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Most of us love a nice sunny day of riding at our favorite track. But sometimes that sun can be a real problem when the heat and humidity index rises past comfortable and you’re trying to pound out the laps.
It’s actually dangerous…and it can kill you.
Now that we have your attention, here’s the good news; there are a few good ways to minimize this danger and if you use your head you can ride all day even when the heat is oppressive.
First up is hydration and Coach Robb has covered this extensively on the realMotocross website and here is the link – click here for hydration tips.
Second, cool your core. This seems weird but if you cool off your core temperature BEFORE you go ride, it takes a lot longer to heat up when out on the track. This can be accomplished by wearing a cooling vest like the one from Tech-Niche and is sold by the 811 Foundation.
The 811 Foundation was set up after motocross racer Josh Lichtle passed away fighting the effects of severe heat stroke, which he sustained while racing in the 450 class during the Red Bud pro motocross national in 2011. The vests they sell are made by TechNiche…we have used the TechNiche products and they are amazing, easy to use, lightweight, inexpensive and a huge help when it gets hot, enabling you to stay cooler and stay out longer than your opponents when racing.
Third, stay out of the sun. This is harder than it seems and necessitates parking in a shady area or bringing at least one EZ-Up type of device. Stores like Wal-Mart and Target sell inexpensive sun shades that can help you if you don’t have a shelter already. Even a chair with a built-in sun umbrella can be valuable when hiding from the sun (and it works in the rain too)
Fourth, pick your times to ride. When it’s hot we try to ride first thing in the morning, as soon as the track opens or later in the day, say after 5PM. Early mornings are always better than late afternoons but the real point is to stay out of the sun in that 12-4 window if possible.
Fifth, use sunscreen. Don’t listen to your buddies who don’t use it because excessive exposure causes skin cancer and that’s a proven fact so why risk it? It’s easy to use and a really cheap alternative to skin cancer.
Sixth, use lightweight gear. Use motocross gear specifically designed for summer and those hotter temps. In today’s gear market there are a myriad of choices when it comes to riding gear and almost every manufacturer offers vented gear like the new Lite Hydrogen and Kinetic Mesh Tech lines from Fly Racing. Make sure your helmet is also vented and all the vents are open when you ride.
Lastly, use your head and be smart. Know the signs of heat exhaustion before it becomes a life-threatening issue, people with heat exhaustion tend to have symptoms such as profuse sweating, weakness, muscle cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting and lightheadedness may occur and fainting may occur if the person stands up quickly.
It’s critical to note that if the person stops sweating, becomes confused, has a seizure, then heat stroke may be occurring. EMS should be called and move the person to a cooler place, remove their clothing, and try to cool the body with cold compresses, ice, and cool water and fans while awaiting medical personnel.
Following these simple precautions can not only make your day of riding longer, but safer and more enjoyable at the same time!