In response to my post about my evening bike adventures last week, reader Rebecca posed some questions about strategies for biking in the heat and humidity:
I am struggling with the incentive to get out on the bike after work now that the heat and humidity have found us. I did bike to church on Sunday (2.2mi each direction), but I’m having trouble imagining that 6+ miles to work is possible in this weather. Do you shower more often when you bike in the summer?
I have been reading [other blog posts] about how to bike in the summer, but Chicago and Boston and Canada just don’t have the same smothering humidity + unbelievable temps that I’ve experienced in St. Louis. Do you have any tips other than patterned and dark clothing [for concealing sweat]? Do you have a threshold temp? When is it “too hot” to bike?
I feel a bit sheepish answering these questions as I sit here, hibernating in my air conditioned apartment, having done nothing more taxing outdoors in the past day-and-a-half than walk my son the half block to and from the sitter’s house.
Sheepish, but qualified. I’ve put in my time as a regular bike commuter in St. Louis for five summers, one-and-a-half of which involved a six-mile each way commute. Perhaps my summer hibernation tendencies, my shunning the heat and intense sun, make me more qualified — if I can get out and bike in this, so can you, dear readers!
While not usually my thing, the “cycle chic” mentality is all well and good most of the time. However, St. Louis summers, with humidity regularly well above 70% and temperatures in the 90s (which mean heat indices of 100°F and up) is NOT the time to worry about bike fashion.Continue reading “Biking in the heat and humidity of St. Louis summers”