It’s Too Hot to Bike

My teaching schedule during this second summer session has been to my liking. I teach two courses, at 8 and 10 a.m. Most of the time, I’m back in my car and on the road for home around noon. That leaves plenty of time to grab a quick lunch and get in some biking.

But lately, that plan has had to be scrapped.

sweaty-cyclist-cartoonWhen I got home today, the temperature was in the upper 90s (36C), and the heat index was already over 100. I had my lunch as usual, but instead of riding, I settled in for some reading, and later got a haircut. Yeah, I’m an exciting guy.

But the thermometer in the car read 101 on the way to the barber shop. Yech. Since moving to Central Texas in 2000, I’ve adjusted to the extreme conditions we have to put up with during the summer. Teeing off at 2 p.m. for a golf tournament in 102 degree heat was nonsense, but I did it. And since taking up biking, I’ve ridden many times in 100 degree weather.

It’s just that now, the prospect doesn’t much interest me any more. When I do ride in super-hot conditions, I spend a lot less time than I like on the bike. My rides are seldom more than an hour. That’s when I normally start to feel normal on the bike. The shorter rides are just unsatisfying.

I suppose I could use what I know will be a shorter ride to work on intervals — but that would just make me hotter, faster. I think I’ll be treating the remaining summer days the way my Northern friends treat their winters: As a time to do something other than ride. Hm, maybe I could set up a trainer indoors and ride that whenever the heat index passes 100. After all, I have no use for an indoor trainer in January — I’m too busy riding outside.

Meanwhile, the forecast for the next 10 days shows no chance of rain, and a high of at least 100 degrees every day.


  1. johnt says

    Thought about you when your main bike was down. I actually took the 29er to Ladybird lake trail and rode there Wed afternoon. It was over a 100 but had a bit of shade and breeze and it wasn’t that bad. Nice scenery too. Got in 15 miles and rewarded myself with a snow cone at a trailer on Barton Springs.

  2. Tim says

    you should commute to Texas State…get a ride in during the early AM…a warmish ride back in the middle of the day…


  3. Jay says

    Noob, I live in Tulsa, OK and we have temps similar to that. Best thing I ever did was switch to morning (5-5:30am) rides. Yes, it takes more discipline to wake up, but it’s well worth it. The ride is out of the way before the sun heats everything up. There is very little traffic on the roads that early, so that is an added benefit. Just invest in some good front and rear lights and you are golden.

    • says

      That’s the obvious solution. But since I must leave the house to head into work at 6:45, I’d have to start my bike ride at 4 a.m., and that’s not going to happen. However, summer school will be over this week, and I can get in more rides in the temperate early morning.

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