Jump to content

Keeping my cool in Texas..


Recommended Posts

I am sat in front of a roaring fire in the north of England researching ways to keep cool on a bike!


My recent rides in and around the Houston area have convinced me that some preventative measures are required (especially when stuck in Houston traffic!). I was hot and it was March....


I have found these.... which are new to me and I thought they could be very effective. (as long as you are moving!)




An evaporative cooling vest is on its way to me along with some vented summer gloves and Under Armour "wick away" underwear!


My crash hat (full face) has vents but I suspect I will have a hot head in July!

Link to comment

I suppose I have a few tips. I've been through Houston on the bike. And I spent the last couple years in Hawaii with only the bike for transportation. Depending on the nature of your trip (long distance, or local), you might be able to beat the heat. Or let me rephrase that. You might be able to reduce your discomfort. somewhat. Maybe. Sooner or later you're gonna be out there, stuck in traffic at high noon. And it's gonna suck.


Especially if you're not used to the heat, or perhaps don't have a background in it, don't just man up and push through extreme discomfort. Plan extra time in your ride, so you can duck into the air conditioning at the quickie mart, and buy a cold drink. If you get a big urge to soak yourself with a garden hose, or fill your pockets with ice, by all means, go for it.


Honestly, I don't deal with the heat all that well, and most of my local riding in hawaii eventually became sneakers, shorts, helmet and usually a perforated leather jacket. I had some flip flops too, but I never wore them riding. Nooooo, not me. No sir. (gasp). Longer rides out of town were taken a little more seriously though.


Get up EARLY and ride in the cool of morning.

Bring plenty of water. At least a quart. Everywhere you go. Preferrably a nice vacuum bottle full of icewater.

Use mesh gear, or something similar (remember to drink).

Evaporative cooling vests work, but can be muggy, damp and uncomfortable. And they don't work so great if you're stuck in traffic.

I like the beadrider for all-day rides, to keep some ventilation under my backside. A sweaty damp bum, is an unhappy bum.

Avoid cotton drawers and cotton pants.

Cotton shirts can be helpful because you can soak them and they behave like a cooling vest.

Have a way to lock up some or all of your riding gear at your destination so you don't have to carry it around.

Bring flip flops, a sun hat, etc. that you can change into at your destination.


There are all sorts of gadgets and paraphernalia out there you can buy to beat the heat. Most of it sort of works some of the time, some of it is junk. The real trick is behavioral. ride when it's cool, frequent breaks, drink plenty, douse yourself, sneak into the walk-in cooler at the store... that sort of stuff.


Enjoy the sunshine.


Link to comment

Those "ventz" things might work! If you have a mesh jacket, they won't be needed. The evaporative vest works well. Even in the humidity. I used one for years. AS for the underwear, as long as there are no seams where your bum hits the seat they should work. I have tried the heat gear underwear that covers you and supposedly wicks sweat and keeps you cooler. Doesn't work. Feels like another layer of clothing that traps heat!


Leave early. Drink water before you are thirsty. Keep the vest wet, they last at most 1 1/2 hours before you need to recharge them.

Link to comment

Leave early, hydrate, drink on the bike.

This is how I use evaporavtive vest.

I carry a small trash bag.

When I stop for gas I remove jacket, helmet, gloves after fill up.

Carry small garbage bag into restroom, put vest in bag, use cold water in sink, I carry it out in the bag, careful not to drip water. After hydrating I dump excess water (outside by bike) put garbage bag away and put on vest. If it is hot enough to be using the vest I don't care about extra water from the vest, let it soak me. It will evaporate and keep you cooler for a while.

If you are thirsty, you're already too late wrt hydration.

I don't have a Camelbak but they work well. I have an old system of different caps with a drinking tube that screws onto a bottle of commercial water replacing the original cap and I can put the bottle in tank bag or pocket.

Keep healthy snacks on board. Don't eat too much at a meal stop when you have miles to go.

Get up early get going, Better to have 100 miles behind you before the sun comes up, IMO.

Link to comment

Rule one: go west as soon as possible. Once west of Austin/San Antonio, you enter the arid zone which extends all the way to the Pacific, or you go northwest to the Rockies and again have dry air, and cooler. Evap vests work much better, so does mesh gear. You'll want to drink A LOT OF WATER ALL DAY LONG.


There is no cure for hot and humid. Follow all the other suggestions listed by others.

Link to comment

Along with all of the above, when you do eat, have a salad. Lettuce, tomato, etc, are mostly water. Coupled with more water to drink, helps me stay hydrated. Save the burger, whatever, for the evening when you are stopped for the night. A couple hours down the road before sunrise is a good idea like Tim says. I tend to try to plan that time for the slab, fewer critters to contend with.

Link to comment

If you are going west through Texas past San Antonio, if I remember correctly from my days in Texas this is the land of the many deer. Lots killed in this area at any time.

Link to comment

The biggest thing, for me, is to stay hydrated. Don't wait until you're thirsty to start drinking. If you're thirsty before you drink you have waited too long. Dehydration is SERIOUS! Don't push it. Rig up something so you can drink while riding. If you have a bottle stored on the bike the tendency is to tell yourself "I'll go another hour and then stop for a drink." That's a bad idea. I have a small bottle with a drinking tube coming out of the lid. The bottle goes in the inside pocket of my vented jacket, the tube is outside the jacket so I can drink while moving. I take a small but frequent sip. I carry extra water on the bike.

Sports drinks (gatorade, power aid, etc) are good but I grow tired of the flavor. Orange juice works good for me in small quantities. Too much results in acid stomach.

Start the ride early and end the ride early if you can.


Ron in Texas




Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...