After my epic 701 mile ride on day 8, I was in the mood to “just be home already”. I was angry that I had to miss my stops in Arkansas and Tennessee, all because of the heat. I know that being angry never gets me anything good so I decided to just get my butt to Iowa as fast as possible to see my Aunt and Uncle and to get some rest. Little did I know that I was riding through some of the hottest heat index temperatures we had seen in a long, long time!
If you don’t already know, I’m about ATGATT (all the gear, all the time). So, of course, I had all my gear on while riding through the Minnesota and Iowa farmland. I did get some video of the wind farms as the windmills were in full rotation. Every stop I made I drank an entire liter of SmartWater, and I made as many stops as I possibly could. Putting my Icon Contra mesh jacket on after each stop was agony until I was back in the wind, and then it felt like air conditioning (for a few miles at least). My best suggestions for riding in heat like this: don’t do it. My second best suggestion? Get some mesh gear! I’ve had several riders suggest quality summer gear lately, and what great timing!
When riding in the heat, keep yourself cool by drinking a lot of water. Replace your lost salt content with electrolytes found in many sports drinks. Soak a bandana, towel, or sports-specific neck wraps in cold water and wear them around your neck while riding. Enjoy the AC during all of your frequent breaks, because keeping your core body temp under control is essential. There are a lot of other tricks to staying cool, so when in doubt… just ask a fellow rider!
All in all, the ride to Iowa was uneventful and hot. I am just glad I survived. If there was any doubt in my mind that I could endure cross-country riding and all it has to offer… I sure relinquished those doubts today.
Day 9 STATS:
Hours Traveled: 7
States Visited: 3
Timezones Crossed: 0
Miles Traveled: 361