Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's Hot

Yes, I rode to work today.

Recently, I was reminded there are very few riders who wear all the gear all the time. What is true is some riders gear up more than others. I've been accused of gearing up more than many. I mention this because the heat we are experiencing here in St. Louis presents additional challenges to gearing up. Today when I rode home it was 108F/42C. I still wore the knee guards and the back brace. I wore a mesh armored jacket and vented Cordura pants. I wore my rather new dual sport helmet.

Riding to work, also, has caused compromises in my gearing up. When I ride on the weekends in addition to the back brace I often wear a chest protector. And, always wear hip guards and a coccyx protector. During the work day rides these stay at home. I rationalize these changes in gear around my reduced speeds on the ride to work, please no laughter the Symba has some go. Of course, it isn't about the speeds I travel. It is about convenience, not wrinkling clothes, and not taking up half of my work area with gear.

But today I added another piece of gear to my normal work a day gear-up.

I wore my Coolvest. The vest seems to me to be a gearing compromise. The cooling bars are solid when I take them from the freezer/refrigerator. I only load the front of the vest and I suspect experiencing impact to my chest while wearing the vest early on in a ride would be most unpleasant.

This was what the bars looked like after forty-five minutes of riding. Still pretty solid--a good thing and a bad thing.
On the other hand, keeping the body core cool in high temperature riding is also a safety issue.

Today's heat was a new kind of heat for me. The heat here in St. Louis is usually accompanied by high humidity. Having the heat index be above 115F/46C is not all that uncommon. Today the heat index was actually 4 degrees F cooler than the actual temperature.

I was grateful to have the face shield of the dual sport helmet. It was more comfortable riding with the face shield down then with it up. And, it was good to be able to lift the shield at stoplights.

Humidity or not, it's hot.

It is forecast to be nearly as hot tomorrow as today. Summer indeed.
  • 81F/27C with maybe a cloud or two in the sky for the ride to work.
  • 108/42C with lots of sunshine for the home ride.


  1. Have you weighed yourself before and after the gear is on? I'd feel like a turtle on its back!

    1. Martha,
      I suspect years of playing American Rules Football and Lacrosse have gotten me used to wearing gear. Besides, the gear doesn't weigh near as much as my backpack :)

  2. I live in Florida and one thing that I do to avoid the heat is this:

    It manages to keep me cool on longer rides, it fits under the jacket nicely and freezes up rather quickly. It does not "melt" or "drip" so my shirt stays dry.

    The bad news is it's freaking cold when you first slip it on!!!

    1. Robert,
      One of the advantages of the Coolvest is it isn't startling cold when you put it on. I'm still undecided on the vest's benefit. Maybe I'll get a longer ride in before the heat lets up.

      I wondered if you'd comment. Florida has some heat! Thanks for sharing something that works for you. I appreciate it.

  3. Cool looking helmet, even in the hot. Not sure how real hot feels, it doesn't get that warm in our neck of the woods. Temperatures are almost always ok for full (mesh) gear. Although I have to admit I am guilty wearing a jeans on occasion instead of my protective pants.

    1. Sonja,
      I'm tempted to say: "Real hot feels really hot," but I'll resist.

      I like the helmet a lot. I like the big field of vision. I, also, like the graphic. Funnily, when I showed it to Heather she said, "That is the ugliest helmet I think I've ever seen." I showed the other graphic design I didn't chose and she said, "I like this one better."

      Life is one risk after another. A secret? I've put the knees guards under my jeans and rode to church a couple of times. Somehow that seemed safe.