Summer is coming and a lot of people are getting ready to tackle the road on their steel steeds.
And being a stubborn motorcyclist myself, I tend to say: “Oh yeah, I don’t care, it’s just a bit of heat/cold/rain/snow,” while pumping up my chest and putting my fists on my hips.
In reality, being caught in extremely hot conditions with a motorcycle, is not funny or wise or brave at all.
It is actually very dangerous and can jeopardize your and other people’s safety.
With the changing season, motorcycles will come out of their nests and start zipping around everywhere and, with the increasing heat, it’s good practice to take some precautions before going for a ride under the hot sun.
This sounds very obvious, but exposing your skin to the Sun, especially while riding, is not a good idea at all. The wind chill factor doesn’t allow you to feel the skin burning so, it’s always wise to cover your body with some kinds of layer.
Sunscreen or long sleeves shirts are ok but not sufficient to provide protection for long rides. If you are off for your three hour ride to the beach under the hot summer sun, you might like to just wear a thin, wet cotton t-shirt under your riding jacket; the hot air flow will be blocked by the outer layer and filter through gently, hitting your wet shirt and providing you with a gentle cooling sensation.
Another way to fight heat is obviously hydration; a lot of riders wear a CamelBak, although I prefer to carry a thermos with cold water, usually stored in my panniers.
The CamelBak tends to block ventilation on your back, even if you are wearing a jacket. Since you are most likely not racing, I would recommend stopping in the shade for a while and cool off, which would also help to break the focus and the intensity of the constant heat on your head.
Remember that the heat can trick you and lead to bad decision making, so it’s recommendable to take several breaks during your ride. Also, avoid sugary drinks or caffeine based ones, since they tend to be diuretics and make you loose more water.