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Summer Mind Games

June 30, 2012

Summer Sun in Southwest Asia

This week Nature published evidence that may indicate dinosaurs were actually warm-blooded. The researchers based this conclusion on the similarity of cyclic bone growth patterns with modern cud chewing mammals. What I think this means is that during a heat wave, like we’re experiencing in DC, these warm-blooded dinosaurs would have behaved more like mammals than snakes and lizards. In other words, Dinosauria, like us, would have been just as grumpy, lethargic, and full of excuses to not ride their bicycles.

Yes, riding your bike when heat indices are expected to exceed 100 degrees-F for the next three days (arghh) is not something most look forward to. The gorgeous weather of April and May have only further heightened our sense of how miserable it is outside now. I find myself longing to break out my thick wool socks, buff, and lobster mittens. Wondering when Canada will start sharing that Arctic jet stream with its southern neighbors again. During the winter you can always layer up. But with heat, there’s only some much you can legally do to cope (NSFW).

Luckily, there is a workaround. You just need to alter your way of perceiving your circumstances – just a bit. Here are five tips from someone who has battled east coast humidity all his life:

  1. Consider this conditioning for when the weather eventually gets better and you’ll want to go for long rides.
  2. Remember, it’s hotter someplace else. Someone is probably in more extreme weather and not complaining as much. Perspective can go a long way.
  3. Be extra efficient and slow. Don’t overheat by doing things like moving. Cycling only requires spinning your legs in 13.5 inch circles. Conserve energy for other things like thinking about snow.
  4. Cold beverages and baby wipes lead to quick recovery.
  5. You ride a convertible. Put on some sunscreen and enjoy the ride!

What tips do you guys have to beat the summer mind games?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy L. Seibel permalink
    June 30, 2012 6:18 pm

    What a great post! I love how you worked in the dinosaur connection – excellent writing.

    All good tips. Mine: on days off, force yourself out early for your longer rides. You will be glad you did. Pay attention to the early minor signs of heat exhaustion (a little dizziness combined with feeling way overheated, for me). Along the lines of your tip to slow down, stop. It’s ok to do that. Trust me, it’s better than having the problem escalate. That only leads to vomiting and general misery. Drink some water, pour some on your head, rest in the shade. Continue on once you feel better. Enjoy that you are hardy enough to get out there, even in the extreme heat!

    • July 4, 2012 7:34 am


      Great advice…heat stroke is definitely not something to play around with.

  2. July 4, 2012 6:37 am

    Well we’ve had more or less constant rain for weeks here now and Summer does not appear to be materialising! I’d gladly take sun-splitting-the-stones heat over this at the moment. Until it’s hot of course, then I’ll moan about that instead. Plus ca change…

    • July 4, 2012 7:32 am

      Yes, the grass always does seem to be greener…

      Don’t be surprised if a post next January has me talking about “winter mind games.”

  3. July 30, 2012 8:10 am

    The weather here in the UK has been dreadful for weeks (the jet stream again!) so I am exceptionally glad of a hot, sunny spell. I promised myself that I wouldn’t moan about it and I also think about the extra weight I’ll be shifting. I’m not sure if that last point is scientifically proven but it certainly feels like it when you get a sweat on!

    • July 30, 2012 9:35 am

      It’s been incredibly hot and humid here, and I will confirm that it makes you feel that you’re hauling extra weight!

      • July 30, 2012 9:48 am

        Absolutely. I’m not too happy when sub-100 degree days get me excited to go riding. Also, were you touring last week? I thought I was going to have the team’s bike challenge record for the week 😛

  4. July 30, 2012 11:15 am

    Indeed I was touring! We did the Bon Ton Roulet in the beautiful NY Finger Lakes. I now have the official cyclists’ tan. So yes, my mileage for the week got a major boost! Otherwise you would most certainly have last week’s record. Nice work!!

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