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Whether you are a seasoned rider or a beginner to the great two-wheeled adventure, if you plan on riding in a hot climate, you will need to think about staying cool during your ride. You have most likely already searched for, and found, the perfect riding jacket, boots, gloves and helmet, but have you considered how to be comfortable during a hot and humid ride? When you are on the motorcycle, heat doesn’t just shine down from the sunshine above, but it can be brutal as it flows straight up from the pavement you are cruising on as you head down the highway.
Bikers who live in hot climates or those that may be headed to a warmer climate from the north this winter will want to consider some of the best ways to take on the heat from riding on a hot and humid day.
Most of us know to stop for a good meal along the way or for quick water breaks when it is hot outside, but there are other ways to stay hydrated when riding as well. One thing you can do is wear clothing that helps keep your body hydrated during a long, hot ride. Wearing gear that is well ventilated will help keep your skin cool and your body temperature down. Another thing to consider is wearing a backpack with a built-in water reservoir to drink while riding. This will help you stay hydrated without needing to make frequent stops for water along the way.
Chances are, when the ride begins it may be early morning or you may be in a colder climate. Once the sun comes up or the day progresses and begins to heat up, you are going to want to shed some clothing to stay cool. Be sure to layer up when you get dressed for the ride so you will be able to take items off one at a time to start cooling down. Make sure your clothing is adequate for the ride and that you don’t wear anything ultra-thin for safety reasons. Even when it’s hot and humid outside, you need to wear proper riding gear to stay safe.
Mesh vests, gloves and even shirts for men are a way to keep cool during a long ride in the heat. There are many mesh vests, shirts and other outerwear that are made with fabric that help withstand the elements while keeping the skin cooler in the heat. Mesh gloves will keep your hands protected while staying cool. While come may say that worrying too much about the clothing you wear is a little narcissistic, it is definitely necessary to plan your wardrobe when you take a ride whether the weather is hot and humid, wet, cold or even windy.
Plan Your Route
Hopping on your bike and taking off down the highway sounds like a fun thing to do, but taking time to carefully plan your route will save you time and help prevent you from becoming lost or worse, finding yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere with no gas and no filling station in sight. Finding yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere when it is hot and humid outside can not only be inconvenient, but it can also become very dangerous if you have no water or way to cool down.
Whether you are taking a quick ride to the store, or you will be traveling a hundred miles a day, be sure to take your cell phone so you have a way to contact someone in case there is an emergency on the road. You also may need to have your cell phone with you if you run into a situation where you need to have the motorcycle shipped due to mechanical issues in the heat or if a collision occurs.
While many riders who have been riding for many years may already know the best clothing to wear and which ways work well to stay hydrated and cool during the heat, this is not true for all riders. Not everyone lives in hot climates and if you are coming from a cooler area, knowing the signs of a heat stroke and taking precautions to keep your body cool inside and out will go a long way to beating the heat and having a great ride. If you have taken the right precautions and feel ready to ride, be sure to keep safe riding at the top of your list of things to do during the ride, and above all else, hop on that bike and have some fun!
About the Author
Jason grew up riding dirt bikes and then turned to road riding. He is currently living in Costa Rica where he works online for his company, A-1 Auto Transport.