Saturday, August 16, 2008

Too Hot To Ride

Today was the 3rd day in a row the Seattle area has broken records for the heat. The summer is normally in the 70s and 80s with a couple of freak days that might hit 90 degrees. This week we had those days and went past the record, which was made in the ‘60s from what I remember hearing.

I rode to meet my son right around noon and I thought I would die. I will not ride any distance without my jacket for protection. I had on my vented, lightweight and waterproof jacket. By the time I got to my destination I was dripping wet and had to yank it off as fast as I could. My son, on the other hand, had a T-shirt on, but he did wear chaps. I scolded him for not wearing protection since he had ridden up the interstate. He claimed it was too hot for a jacket. It was!

I can’t bring myself to compromise protection even though I don’t think I will need it. I just have an inner need to keep my skin. I don’t know how all of you who live in the South and the Southwest ride this time of year. I know everyone goes without sleeves out there where it’s really hot. But the heat of the direct sun beaming down on me while I’m stopped at a red light almost is unbearable. I’m fair skinned…

Do I sound like a wimpy Northwesterner? What do y’all wear to ride in the heat?

17 comments:

AtlasRider said...

I still ride by just commuting. I use a Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 mesh jacket. Fitting name for the temps we experience here in Phoenix. If the humidity is low and the temps are under 100 I can ride with my vented leathers, but summers here have 50% humidity and that's no fun at 110 :/

Lots of riders around here don't wear jackets around this time a year. The only think I don't ride with that I usually would wear is boots. Otherwise jacket, gloves and helmet is my standard gear for summer here still.

Tinker said...

Central Texas has had 49 days of 100 degrees or higher. (No, thats not a record, 1927 had 68. 1928 had 69 days.)

I try to wear a perforated Leather jacket if I can stand to. But I sometimes give up and just wear a windbreaker.

So sue me, I figure if you pass out from heat exhaustion you are in more danger riding a motorcycle than not wearing a jacket.

harley motorcycle parts said...

but in movies they saw every rider with a jacket.

Lady Ridesalot said...

It's definitely harder to make yourself wear your protective gear when the average temp is 96 degrees. I know it's wrong, but I don't wear a jacket in the summer. I realize the risk is greater, but you have discovered, it's just not comfortable in the heat. I have a mesh jacket that I will wear if I know we are traveling on the interstate, on a trip, or going to be in high traffic areas. But if we are just going to ride our local country roads on the weekends, I usually am just in a t-shirt. I always wear jeans, boots and gloves. Sometimes, I will wear a long sleeve white t-shirt, because the long sleeves actually keep my arms cooler in the sun.

Living in the south, I think you become a little more acclimated to the heat. We usually take a swim in the pool as soon as we come home!

"Joker" said...

I got blessed with the Irish skin too, so I know how it is! I use a lot of sunscreen, esp. at the beginning of the season.

I always wear at minimum: Jeans, Harness Boots, T shirt, leather vest, fingerless leather gloves. If it is in the high 90s and very humid, I will lose the vest if riding local roads, but would leave it on if I was on the highway and not in heavy traffic. As soon as it gets cool enough, I'll go to a long-sleeve Tee or a sweatshirt under the vest. Cooler still a spring fall jacket. I don't put on my leather jacket or chaps until it really starts to get chilly.

I think you know I've gone down before. I was in my 'minimum' gear that afternoon. I was lucky and my bare arms only got a few very minor scrapes. All I can say is it's a personal choice, but I also think that if you are not comfortable when you are riding, it can be a distraction. I'd rather be without a jacket and 100% focused on my bike and the road than all bundled up and having sweat dripping into my eyes that I'd have to wipe away, etc.

A comfortable ride is a safer ride. Consider that.

Dean "D-Day" said...

I wear my leather jacket up to about 80 degrees. Anything above that and it's usually just the leather vest. I always wear long pants and boots though.

mrs rc said...

