Too Hot to Ride?

Discussion in 'Road Trips/Touring' started by Dr. Dolittle, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I'd love to get some input from the folks who live in the areas I will mention or who have ridden there.

    If you had the opportunity to ride a Harley approximating the following route in mid-July, would you do it or would it simply be too hot to enjoy?

    Las Vegas - Laughlin - Sedona, AZ - southern Utah - Salt Lake City

    I understand about sunscreen and staying aggressively hydrated but I'm wondering if it's borderline unsafe to ride this area in the heat of the summer.

    Let me hear your thoughts!
     
  2. BikeSAG

    BikeSAG Active Member

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    I cannot speak for the areas you listed. Lived in Woodstock GA for 7 years and except for the humidity was not too bad. Currently live in the southwest Oklahoma City area, recent temps near 100 with humidity greater than 50% and I have no trouble riding. I do stop every 1 to 2 hours and get off the bike and drink some water. High temps at 70+ MPH can and will dehydrate you. The advice I would give would be not to push it. Stop often and stay hydrated.
     
  3. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Boy, I dunno! These are the couple months of the year where I have to REALLY want to ride to get the bike out of the garage. I'd rather pile on the layers and ride in 35 or 40 degree weather than be miserable at every stop light when it's 90 degrees plus with high humidity! But then I'm a Yankee from Rochester, NY who moved down herre in 1987 so I've always preferred the cooler temps.
     
  4. toad451

    toad451 Member

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    I live in the Salt Lake City area. Yes it gets hot but we have a lot of beautiful moutain rides that can keep the temps down a bit. I always try to head out with a Gatorade or water or I'll stop and get one along the route. If you get up this way you'll have to stop and say hi.
     
  5. jody7734

    jody7734 Active Member

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    We had nearly 60 days of 100+ tempuratures here last year in south texas. I found wearing long sleeves helps a lot, you will have plenty of air to keep you cool at 40+ mph. Also, found that putting suncreen on several times a day and drinking as much water at each stop as possible help a lot. If you dont have to go to the bathroom every 2 hours or so you are not drinking enough water for the conditions. And, bring a white towel big enough to cover your seat when you park for a while. Most importantly, if its so hot that you are not having fun while you are riding, then why ride? I found myself heading out for rides just before sunset to aviod the the heat.
     
  6. bamacfa

    bamacfa Member

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    Here in south Alabama it is like riding with a blow dryer on high. I would much prefer temps in the thirtys
     
  7. Jim B.

    Jim B. Junior Member

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    I can give you a partial answer. I rode through Las Vegas, southern Utah and Salt Late City during the second week of August last year on my way to the Sturgis rally. Let me preface this by saying that I will be 60 this year and I have become increasingly sensitive to heat over the past few years. I've had heat exhaustion more than once and one of those episodes lead to a motorcycle accident in which I broke my leg and some ribs.

    It was 112 degrees going through the desert on the way to Vegas from the west. I thought I was going to pass out even though I was wearing a mesh jacket and a neck cooler. I had to stop in an air-conditioned restaurant for about 90 minutes to recover. That really helped and I was doing o.k. as I came into Vegas that afternoon and evening even thought it was still in the mid-90's at 8:00 p.m.

    It was around 110 the next day on the way from Vegas to the middle of Utah. That was a real challenge but not as bad as the previous day once I took off my heavy armored mesh jacket and replaced it with a long-sleeved white shirt. I made frequent stops to wet down the shirt and recharge the neck wrap.

    It was in the low 90's the next day on the way from the middle of Utah up to the Salt Lake City area and then up to Wyoming. I came back through southern Arizona after the rally and the temperatures were again about 112 degrees during most of the day.

    Since Salt Lake City looks like your most northern destination, I'm guessing that you will be experiencing temperatures in the 105 to 112 degree range for most of your trip if you travel from mid-morning to early evening. I would not say that traveling in that kind of heat is enjoyable but it is doable if you get plenty of rest at night in an air conditioned hotel, start early in the day to avoid as much of the mid-day heat as possible, make frequent stops to keep hydrated and wet down your shirt and neck wrap, and stay in the shade whenever you are stopped. Please note that it is so hot during mid-day that the air conditioning in some of the smaller gas stations is barely able to keep up. There is little difference between the inside and outside temperatures in those gas stations.

    I rode through the areas mentioned above because they were the most direct routes for me to get from southern California to Sturgis and back. I would not have ridden in those areas for any other reason.

    I hope this helps. I'm sure the people who live in Nevada, southern Utah and Arizona rather than just passing through will have other advice for you. Good luck.
     
  8. jaceddie

    jaceddie Junior Member

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  9. poohbear

    poohbear Active Member

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    When I lived in Calif and then NM I drove thru those places alot. A few things don't push it take breaks and drink alot, looks like you have bags get a soft side ice crest and keep some drinks, if you need it you have it if not maybe the next day, motels have free ice. I'm here in the UAE and now it is 120+ a few more months 130+, we ride alot at night, only 95-100 then. Just try to keep the bike in the wind don't do much city driving if you don't need to..
     
  10. Mainah

    Mainah Junior Member

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    Sounds like a beautiful ride. Don't think I'd try it without something like this Cooling Vest. I've ridden in 100f heat and soaking my tee shirt and denim jacket seemed to help so the evaporation jacket under a mesh coat should be even better. Also have soaked a small towel and wrapped it around my neck which helps cool the blood going to the brain. That and taking a long lunch break to stay out of the hottest part of the day should make for an enjoyable ride.