1. Carry and drink plenty of water. Start drinking before you ride, keep drinking as you ride. If you do not need to void liquid every few hours, you’re dehydrating. Sip, sip, sip all day long.
2. Avoid diuretics (caffeine drinks like coffee, and Cokes hasten water loss) If your mouth is already dry, you’re already dehydrated.
3. Wear vented, full coverage clothing. (Exposed skin wicks away vital moisture).
4. When possible, use Evaporation cooling (Damp collars, spray bottles, etc)
5. Wear light reflective clothing
6. Time your riding. When possible, avoid riding during the hottest hours.
7. Take frequent breaks, Enter air conditioned places to cool down when possible
8. Wear a well ventilated helmet.
9. When possible, ride more back roads (more agriculture, more shade)
Avoid Heat Trauma
Dehydration: Your body is losing water and salts faster than you’re replenishing them.
Symptoms: thirst, flushed face, dry and warm skin, dizziness, weakness, cramping extremities, headache, dry mouth
Treatment: Stop riding and seek shade or air conditioning. Drink additional water or specialized sport drinks with body salts.
Note: Persons with heart problems or those on a low sodium diet must be cautious about the intake of sport drinks. Always dilute them 50/50 with water. Rest until you feel restored. If possible, reduce you planned distance and quit early.
Heat Exhaustion: Caused by the loss of large amounts of fluid through sweating, sometimes with excessive loss of salt. Your body can no longer dissipate heat adequately. Symptoms may resemble early warnings of Heat Stroke.
Danger : Heat Exhaustion can progress to heat stroke quickly!
Symptoms: sweating, clammy and moist skin, pale or flushed complexion, extreme weakness or fatigue, giddiness, nausea, or headache, irritability. When extreme, vomiting or loss of consciousness. Body temperature normal or slightly elevated.
Treatment: Call EMS (911). Apply all treatment as for heat exhaustion, including restoration of body salts with sport drinks. Apply cool compresses or ice packs to the neck, groin and arm pits.