your life. What would happen if you are on a downhill climb and you faint? I dread that thought.
 
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sunshiney

Active Member
Aug 19, 2015
268
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Toronto
If possible, doing most of your riding early morning or late evening will at least help you avoid the hottest parts of the day. RapDaddyo had a great suggestion with the cooling vests, and I've seen wrist wraps, neck wraps, helmet liners, and even bra inserts that have the same cooling function.

It might be worth checking out a couple local bike shops too, since I'm sure you're not the only cyclist in Texas who struggles with overheating :) If you can't find anything locally, try searching online for cooling workout gear, there are tons of sites that sell various articles of clothing to keep you cool.
 

Steve Dawson

Member
Sep 18, 2015
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London
I would certainly exercise plenty of caution if you are still in danger of fainting, no matter what clothing you are wearing. The dangers of keeling over could be extremely hazardous and I would advise you to take it extremely carefully and try to avoid roads if you really want to continue with cycling alone. It may be that cycling is just not something that will be safe for you with the condition you have. Even if you are accompanied by your partner, he may not be able to save you if you suddenly veer off the road or into traffic.
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
10,085
403
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mrgrn said:
Hi,

Sorry if this is in the wrong place! I am a pretty new cyclist living in ATX. However, I've been afraid to ride because of one problem- I tend to overheat and faint easily. I have been to the doctor about it, and they said it's a vasovagal response to being too hot. I drink plenty of water and my doctor had my increase my salt intake, which helped. However, I fainted once shortly after a bike ride on a hot summer day last year and now I'm terrified to bike alone in case it happens again. My boyfriend is happy to ride with me, but he is busy and I would like to be riding more. Do any of you have any tips to avoid overheating?
Does the feeling that you're light headed or sense that you're going to faint only happen after the ride or also during. The day you did faint during the ride, how did you feel during the ride?

I used to feel that way after a ride when I'd been sat down for a while resting. Once of twice I did topple over but just put it down the dehydration and low blood pressure. I just learned that I should stand still after rising from a chair after a ride for a second or two to make sure I wasn't getting light headed. Eating more, especially towards the end of the ride definitely helped too.

As for the heat - I live near Sacramento where the afternoon temps are often 100+. Ride early if possible.

There's lots of great information about exercising in the heat on the Adventure Corps website - they organise the rather insane Badwater Ultramarathon running race and the Furnace Creek 508 bike race - a race that sadly have to move from Death Valley. Booo! There's a ton of great info up there.
 

An old Guy

Active Member
Feb 12, 2011
1,380
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38
mrgrn said:
Hi,

Sorry if this is in the wrong place! I am a pretty new cyclist living in ATX. However, I've been afraid to ride because of one problem- I tend to overheat and faint easily. I have been to the doctor about it, and they said it's a vasovagal response to being too hot. I drink plenty of water and my doctor had my increase my salt intake, which helped. However, I fainted once shortly after a bike ride on a hot summer day last year and now I'm terrified to bike alone in case it happens again. My boyfriend is happy to ride with me, but he is busy and I would like to be riding more. Do any of you have any tips to avoid overheating?
If you have some indication of a problem before you faint, stop by a convenience store and us the hose to poor water on your neck.

If not, don't ride so hard.
 

Damien Lee

Well-Known Member
May 16, 2015
518
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28
It's best to start cycling early in the morning when it's a lot cooler. Always drink and have enough fluids with you. Never take a route that is too secluded, ensure that you're riding near an area where there are gas stations and convenience stores nearby. You also don't need to push yourself beyond your limits. If you find yourself overheating, it's a good time to get off your bike and take a break.