Hotpocalypse

Record heat in WA

photo courtesy of Cliff Mass Weather Blog

We’re wilting up here in the Northwest. After a week of warmer than usual weather, we broke the record today and surpassed 100F.  It’s definitely too HOT for us!

Just last week I read about New Yorkers and Floridians who are unplugging their air conditioners to save energy and some cash. Meanwhile, we’ve had one week of hot weather in the Northwest and stores can’t keep air conditioners on the shelves.

I’ve been schlepping both kids  on the Xtracycle to swimming because I haven’t wanted to make them ride their own bikes in this heat. The 8-year-old decided to brave the one-mile ride to the pool this morning.  She arrived red faced, sweaty and nauseous. I’m pretty sure someone is going to call CPS on me for that.

Needless to say, we were the only bikes in the rack at the pool.

Tim reports that bike commuters have disappeared this week and the roads have been spare of cyclists. He’s been staying at work until the air conditioning gets shut off…. I’m pretty sure he’d sleep there if they kept it on all night.

I know all of you who are used to riding in the heat probably think we’re a bunch of wimps. We’ll take drizzle and clouds over heat any day.

Does anyone have tips for riding in the heat?

– Anne

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22 responses to “Hotpocalypse

  1. I’ve been riding the bike in the morning and taking the bus (or catching a ride with a coworker) in the evening. I took a few miles riding from Cap Hill to Madrona Beach yesterday (to swim) and the ride wasn’t bad.

  2. Go real slooooooooooooooow. Lotsa liquids. Pack other clothes if you’re going somewhere that won’t be into you showing up looking like you showered in your clothes, but not smelling as good.

    But for real, it’s Seattle right? How long can it last?

    • it’s not hard for me to go slow so that should work. My trips are pretty short so it’s not too bad.

      The forecast calls for heat into next week. Tim and I both grew up here and we’ve never experienced heat like this. Whew, it’s HOT.

  3. Still biking, but consuming a lot of our pediatric clinic’s wipes supply. The ride home involves going fast enough to generate breeze but not fast enough to actually be working at it. And tonight, we’re plotting to meet at Vios at 3rd Place Books (has AC, confirmed), then splash somewhere, then I’ll probably wuss out and cartop on my wife’s car home.

    I like @sarahgilbert’s hashtag: SUNAMI

    • we contemplated crashing your Vios party last night (it’s in our hood) but by the time we got motivated to go out, we figured you were long gone. We’re plotting an AC outing tonight, perhaps a double feature at the Metro.

  4. Yep, I thought it was time for another “Weather Smackdown” post. What Chiggins said, for sure. Don’t forget sunscreen. Wear light colors (white, if possible), and loose fitting long sleeves. Try not to ride in the middle of the day. Hats with large brims and sunglasses, definitely. Did we mention hydration? Do it. Ice cream is nice, too. And just in case you’re wondering, this advice comes from years of riding in southern New Mexico, and from the last few days – I don’t have options, and this afternoon, same as every day, I’ll be climbing a mile of 7-11% grade, because I won’t get home if I don’t. I won’t be doing it fast.

    • Yes, Val, Seattleites love to talk about the weather…the more extreme, the better.

      Great tips. Here’s another one, Tim’s coworker gave him an ice pack to put on his neck while he rode home last night. He said it worked like a dream.

  5. we’re having our hot humid weather now in Mass. I’m still waiting for the sorte’s motor and I’ve wimped out lately. Sat I rode around really sloowly.

  6. problem is, it’s even hotter in our house than out on the bike (where, as Julian mentions, one at least gets a breeze). I’ve been riding to/from the bus, but using the bus for the longer haul the past few days. Was going to go for a long ride this morning, but thought better of it seeing it was already 80 degrees at 8am. Stay cool! Loose, breezy, lightweight shirts — some swear by seersucker.

  7. We’re down here in Portland and still biking to 11:30 swim lessons and the racks at Grant Pool are still packed. Who knew there were so many crazy people out there and that I was one of them?

