Monday, April 18, 2011

Vagaries of the weather...

Was it just two days ago that I did a miserable, under 40 mile ride, after which I felt as fatigued as if I had actually done 70? The thermostat did top 90º F that day, and the body always needs a few of those before it acclimatizes, grows accustomed to the heat. I mean a series of hot days, consecutive. Today it is not supposed to top even 70º, so the possibility is gone until the next heat wave clamps down. Of course that means today should have been easy, and it was, rain and all. Not a real drenching rain, just enough to make things wet, slippery, mess up your glasses. Just enough that the gardeners can do their thing, blowing yard detritus into the street, so you arrive back home with blades of grass plastered to your legs. I do like riding in the rain, I think I have mentioned that; the added challenge, the chance to be one of the hard-men, a flahute, at least for the moment.

melting bicycle from here

Anyway, this inconsistency in the weather, the one day hot, next day not pattern, does not help you adjust to the approaching days of heat and smog. I have noted in a past post about how there was a time when I never willingly spent a day off the bike, fearing that it would throw my rhythm out of wack. It is the same with the weather. If I am going to adjust to the long hot days of summer, I need a stretch of that heat early on in the year. I recall driving back across the desert from an early spring race in Utah - 100º temps, windows rolled down because I don't use the air conditioner. You know I was sweltering, but the rest of the summer, including those dog days, were a breeze to get through. I guess I will have to wait a little longer for that adjustment period. 


  1. I have to agree. As a 57 year old bike trailer riding window cleaner I can attest the best plan is to allow for consecutive days to acclimatize before assuming one can go flat out no matter the temperature. The weathers inconsistency is frustrating lately so I go slow, I stay fluid and like I did on Saturday take a siesta from 12-3 and then head back out into the slight breezes that picks up by then. At the end of the day I take some gatorade etc and avoid cramps later in the night. No riding in the middle of the day without a period of acclimatization is out for me. I had a heat stroke once and it was SUDDEN. Be patient with your body and consider that climate change will require adaptation strategies.

  2. Hello Michael, thanks for commenting here. Considering you are likely the most recognizable bicyclist in Claremont, I consider that some validation of what I wrote. By the way, and if you get back to these comments, I wonder if you would consider answering a few questions on biking, sustainability and related topics at some point?


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