Some Like it Hot: Tips for Riding in the Heat

Some Like it Hot… and sometimes you feel like a nut (for riding in the heat).

1065045_197219233771518_1626807317_oAmid the recent heat wave across the United States, I took a ride from Sioux Falls, SD to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  These were some of the hottest states in the country over the past week!  Of course, this site is all about wearing all the gear every time you ride.  So, I figured I would share some pointers on how to keep cool in heat like this, if you chose to ride.

When riding in the heat, keep yourself hydrated by drinking a lot of water, more than you think you need even. Also, replace your lost salt content with electrolytes found in many sports drinks. Your body will run more efficiently if it has adequate water. Soak a bandana, towel, or sports-specific neck wrap in cold water and wear it around your neck while riding. Choose gear that is well ventilated and allows air to flow freely through it while you ride. What you wear underneath your gear can help keep you cool as well. Many cycle apparel shops sell cooling vests, which are the closest thing to air conditioning on the bike. Speaking of A/C, enjoy it inside during all of your frequent breaks, because keeping your core body temp under control is essential. There are a lot of other tricks to staying cool, so when in doubt… just ask a fellow rider!

Here is some gear advice from Kevin Young, a rider who lives in South Bend, Indiana:


I have shared your site on the BMW MOA forum and Facebook. I am 46 and
learned to wear gear when I was in my teens riding on dirt. Now I ride 12k a
year on the road with my wife. I am always blown away how people dress when they
ride. Indiana is a no helmet state so it gets worse here. I don’t like wearing
the pants, jacket, boots and gloves when we are having this heat wave but I do
because I know the potential result. The real shame is that there is so much
great mesh gear out there for the hot weather and this is the time of year
people who know better sacrifice. Revit and Olympia both make great light
colored mesh gear for hot weather. Others make mesh but it is always black. Anyway,
thanks for sharing your experience and I hope by me sharing it a few can be
informed. Thanks and God Bless.


Don’t forget, the road will bite you even in the heat. Don’t shed your gear no matter what. Contrary to popular belief, it will actually help keep you cooler than a t-shirt and shorts will.  Gear will keep the sun off of your bare skin (which causes overheating in itself) and prevent the hot air from drying you out faster. So wet yourself down, hop on the bike, and make your own wind! When all else fails, find the nearest hotel with a pool… haha.  Thanks for reading,


4 thoughts on “Some Like it Hot: Tips for Riding in the Heat

  1. Not gear related but a lesson I learned working construction in the AZ sun. Allot of our crews were Hispanic and over the course of a couple year I got to know several of the foremen very well. When I was talking to them over a lunch break on a particularly hot afternoon I commented on how I couldn’t understand why he and his crew always wore long sleeve white or light colored shirts. That it had to be so damn hot compared to my typical t-shirt or tank top attire.

    He laughed and bet me $100 that if I wore the same thing they did for a week that I would be allot more comfortable throughout the day. That night I went out and bought some cheap 100% cotton light button downs and wore then the entire next week. Not only did he get his $100 I bought lunch for his entire crew.

  2. I have a great mesh jacket, Joe Rocket Cleo. Armored, impact/abrasion resistant sections, reflective piping and it is white. I never ride with out an armored jacket, full face helmet and gloves. NEVER flop-flops!

  3. Thank you so much for the tips! I live in Florida and I’m planning on getting a motorcycle when I go to college (staying in-state), so this is essential information. 🙂

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