It’s no secret the month of September tends to be hottest month of the year in Los Angeles. When I first moved here from the east, I thought this was ridiculous as the early months of summer are the hottest in Florida. Interestingly enough, the last week of August this year was a scorcher with temperatures hitting the low 100’s every day.
There was no relief in sight for seven days, and it was by far the most miserable riding week I’ve had in 2017. I was uncomfortable every single time I got on my bike, and I don’t think that’s ever been the case before. Given it’s still the beginning of the month, I thought I’d give some tips on how to beat the heat on your bike.
First things first, your gear is extremely important. I saw many bikers riding in only t-shirts or even shorts sometimes. Shorts! Let me just take a moment to rant on this. As a rider on a sport bike, you’re already seated on top of your engine, and your exhaust pipes are right behind you. Heat is being generated and emitted once the bike is started. As a beginner, I once rode in capri pants and felt like my calves were on fire. It was the absolute worst, and I never repeated the offense.
Now, I’m a firm believer in better safe than sorry. I always gear up for my rides. When the temperature goes up it’s time to get into breathable gear. I have a mesh motorcycle jacket equipped with protective armor, and I’ve taken to wearing mesh pants as well. These items have saved my life as far as comfort is concerned. Although it’s still hot, and I still arrive a little sweaty when the temperature is over 100, I know it’s better than if I wasn’t wearing mesh at all.
Purchase a double insulated water bottle, just do it. We live in a desert and the majority of people walk around dehydrated before they even leave their homes. I recently bought a Simily forty ounce water bottle, and it has been my favorite investment this summer. When I arrive at work I have to park pretty far from the building, and it’s the walk that has been brutal. However, having a ice cold water bottle is the most rewarding treat upon arrival.
Also, before you head out check the temperature, look at traffic apps to avoid accidents, and make sure your bike is in good shape before your rides. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a jam because of an accident in 100+ degree weather, or to have your bike overheat and break down on you. Preventative measures will go a long way in fighting the grueling heat ahead of us.
Stay safe in these streets!