50% humidity is HEAVEN here on the east coast! I have a lightweight, light armoured, water resistant, vented jacket that I wear in temps up to low 80s. After that I go to my tan denim jacket (over top of the skimpiest tank top I can find!). If it is a real scorcher (over 95 with 90% humidity or better, heat index over 100 degrees), then I will wear lots of sunscreen and ditch the jacket as long as I am not on a highway. I have also worn a long-sleeve white tee in these conditions, and Lady R is right it is actually cooler than the sun scorching down on your bare skin!

I wear jeans and sturdy leather over-the-ankle boots all of the time, though I like to bring along a pair of flip-flops for walking around my destination. (It is amazing how much better you feel when your feet are cool!) I put leather chaps on when the temps dip into the 50s or below.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

The more protection you can put between you and the road, less giving up riding a motorcycle all together, the better. Skin is nice. I don't think anyone would consider it wussy to wear the leather, just smart. It's just personal prefernce on the level of risk you are willing take.

FLHX_Dave said...

I always have gloves, boots, heavy jeans. I don't care if it's 120 outside. 100% wool socks help out alot. (yeah, you think I am crazy but it works). I always wear the vest. The jacket can stay on up to 80 degrees. After that it's just a t-shirt and the vest. The vest actually keeps me cooler by keeping the sweat on my back from evaporating. Water is the most important thing. Keep yourself hydrated and everything is good. Skin? It's a risk not wearing a jacket all the time. Open road rides I don't worry so much. Congested freeways and heavy traffic I tend to suffer with the jacket. I have crashed a few times. Sleeping on your stomach, because of road rash on your back, for three weeks is not fun.

Fuzzygalore said...

//Long time reader de-lurking//

I still wear my gear, hot, cold, rain, snow. I can't even contemplate going without, its never an option for me. It varies from cordura to leather depending on my mood, but I always leave covered up. Even riding in jeans around town creeps me out, though I do it sometimes. Interestingly enough, I find that my leather pants help to insulate and keep the heat off of my legs depending on which of my bikes i'm riding. You don't sound wimpy at all. You sound smart ;o)

Lucky said...

ATGATT for me, all year, here in the desert. I find I stay cooler and happier overall with my jacket ON than if I take it off.

The sun here is WAY more intense than it is up north, though. I wear a Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket in the summer, which keeps the sun off and the sweat in. Stoplights still suck, but it's comfortable enough when I'm rolling.

With no jacket, I stay dry because my sweat evaporates right away, and the sun bakes me.

Becky said...

It sounds like most of you wear a good amount of protection, even in the hot weather. The suggestion of a long-sleeved white T-shirt sounds good for a couple of reasons. It's true, if you are thinking about having a heat stroke, maybe less gear is warrented in that situation. I won't ride anywhere beyond my neighborhood without gloves, jacket, boots, and helmet. If I can find a vest to fit over my ample breasts (I might be joking...) I will buy it and wear it in the summer instead of the jacket. Thanks for the summer riding gear suggestions.

Bikerchickz

"Joker" said...

I hope you're not ;)

Becky said...

Thanks Joker. I'll let you keep guessing on that.....

Bikerchickz

"Joker" said...

I'm up with that. That's why I love old movies. They teased you and didn't show it all...there is something to be said for leaving certain things to one's ample imagination...

wwginger said...

I'm a redhead, so summer riding has always been a challenge as far as what to wear. I don't feel safe unless I've got some degree of protection on, from road rash and from the sun. This summer I was thrilled to find a jacket by PowerTrip... POWERTRIP WOMENS STILETTO JACKET. Heavy duty mesh nylon lets the wind through to keep me cool, while guarding my skin from the sun. I removed the armor, but if safety is on your mind, leaving them in helps. Ample or not, if you're like me, you may have to remove the armor so you can zip it up the front. ;)

Sherrie said...

We are in Turkey at the moment, and its HOT. The people here make fun of us for full gear, but i wont ride without gear. I am already paying for riding with pants without knee guards.

So its all ventilated gear, and sweating, but enjoying the scenery. :)