The hottest part of the day

On Monday, I posted a review of Velotoze – a shoe cover for keeping your feet dry and warm. It was a classic case of bad timing – with the long awaited summer finally arriving and turning into a bit of a heat wave. The UK does tend to go into a bit of a melt down when it’s suddenly warm. Today, I went out, but swapped the Velotoze for factor 50 sun cream.

Lechlade or Faringdon. Stuck at traffic lights across the River Thames so I took a quick photo

I suffer in the cold, so like to assume I will cope fine with the heat. I’ve spent all year wishing it was warmer, so now it is 32 degrees I felt obliged to go out in the hottest part of the day (1-3pm), and do some hill intervals – just to see what it is like.

My theory is also that although 32 degrees maybe warm, the Tour de France is often run in temperatures of 40 degrees. So it is positively cool in comparison.

Suffice to say, you have to be careful what you wish for. I did cycle 30 miles and I did go up some hills, but it was much harder work than usual. There is something stifling about the heat, especially when you’re not used to it. It’s OK to cycle around, but much harder to do at a high intensity. You constantly have to think about drinking; it would be easy to get dehydrated on a day like today. I heard that a rough rule of thumb for a hot day at the tour – is one bottle per 30 mins. If you’re spending six hours on the road, that is a lot of water bottles for the domestiques to carry.

32 degrees is not ridiculous, but it is plenty warm enough. Cycling along the roads, I had the feeling of the tar beginning to slowly melt – feeling like you are riding through treacle. I don’t think it actually was melting, just a trick of the mind. But, when you can feel the heat bounce up from the road to your face, it does make you think.

I spent all of the 12 hour TT wishing it was hotter, but maybe getting wet and cold was preferable to doing it in 32 degrees heat.

2 thoughts on “The hottest part of the day”

  1. I find riding a great way to actually beat the heat – you always have a self generated breeze that keeps the heat in check for me.

    Had a lovely 6 hour ride on the lanes yesterday where the Garmin peaked at 38C. I got through six 750ml bottles (mostly electrolyte) and an emergency coke on the way round and was generally riding at tempo to endurance rather than anything too strenuous but there was a lot of up and down jammed in there.

  2. I was riding in Yorkshire yesterday and even the breeze was warm. I did the flattest ride I could do but felt like I’d done something much tougher. Glad to see I’m not the only one wanting it to cool down a bit. The highlight of the ride was stopping at a shop for an ice lolly and being asked if I wanted 12 Penguin chocolate biscuits for a pound. I doubt they would have survived another couple of hours in my back pocket!


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