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How to handle the Heat?

I did the Bacoon Ride this last weekend. I have to admit, the heat got to me! It made me very nervous for RAGBRAI!! I tried to drink as much water as I could without feeling sloshy and I still wasn’t using the bathroom. The first time I went to the bathroom was about 7pm! I just am not sure how to handle the heat. It exhausted me. Anyone have tips??

25 Replies

Brian Wallenburg, June 21, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Pickle juice is another good electrolyte replacement, and yes, it’s available on the route or you can now buy it packaged in a 12 oz can.


joeybikes, June 22, 2016 at 10:19 pm

Electrolytes, it’s what plants crave…


jwsknk, June 23, 2016 at 10:33 am

a 12 oz can sounds like a lot for 1 person. A guy on BigBAM last week tried to drink a whole lot at once, didn’t end well.


Megandoty, June 23, 2016 at 11:36 am

I didn’t realize tomato juice and pickle juice were good options. I guess I always think of sports drinks! Maybe I’ll have to try a bloody mary (I’ve never tried one!) I’m definitely going to plan to pack one of the drink mixes many have suggested. Also, I need to practice drinking while riding. Usually, I drink when I take a break.


navychief01, June 27, 2016 at 11:04 am

Lots of good advice here. EnduroLytes are life savers. Gatorade is fine, but doesn’t contain magnesium and calcium, which help prevent cramps. You must have ridden enough to know your own body. For instance, no matter how hot it is, I don’t take a drink for the first 10 miles. I also eat very little before I ride in the morning. I eat a ton when I’m done for the day. Digesting a pancake and sausage breakfast is taxing your body AND creating body heat. Yes, you have to fuel, but the fact is every ounce you carry adds to your burden. Sunscreen was mentioned, it matters. Hammering your largest organ with the sun’s rays is no way to get peak performance. You’ll stay just as cool with clothing that protects your skin. Don’t worry about urinating unless you can’t go hours after the ride. Last thought, and this may be heresy because RAGBRAI isn’t a race, but ride faster. It doesn’t take much more energy to pick up your average pace if you know how to handle your gears. What it does do is get you finished earlier, and keep you cooler because you generate your own wind.


david636, June 27, 2016 at 12:37 pm

I’m a big fan of Hammer EnduroLytes. They work!


Daniel Peters, June 28, 2016 at 5:21 am

One thing I’ve learned growing up and riding in central Texas, that it’s important to PREfuel & PREhydrate at least a day before a big ride. Your body can’t metabolize water as fast as it’s needed on a hot ride. Last year I started purposefully drinking lots of water a couple of days before the start of RAGBRAI. During the ride I’ll keep water, Gatorade, nuun tablets, or pickle juice in my camelback depending on what’s readily available. I eat when I’m hungry (or see Mr. Pork Chop), but not so much as to feel full. That’s what works for me


jwsknk, June 28, 2016 at 8:15 am

eat and drink today for tomorrow.


Nico ZZZ, June 28, 2016 at 1:42 pm

I wear arm sleeves and pour water on them as I ride so they keep the arm temp cool. If you wear a skull cap under your helmet a squirt of water works there too.
I drank two bottles of fluids per hour on my Ragbrai ride in 2014…seemed about right for me.
I also ride in the heat and humidity of flat South Florida, so I believe that helps me be prepared for Iowa in July.
Our first quick “tradition” was to stop at the first Bloody Mary stand. Perhaps that was what “saved” me from the heat? Like to think it was medicinal…just sayin’….


toddsecoy, June 28, 2016 at 5:37 pm

My trick was to start as early as possible in the morning. I’d ride pretty hard until it started warming up, then slow down and take more breaks later in the day.
Looking at an Iowa weather forecast (this week), the temperature doesn’t peak until 4 or 5 pm. I should be in camp with a cold drink by then.


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