Tip #7 for Beating the Heat:
If, like me, you enjoy (or at least can hack) getting up in the pre-dawn hours, you can sometimes beat much of the day’s heat. If the trip is short enough, you can be home and napping before the real heat starts coming on at noon. I know some riders who break the day into to riding halves, with a long afternoon hiatus in between. Just before crossing the Mojave, my friends Matt and Joanne Butler rented a hotel room at noon, and napped, read, watched TV, and swam until 10:00p.m. before checking out and starting their ride. Matt told me it was worth the money!
I awaken Sunday morning at 2:15. It takes about 20 minutes to pack all of my junk into the trailer. As promised I would make sure Andy knew when I was leaving, so I drive as close to his tent as I can without actually running over his head. I smile into my helmet as I think of him good-naturedly cursing me in his tent. As I connect with north 65 I am surprised at the amount of traffic still on the road in Sedalia, including another rally-goer leaving north on 65. About five miles out of town I pass him/her, and we ride in tandem the 15 miles up to I-70, where she/he goes east and I go west. It feels good cruising along in the pre-dawn hours. Watching the day come on is one of my favorite things to do as a rider. The air, while not exactly cool, is some 30 degrees better than it will be this afternoon, and I am determined to get as far as I can, as early as I can. This is as much psychological as it is physical; if I don’t make some real miles early in the day, I feel like I am behind all day. I take the 435 around KC and connect with I-29 N., with dawn coming on.
By 11:30, when I reach Sioux Falls, my thermometer shows 101 degrees, and it feels like it! I buy gas and then drop into an Erberts & Gerberts for a cold sandwich and an air-conditioned rest. As I eat and read, I am also subconsciously preparing for four more hours in 100-plus degree heat. And with that in mind, I go willingly—rather than reluctantly–back out into the heat where my ever-faithful R-65 waits. Across the lot, in the shade of a bank, there is a sinister looking dude eyeing my bike. It occurs to be that he might be casing the banjo strapped to the top of my trailer. I don’t know if that is right, but I do notice that he moseys off as soon as I come out.
Tip #8 for Beating the Heat:
Sunburned lips are no joke so keep your high SPF lip balm where you can frequently apply it both on and off the bike. The high SPF lip stuff can be hard to find at C-stores, so we always lay in an ample supply whenever we find it in stock, until we have so much of it that I can always find a tube around the house. Always wear a brimmed or visored cap in the sun. I keep mine right in my tank bag and don it as soon as I stop if I am going to spend any time in the sun. Click Here…