“Excessive Heat Warning” Commute

Today there was an excessive heat warning in Chicago, the first since 2006, due to a top heat index of between 100 and 107 degrees. I rode my bike today, as I have every day this week. It wasn’t a big deal, nothing dramatic. I went slowly and sweated and that was that. For the very young, the elderly or the asthmatic, riding a bike probably would not have been a good idea, but I was okay. The worst part was the haze of pollution in the air.

I also walked a couple of miles in the middle of the day. Riding a bike felt much better, since it creates constant airflow.

On my way home I attempted a panda shot in honor of Simply Bike. Turns out I’m really bad at taking pandas and barely got the bike in the frame. I’ll have to practice this some more.

How’s everyone else holding up this fine August?

p.s. By the time you read this, I’ll be on a plane to visit NYC for the first time. Trisha will be there, plus bikes, plus more friends – I’m very excited.

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31 thoughts on ““Excessive Heat Warning” Commute

  1. dukiebiddle says:

    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. If your commute is under 15 miles, even if you’re riding in 100F weather, as long as you drink plenty of water you’ll be okay.

    The good news for those with standard working hours even 100F days are almost always still in the 70’s for the morning commute. The ride home, of course, is totally gross; but our families and pets all know we have b/o, so it’s okay, right?

  2. Molly says:

    Have fun at Summer Streets!!

  3. Ipstenu says:

    I too biked to work yesterday (I would today, but it’s work at home day). It was far more pleasant to be out on my bike, biking at a moderate pace, with a bottle of cool water, than to tromp the same distance by foot. It usually is :)

  4. Steve A says:

    I don’t pay much attention to those warnings any more. Its been over 100 here all month. The cooling air on a bike makes ALL the difference.

  5. Simply Bike says:

    I love your dress and it looks just like the thing for this kind of heat. When we did our day of Ragbrai, the heat index was 105 and we rode 70 miles that day. Honestly, it just felt hot, but not like anything that would hurt me. Like you said, riding actually creates a breeze which helps and if you don’t work too hard and drink lots of water, it’s very doable.

    Oh, and great first Panda! It shows off that pretty dress so well. I feel like I took about 100 bad shots before I figured out at what angles to hold my arm to get a decent looking Panda :) Now I have about 3 arm positions that I know will work well.

    Have a blast in NY!

  6. Josh says:

    I biked to work yesterday, which was fine, and home, which was gross (Hartford is hot too). But the best was in the evening, around 8:00, when I biked 17 miles to a friend’s house. All of that daytime humidity and sweatiness had turned into glorious summer nighttime, equal parts lovely breeze and thundering crickets.

  7. maureen says:

    You look nice and fresh on such a hot day! Here in NY today it is A LOT cooler…and the weather forecast for Sat. and Sun. is that it will be only about 81 and sunny…must be in your honor!

    Can you update us on your NY activities? ENJOY!

  8. That is a seriously nice dress that seems perfect for the heat. Also, the Betty Foy looks so light and refreshing, that I am sure she helped too!

    Have a good time in NYC, looking forward to reading about it!

  9. Lucky me. I have the the no shirt option. It makes a big difference and it works on my farmers tan, too.

  10. Stephen says:

    A summer dress with a pattern such as that seems like the ticket. Believe me, long pants, long sleeves, and even shoes and socks when the heat index is pushing 110 here in the Deep South is not so comfortable. But I think wearing a dress to my government job would just not do.

    Yes, we all need to hydrate, go slow, and choose quiet routes out of the sun. But it can be done, and a bit of sweat never killed anyone.

  11. Vee says:

    you are good.

    I always forget to hydrate. It seems when I need it most ( before I start ) I either don’t remember or have a hard time just drinking. Then I get these horrid migraines once I start biking. Each day I plan to do it differently. Sigh.

  12. Curly Suze says:

    This year I started riding at the beginning of July (OK, worst time to begin, haha) and it was grossly hot out, but so far it’s been working OK. The hottest I’ve ridden in was 95F, but it was bearable with lots of water plus wearing minimal clothing. As Duke said above, it’s cooler in the morning on most hot days anyway.

    Ride safely please! :)

  13. Awesome! Have a great trip! I haven’t been to NYC yet, and I definitely want to some day.

  14. Scott says:

    I wore my lightest wool and took a longer route down the tree lined boulevard and through Bucktown side streets to stay in the shade. I was fine for the first 4 miles, but the last mile was a little sweaty. I think I have the feeling about summer now that many people describe about winter after a certain point — I can’t wait for it to end!

  15. Anne Hawley says:

    You continue to be my inspiration, Dottie. I was seriously considering leaving Clyde parked and getting an air conditioned bus home, but after reading this post, I’ve changed my mind.

    Flipflops are my friend in the heat–I can’t stand hot feet on the pedals.

    • dukiebiddle says:

      Waiting for that bus, if in the sun, would suck far worse than the bike ride. :)

    • Stephen says:

      Watch out for your toes. I love to ride in sandals (Tevas or slaps) when I get home and toodle around on my bicycle, but I worry about catching a piece of my foot between the chain and the crank sprockets (another reason to like chainguards). So I bought a nice pair of ‘mandals’ (Clarks, Ecco, and a few other makers have some really sweet fisherman’s sandals that cover the toes w/o looking clunky) for riding casually in the heat. Works great, even sorta looks like a classic leather bicycling shoe. Better foot support than your average sandal, too.

    • Maria Boustead says:

      Totally agree that sandals are the key to staying cool! I wore closed toe flats one day this week and practically suffocated.

  16. Ellen Allerton says:

    I’ve just accepted that on days like today, there is no chance of me looking half way decent. My sweaty hair is pulled back in a pony tail and I opted for shorts & a tank top today (my work has a laid back dress code!)

  17. neighbourtease says:

    Hope you will have fun in NYC — I’m sure you all are well-sorted out, but do email me if you’d like any local recommendations. I will be interested to hear your thoughts about cycling here. :)

  18. Juliana from NC says:

    It’s been very hot here in my neck of the woods too. Here we opt for breathable clothing and bring lots of water for frequent rest stops.

    Have a great 1st time in NYC. I’m on my way up there too tomorrow. I’m planning on visiting the bike shop Adeline Adeline, how about you?

  19. Adrienne says:

    While you bake, San Francisco has not seen more than 30 minutes of sun in days. We have yet to spend more than an hour or two in the 60’s “Summer” is a theoretical event here.

  20. jamison says:

    if you get a chance make sure you bike over one of the bridges into brooklyn, I like riding in brooklyn way more than the city. Have fun.

  21. Michael says:

    We’ve had the same here in Minneapolis & St. Paul quite a few days this summer. Hot and humid is harder than cold and snowy–I biked all winter, and with good layering even a Minnesota winter can be defeated; in the summer, there are only so many layers you can take off before people start looking at you funny.

  22. Jennifer S. says:

    I was just in NYC this past weekend, the first time as an adult. I was amazed at the cyclists there. They are so brave! And a little crazy, too. I’d love to read your thoughts and observations about cycling in midtown Manhattan. It’s unbelievable!

  23. Trisha says:

    Yeah, it’s not as bad as they say, if you’re dressed OK and take it easy! The humidity bothers me more than the straight heat; it has just been oppressive this year.

  24. Rachel says:

    Your dress is gorgeous! Where did you get it?

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