HEAT ADVISORY | Bill Gorodetzer

08/14/2023 3:27 PM | Sussex Cyclists (Administrator)


In excessively hot weather ( feels like temperature in excess of 85 degrees), follow these guidelines:

            Pre-hydrate BEFORE the ride (one full 16-24 ounce bottle).

            Carry 2 bottles when on your bike- at least one with sport drink containing electrolytes (sodium and potassium (to get more oxygen passed from your blood vessels into your muscle tissue) and muscle cramp easing (magnesium-in liquid or by tablet) and one with water.

            To keep your liquids cold for your ride, try freezing your half full bottles the night before and top them off before you leave your home or make ice cubes from your sport drink and add to your sport drink bottle.  

            You may be a "drink when thirsty" cyclist, but try to be a "stay ahead of thirst" cyclist by sipping every 5-15 minutes and try alternating between sport drink and water.

            Watch yourself and your fellow riders for signs of dehydration - which can lead to heat related illnesses (see last bullet below) such as heat crampsheat exhaustion and heatstroke - BEFORE a cyclist looses their focus or control of their bike.  Dehydration occurs when the body looses more liquid than it takes in. Each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include (and may lead to heat related illnesses- see last bullet below):


            Less-frequent urination

            Dry skin





            Dry mouth and mucous membranes

            Increased heart rate and breathing

            Our Club Group Rides refreshment stops are usually about midway on the routerefill/top off BOTH bottles (share a large container with your fellow riders) to be prepared for what is likely the hottest part of the ride.  Wawa, Royal Farms and many coffee shops don't object to you using their ice, filtered water and bathrooms- so support them by buying something if you do.

            Drink a full 16-24 ounce bottle after your group ride and  consider additional hydration intake on your way home.

            Club Group Ride Leaders should consider an earlier start time for their group ride and/or shortening the route and/or modifying the route and ride to include more frequent  rest / refreshment stops.

            Heat-related illnesses that begin with heat cramps, progresses to heat exhaustion, and finally to heat stroke:

            Heat cramps consist of painful muscle cramps and spasms that occur during or after intense exercise and sweating without adequate fluid intake in high heat.

            Heat exhaustion occurs in conditions of extreme heat and excessive sweating without adequate fluid and salt replacement. 

            Heat stroke occurs when the body's temperature regulation fails. The person develops a change in mental status, becomes confused, lethargic, and may have a seizure, the skin stops sweating, and the body temperature may exceed 106 F (41 C). This is a life-threatening condition and emergency medical attention is needed immediately. 

Individuals over the age of 60 are more susceptible to dehydration and all forms of heat related injuries. For a fuller description of symptoms and treatments, click here

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