Heat waves in Austria are not something pleasant. The houses are built for cold temperatures, not warm. Currently I experience:
- outside: 37°C (= 99 F) in a city full of concrete, few trees
- asphalt: 50°C (= 122 F) according to some measurements by Asfinag
- office: certainly > 30°C (= 86 F), estimated 32°C (= 90 F) during the day in a metal-glass-house with no air conditioning whatsoever
- home: 28°C (= 82 F) and no air conditioning, almost no cooling at night
Anybody out there with more?
|Cyclist in Jaipur, India -- around 43°C (= 109 F)|
Ok, we all agree. Warm weather is hard to bear. And it sucks even more in places with insufficient infrastructure. In Austria, we have no culture of air conditioning (which I generally appreciate because a lot of energy is wasted on cooling) but also no Siesta culture (like in Italy or Spain) and no "heat holidays". Read why we all could do with a Siesta.
Trust me, 43°C in India felt much cooler. Just because houses are build and cooled in a way that inside it has a reasonable temperature (namely below 25°C). Here, I am supposed to be productive throughout the day in an office with a temperature beyond 30°C. Mental work is incredibly hard under such circumstances!
So you might understand that I'm not concerned about sweating during the few minutes of cycling per day. In fact, sweating is a natural process that helps my body to stay cool and healthy. Additionally, every bike trip is welcome because it provides some extra air flow ;-).
But how to deal best with warm weather and sun? Here's what other bloggers suggest (if I missed something, please post it in the comments so that everybody benefits):
- "How To: Fresh Summer Cycling" by Dottie from Let's Go Ride a Bike
- "Cycling in a Heatwave... Making Friends with Florals" by Velouria from Lovely Bicycle!
And here are my 50 cent for temperatures above 32°C (= 90 F):
- tight clothes (tank tops are not always the best choice)
- spaghetti-strapped shirts (skin heats up more and risk of sunburn!)
- thick clothes (no jeans)
- black stuff
- synthetic fabrics
- slippers (can be slippery on the pedals)
- cold showers (you'll heat up even more afterwards!)
- thin and loose clothes (for ventilation, I like skirts and baggy trousers)
- long clothes and sleeves in order to stay cool when exposed to sun (when I'm not cycling I prefer long wrap-around skirts)
- light colors
- cotton and linen
- cap, hat or scarf on head (no headache!)
- drink, drink, drink -- preferably just tab water
- eat low-fat and light food (I like fruits and Maki a lot)
- park your bike in the shade (saddle and grips can heat up pretty bad)
- particularly avoid exposure to sun around lunchtime
- shadow (sometimes I stop a few meters before the stop line in order to avoid sun, or simply cycle along a completely different route)
- visit cool places (museums, shopping centers, A/C restaurants and cafés)
- avoid getting close to many cars (their engines emit a lot of heat, the metal reflects sunlight), choose shadowy and quiet side roads or cycle paths
- wash your feet and forearms with water
- at home: close windows and shade the whole place during the day, only open the windows at night completely (mosquito nets help)
- be very careful with gas appliances and ventilate the room regularly (to prevent possible CO toxications)
What are your DOs and DON'Ts to outlast a heat wave?
|This is me (in my Indian style clothes) on a hot summer's day|
[taken by Velouria at our cruise along the Danube]
Just found: Temperatures in public transport in Vienna (in German)