Author Topic: Shakedown Trip, still concerned  (Read 2782 times)

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Offline Jambi

Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« on: April 27, 2011, 01:58:07 pm »
In preperation for my cross country trip this year I have just finished my shakedown trip (coast to coast UK). I don't have any problem with the cycling side but my main concern is dealing with the heat. Has anyone had any real horror stories when it comes to coping with the heat of the desert and other sections of the WE? Are there any particular sections that need particular preperation? Any advice welcomed.

Jambi

Offline mucknort

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 08:12:01 pm »
Drink water, drink water, and drink water.

Sunscreen and cover up with light weight clothing.

Take frequent shade breaks.

Start real early each morning.

These cooling bandanas work great!!!: http://www.amazon.com/HeatMax-EverCool-Cooling-Bandanas-Bandanas/dp/B0009Y01J2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303960197&sr=8-1

Offline sprocketman

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 08:30:01 pm »
Hey Jambi,

I did a 1500 mile trip last year in heat ranging from 95 to 103. Here are some tips:

Know your fluid absorption and sweat rate. If you sweat faster than your body can absorb fluids, you will be inclined to drink, but the fluids will sit in your stomach. You will begin to feel bloated and nauseated. The cure is to slow down and reduce your sweat rate and let your body absorb fluids. Keep drinking. When you are thirsty, it is too late.

Don't be afraid of salt.

Be in shape. If you lost alot of weight on your shakedown trip, you probably weren't in good shape.

Wear light colored clothes. I found Under Armour to be the best. It doesn't stick to your body when you are sweaty. Cotton bad.

Have a base tan. Sunscreen wears off quickly. You need some natural protection. Keep piling on the sunscreen anyway.

If you are camping, use a tent with good ventilation. It will be hot in the tent at night. You don't want to wake up dehydrated.

I don't tolerate heat well. However, on my trip I was amazed how my body acclimated to the heat. The body is amazing when it wants to be. I was in shape and at the end of ten hour days in 100 heat, I never felt spent at the end of the day. Pace yourself accordingly. Take lots of breaks and enjoy the scenery.


Don't be concerned. Prepare yourself and you will do fine. Challenges are why we do stuff like this.  

  


Offline hem

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 10:16:33 pm »
Don't be afraid of salt.
That is good advice. You need the salt to help your body absorb the water you drink. Otherwise it will just slosh around. I use SaltStick capsules which I get at running shops.http://saltstick.com/

Offline rootchopper

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 06:39:03 am »
Keep an eye on the humidity too.  In the eastern and southern US, high humidity is as big a concern.  (I live near Washington DC. It can feel like a swamp here on an 80 degree day.)

Regardless of whether it's heat or humidity, when you feel like it is getting to you, find an air conditioned place and hang out while your body recovers.  I chatted up a convenience store clerk in Pennsylvania once for a good 40 minutes all the while standing under a massive air conditioning register.  You'd have thought I was Larry King for all the gabbing I was doing but that cold air felt GREAT!

Offline rvklassen

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 08:22:49 am »
Has anyone had any real horror stories when it comes to coping with the heat of the desert and other sections of the WE?
I've not done that stretch (yet), but the desert section of the Western Express is all, as far as I'm aware, high altitude.  So it'll be dry, and not as hot as the desert along the southern tier.  And it will get cold at night.   If you can find shade in the mid-day on a hot one, use it.  Ride early and late.  Our biggest heat issue was a much more humid heat when we experienced a heat wave in Southern Ontario (1984).  Every day we learned about places we'd missed with the sunscreen.  Hard to cover up well if it's hot.  And the sun comes from a different angle every day.

Offline Awf Hand

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 09:55:49 am »
Let about 25% of your liquid intake be a fluids replenishing drink -Gator-power-sport-aid as they do contain sodium and other needed stuff.  Drink lots.

