Friday, January 30, 2009

Beat the heat? Not a chance!

Even on the Northern Tier (USA) route don't expect to escape the summer heat. In 2002, there was a heat-wave up there and a Moultoneer fellow that I know finished the last stage of his 'round-the-world travels through there. Over 100°F every day, for quite a while. The roads melted, tires and tubes melted and just fell apart. He rode a small wheel on his Moulton and I feel that these do not dissipate heat as well in extreme conditions. You can travel a long way in North Dakota in the summertime without shade on the road and the days are amazingly long up Nawth for a Carolina boy.

While these temps are not typical, even in the central USA—like Iowa and Wisconsin—I've ridden through summer temps over 100°F several times, though the nights were usually much more pleasant.

biking with beverages
Always carry plenty of refreshments

Also, be aware of your personal level of vulnerability in the heat. Some people seem to be immune to heat—with enough water—while others seem like they can dehydrate in a swimming pool with cold drinks in their hands. I have customers that are afraid of heat in the high 70°Fs, and I've seen them nearly pass out. Me, I prefer the modest temps, but can take the heat OK. If the heat is an issue where you roam: shorten your mileage, start early, or light-up your bike and ride at night in sensible areas.
Enjoy your trip.

That C&O tow-path is shady and Ohio has a lot of Youth Hostels that might be good layover spots. (See also: HI-USA.)

Yours in Cycling,
Gilbert Anderson

North Road Bicycle Imports
P.O. Box 840
166 Courthouse Square
Yanceyville, NC 27379
toll free: 800-321-5511
local: 919-828-8999

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