    The kids are still biking, although I’ve got the four-year-old on the xtracycle. It’s only a couple of miles, and we bring lots of water and bike nice and slow. Before we leave, we wet shirts and heads and I tank everyone up with glasses of cool water. We spray down shirts again en route if anyone looks red-faced. So far, it’s not too bad, but I am definitely looking forward to a different forecast next week.

    • Wow, you’re a trooper. My kids are just not into riding in the heat…too many hills to climb. Heat induced lack of sleep isn’t helping either : )

      We did go to the library today on the Xtracycle and I used the wet shirts and helmets trick. That helped keep us cool on the way up and coming back was nice and breezy.

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  9. My husband does a multi-modal commute so he’s only on the bike for about a mile each way, and is doing fine. Meanwhile, I’m dealing with household stuff, need groceries, and kind of want to cry over it. The mundo and I are going to take a sweaty trip in a bit, with lots of water and sunscreen and light colors, and we’ll see how it goes.

  10. The bike crowd commuting on dexter has drop some but still plenty of nutters like me. Yesterday, it was just an OVEN, the hot air going down into your lungs. Yesterday was a brick for me, so jogged at lunch and probably should not have. Ended the run by jumping into lake union. probably shouldn’t have done that either.

  11. We had some ridiculous hot weather here in South Eastern Australia last summer.

    I kept up my 10 mile round commute on a few consecutive days that topped 110°F. The ride to work was quite pleasant (before the heat arrived in force).

    The ride home was obviously less pleasant, but it was quite survivable while on the bike. Riding slowly is a given.

    As long as you have airflow over your skin, you can regulate your temperature via perspiration. We’re lucky here that our extreme heat is very dry, so perspiration works.

    The heat didn’t really hit until I stopped moving. Metabolism still working and generating heat, and no airflow… wow! Suddenly I’m bright pink and in a lather of sweat.

    Just be sure that you’re able to cool down after arriving at your destination. Cool water, a fan, whatever.

    More of a problem was the road surface melting and sticking to my tyres. Seriously. I had to scrape them clean.

  12. Anne, the word for me is “air quality” , when I awoke and it looked like one could literarily chew the air, I stopped riding. In West Seattle, when you look to the Olympics,and only see an orange haze, it is time to get off your cycle. I took Metro which I suppose is worst, but at least I wan’t breathing it (while cycling)

  13. Punditus Maximus

    The cool wrap things that wrap around your neck do well, especially in drier heats. They can knock a few degrees off, which is nice. Get the ones with those crystals that absorb and slowly emit water.

  14. I would mind if the weather in San Francisco were more closer to Seattle. We’ve been socked in with fog, the ground is wet in the morning, and it just doesn’t feel like summer. And it’s almost over.

  15. Living in the southeast (TN), summer is always a sweat-fest for me. Like you, I prefer drizzle (and even snow) any day! (Personally, I could do without the month of August entirely.) I try to do as much of my errand-riding, etc., as early as possible, or even in the evening – with plenty of illumination, of course.

    My best companion for hot-weather riding is to wrap a handful of ice cubes into very slightly damp washcloth, and put the whole thing into a ziplock freezer bag (or other container), and take along with me. When I arrive at market, appointment, etc., it’s amazing what a quick wipe-down (face, neck, arms, etc.) with the ice-cold cloth with do to improve both my appearance (lol) and eliminate the nasty overheated feeling.

    Hope you get a break from the heatwave!

  16. Sounds like beach time to me! 😀

  17. Call me crazy, but I bike to beat the heat. I live over here on the Olympic Peninsula (you near Seattle?) and do not have air conditioning. When it was ungodly hot outside, I found that just having air movement made everything better. Best ride to beat the heat is the waterfront trail (moist air, more wind)- I just had to make sure and drink a ton of water to make up for it. But when you’re dripping standing still in the shade anyway, might as well have some fun, eh?

  18. Hmmm this is not the news I was looking for from the PNW. Currently here in Central Texas we’ve had 50+ consecutive days of 100+ degree days. I don’t ride as much as I’d like, the weather is only one factor, but it certainly takes away the motivation to ride anywhere. Hope you get a break from it soon.

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