For me (I'm odd) wearing long loose-fitting sleeves works best.  (it works for cowboys and Arabs) My outer layer is a synthetic jersey material that blocks sun and wicks moisture.  I'll wear sunblock on my legs, but my skin just feels 'clogged' and sticky.   Helmets with a visor are a good thing.  Last summer, I tried draping a handkerchief out of the back of my helmet to cover my neck.  That worked really well.

Enjoy the WE.  I'm envious.

Offline tsteven4

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 04:52:30 pm »
Jambi,

You should be concerned if you are attempting the WE in the summer!  I have posted in this forum about our experiences.  My recommendation would be to emulate the local population: "Almost all desert animals are smart enough to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day."  We got in a lot of miles before sunrise, this strategy worked very well.  It is a great route, but not for the unprepared.

See
http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=8266.msg40965#msg40965
http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=3447.msg16424#msg16424

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2011, 07:19:02 am »
I did a high-summer, ST crossing E-W.  Look out! I was drinking three gallons of liquids each day, and four days would go by before I urinated even once. That means the water never got to my kidneys. I was soaked through in my own sweat all day long and all night while sleeping too.


Offline Jambi

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2011, 07:44:31 am »
Thanks for the advice/ links guys, they have been taken on board

Online staehpj1

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2011, 08:42:55 am »
In preperation for my cross country trip this year I have just finished my shakedown trip (coast to coast UK). I don't have any problem with the cycling side but my main concern is dealing with the heat. Has anyone had any real horror stories when it comes to coping with the heat of the desert and other sections of the WE? Are there any particular sections that need particular preperation? Any advice welcomed.

Jambi
YMMV, but...
I have sometimes had problems staying hydrated and fueled when it was extremely hot.  If acclimated I am OK to a bit over 100F, maybe even 105F if well acclimated, but much higher and the going gets pretty tough for me.  My stomach gets upset and I can't eat enough.  When that happens I really suffer to the point of it being dangerous if I am not extremely careful.

If I were doing the WE in Summer, I'd consider riding in the dark a lot.  I would definitely stop for the day by 10 AM if the heat was extremely high.  That or pick a different route like the L&C or the TA for the western part of the trip.  Actually one of the alternate routes would be my first choice.  If you must fly to SF you can always take the train to start in Oregon.  Oregon to Pueblo was the nicest part of the trip scenery wise for us.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2011, 08:49:52 am »
Jambi, I use a 100oz/bladder Camelback. In the hot Florida sun or in the summer along the Southern US, I may go through 200+ ozs of water/electrolites a day. When possible, I try to freeze the bladder overnight and it stays cold most of the day. (Ice cubes work when you can find them) You can rig something up so you don't have to carry it always on your back. Planning is the key, in the dessert. Although no one wants to carry more weight than necessary, there are times when you must bring extra water. Depending, on your route, determine your daily intake and have an extra margin in areas that may be difficult to access water. I broke down once and was glad I had the extra supply.

Offline leicrao1

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2011, 10:51:14 am »
I'm from the UK and did LA to New York through Mojave desert last year (July/August).

My advice: cycle on reasonably busy roads. This will give you a gas station or some kind of refueling point every 40-60 miles at least. I had capacity for 7 litres of water and never came close to running out. Hydrate fully before you set off, and again at each stop, and chances are a three-litre camelbak (which I had) and a couple of litres on the bike should be enough. We did I-15 from Barstow, through Baker, to Las Vegas. My camelbak was really well insulated. Fill it with ice in the morning and it is still cold six hours later. The ice I had in the bottles on my frame were warm/hot water within half an hour. Start at 4am and cycle until 11am or noon. Good quality shades are essential, particularly if you are going West to East. You will be fine.

Richard

Offline DaveB

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2011, 06:36:31 pm »
"Almost all desert animals are smart enough to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day." 
Mad dogs and Englishmen........

Offline csykes

Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2011, 09:38:53 am »
A great hydration drink is Vitalyte.  It has much less sugar than most so you can drink more and not over do the simple carbs.  I have also diluted Gatorade/Powerade which makes them go down easier and keeps the stomach happier.