Riding and Eating on Hot Days

The Pacific Northwest waited until Labor Day to get summer into high gear. We’re having the warmest days of the year with temperatures daily reaching the 90s and there’s even a rumor we’ll reach 100 by the weekend.

On most days around the Willamette Valley when I ride it’s only in the 50s or 60s. So, riding in heat is a rare treat. I’m perspiring before I even get to the hill climbing.

Naturally, I drink more liquids when it’s this hot while pedaling along our lovely country roads. Although I know the advantages of sports drinks, I prefer water. 

I also think it’s important to eat more often when it’s this hot. Not a lot. Just little nibbles every ten miles or so. It helps keep my salt level steady, which is critical. There’s a great discussion here about how and what to consider for nutrition while riding in extremely high temperatures. The gentleman from Dubai certainly knows what he’s talking about.

My preferred food these days are Odwalla’s Sweet & Salty nut bars. They have a good balance of carbs, protein, and salt. As a side benefit, they’re easy to open while riding and hold together nicely so you can take a couple of bites, a swig of water, and barely break stride, as it were. My one complaint is that you can’t easily cover them up once they’re open; unless you finish the entire bar, they always leave sticky goo in a shirt pocket or on my fingers.

I’m glad we’re having this heat wave. It’s almost like taking a vacation to some place tropical, but without the hassle of flying. Still, I won’t mind too much when our typical cool weather returns. It’ll mean less perspiring and fewer sticky fingers.



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