Riding in The Florida Summer
You need to let your body get used to the new, more extreme temperatures and atmospheric water content. When the temperatures start to rise, do a few shorter, slower rides for a few days so your body can get more accustomed to the heat changes.
How heat and humidity are dangerous
Since Florida is a tropical climate, the summers are humid rather than dry heat. Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. High humidity levels in the air can make it feel like it is hotter than it actually is. This in turn can make us feel far more tired. Since it feels like the temperature outside your body is higher than normal, your body begins working in overdrive in order to regulate the temperature on the inside. This is actually why you sweat when you exercise: evaporating sweat takes with it a lot of your internal heat.
Sweat has no escape
When there are high humidity levels, so sweat takes longer to evaporate. Because the sweat has nowhere to go, the body begins to overheat much faster. One of the most dangerous risks of cycling too hard in the heat and humidity is hyperthermia which can lead to heatstroke. Symptoms of heatstroke are nausea, dizziness, leg cramps, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, red skin, headache and altered mental status. If these symptoms occur stop your ride and call for help.
Drink little and often when riding. Don’t drink only when you are thirsty drinking .
A nice trick to remember to drink is to set your Garmin bike computer to beep every 15 minutes as a reminder to drink, because it's dangerous to wait until you are thirsty to drink while exercising.
Material with wicking properties, is the best. You need as much of your sweat pulled away from your skin as possible in order to maximize cooling.
Wear a bandana around your head, or under your helmet to help with sweat absorption
A sunburn does more than fry your skin. It contributes to fatigue and increases your metabolism and also increases fluid needs. Always wear sunscreen on the exposed parts of your body and when you need to stop for a break or change a tire, find shade..
To learn more click here: sunscreens
Keep an eye on the road surface
On very hot days, tarmac can melt, causing patches of slippery or sticky tar on the road surface. The tar can stick to your tires, attracting grit and dirt. Also watch out for wet roads after a summer storm, paint lines and debris will be slippery.
Recovery becomes more critical when riding long miles in the heat. Replenish your energy stores right after the ride ideally a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Continue to hydrate in the hours that follow to replace fluids lost during the ride. This will speed the recovery process and allow you to face the heat again tomorrow.