Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NorthCentral Florida
This is for all you new southern bikers
I’m a fairly new rider myself and I love exploring this beautiful country we live in.
Last year in late July I made my final little over the road excursion for the summer. I’d read all about the dangers of heat exhaustion in dry climates and figured, hey, I know all about heat. It can’t be any worse than what we’re used to around here in Florida. I’ll just drink plenty of water at each gas stop and I’ll be fine. Besides, I’m tough, I've worked outside in this southern heat all my life.
That little 800 mile run on I-70 from St Louis to Denver sure cured my thinking. The faster I rode, the hotter it got for both the bike and me. It isn't supposed to work that way, at least not where I’m from. It was only 100 deg out late that afternoon in Kansas and I’d been in heat like that before, or so I thought. I just couldn't believe how hot the air was coming off the little engine, even at speed, and my knee joints were aching so bad I resorted to hanging my ankles over the highway pegs.
With still a few hours of daylight left and plans of making it well into Colorado, I stopped at a small Kansas country store for gas and a couple bottles of needed water. Inside was a little middle aged lady working the counter, and when she spotted me, she got a little excited. Apparently she had seen her share of near gone halfwits like me motorcycling through there many times before. She said, “Honey, don’t you go anywhere, wait right here and I’ll be right back.” She returned from the back room with what looked like a 2 gal plastic freezer bag and commenced filling it with drink machine ice. She asked if I had an undershirt on under my long sleeve shirt, which I did, and she actually unbuttoned my shirt, stuffed the bag under there and said “Honey, I know you ain’t from around here and I want you to know that I probably just saved your life! Now that ice will cool your innards but it won’t last long, so you stop and fill it again when it melts.” I motored only another 50 miles or so and stopped at a motel in Russell, Ks. Determined to beat that awful heat, I hit the road again about 3:00 AM the next morning.
Never will I challenge dry heat like that again without being prepared. There is a big difference in plowing through dry air versus humid air. A very big difference. You don’t get cooler by riding faster in dry heat, I think you get hotter.
So read up on high heat riding and don’t ignore good advice like I did. Heat stroke is serious business. I’m sure there are many here who will gladly share many good tips.
Last edited by redfish; 05-28-2015 at 07:10 AM.