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  Endurance Riding
Let's face it, we live in Southern California - This means rides are generally longer and in some warm weather.  Long rides present issues all their own.  Here are some helpful tips for long riding in hot weather.


Dehydration is one of the worst enemies to a motorcyclist. It is always wise to drink a lot of water the night before an extended ride to hydrate the body, then continue to drink lots of water during the day. If you are thirsty when you're riding, it may be too late to catch up, and probably means you are already running dry. Try and avoid too much caffeine on the day of your ride. If you do drink coffee, tea, or a soda, drink equal amounts of water to compensate for the depletion. Avoid drinking too much alcohol the night before as alcohol is a diuretic.
2 Get a good nights sleep before you set out any ride. A lack of sleep will definitely affect your ability to react or make quick decisions when riding.

It is recommended that you try and wear clothing that covers as much of your body as possible. Any exposed skin allows that 65 mile an hour wind to pull moisture out of your body. Even when riding to Star Days across the desert, most riders wore light, long sleeve shirts, jeans, and gloves. Bicycle or compression shorts are an excellent undergarment, instead of cotton underwear. Cotton underwear will collect moisture from perspiration, and may cause heat rash on your sensitive behind. Plus the seams from your jeans can rub you raw. Bicycle shorts have a chamois material sewn in that will absorb the moisture, and give you a protection layer between you and any cotton clothing. Also, they act as  compression pants that will not allow your upper legs to atrophy, and become sore.

4 There is no question that a good supply of water is your best friend. Think about carrying a camelback which has an inside bladder that you can fill with ice cubes and water, and a long tube for sucking out the water. It can be worn like a back-pack, with the tube running into your jacket or shirt, to be pulled out and used whiile riding. Or, attach it to your back seat and put the tube where you can reach for it with your non-throttle hand.

There are cool neck bandanas and vests with crystals sewn inside. These can be worn to provide a evaporative cooling effect which can make the outside heat seem a lot cooler. The bandana or vest is emersed into cool water the night before, the crystals absorb the water, and swell up. You tie the bandana around your neck, or wear the vest and with the wind on it, it keeps you cool. They will keep the blood cooler, which allows the brain to function more efficiently. Both the bandana and the vest can be re-soaked at every rest stop.

6 It is recommended that you always wear a helmet on long distance rides. It serves many purposes: it helps keep the road noise down, decreases dehydration through the top of your head, and heaven forbid, if you do black out and go down, it might give the noggin a little more protection. Some riders prefer a 3/4 helmat which provides some additional air flow when the temps rise. A suggestion is that at each rest stop, take a bandana worn on your head, soak it with water, put it back on your head, and pull your helmet back on over it. As you go down the road, with the vents open, it cools the top of your head better.
7 Goggles are great when going long distances. The wind wrapping around regular sunglasses can be very annoying. If the air is very hot it can actually give your eyeballs a terrible wind burn. If it's cold air, your eyes will water, which makes it very difficult to see. Some riders suggest goggles made by Guard Dog, called Goggs. You can buy them with replaceable lenses, clear, amber, yellow, and tan. Something for every occasion. Eye fatigue can be very dangerous because you may not see something in the road, and that could be tragic.
8 Make sure that either you, or someone in your group has at least one of the following, first aid kit, tire patches or plugs, hand pump, oil, fuses, light bulbs, tools, flashlight, knife, bungee cords, duct tape, extra metric nuts and bolts, and anything else you think your bike might use or need.
9 Just in case you might think about having a dry set of clothes with you. Just in case you get caught in the rain, or your rain gear fails. You can also put a garbage bag in your saddlebags, and pack everything in there that you want to stay dry. You never know when the bags will leak. You should also think about carrying a light weight set of rain gear. Teknic makes a nice set of light pants and jacket. (Buy them a little large so if I have to stop on the side of the road, they will fit over your pants and jacket.) Always make sure you try them on before you leave. Nothing is worse than stopping under an overpass during a downpour, and they don't fit. Keep a towel in your bag to wipe down your seat or to clean your glasses.
10 Use a heavy sunscreen, at least SPF 30, on your face and any exposed areas. It helps to hold moisture inside, and prevent you from severe wind burn.

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