Dedicated to the women who RIDE THEIR OWN motorcycles  


by Kristi [VegasAce]

I'll jump in here because I've managed to get myself dangerously overheated and dehydrated several times since moving to the desert. The last time was three years ago on the same road that Karen & MizPiggy were traveling on -- I pulled into the little convenience store at Hoover Dam, stumbled into the back where the ice and popsicles were kept, sat down and almost passed out while my husband and one of the clerks packed my head and wrists in ice. My pulse was racing and I was hyper-ventilating -- it was probably an hour to an hour and a half before I could get back on my bike and ride the 40 miles to home.

That sort of thing shouldn't happen to you more than once -- hello! but, if you want to ride in the summer it's real easy to convince yourself that it was a fluke and you'll just drink more water next time. But the truth is it can sneak up on you really fast, and since the heat also makes you stupid, you don't even realize it's happening.

Anyway, I finally realized that I had to come up with something that would work for me or stop riding four months out of the year. So, here's my solution: more clothes not less. I wear a tank top under a long-sleeved cotton shirt, under my Joe Rocket jacket -- and I carry several liter and 2-liter bottles of water. When it's really hot I pull over every 30 minutes or so, take off the jacket and the long-sleeved shirt (the reason for the tank top...), immerse the shirt in water, put it back on without wringing it out, and then zip up the Joe Rocket back on top. The jacket keeps the shirt from drying too fast, and even in 115-degree heat it will stay wet and delightfully cool for 20 - 30 minutes. If you're going any distance, that can turn into a lot of stopping and splashing -- and it's not pretty when you get to where you're going -- but it's certainly better than not riding...

I also wear a full-coverage helmet with a dark visor over a flannel do-rag that's also been doused in water. Around my neck I've got one of gel neck thingies that will actually stay cool for a couple of hours. They make vests out of that gel material -- I think Karen may have one. They're not cheap, but I'll bet they're really effective -- and I'm sure they'll give you more than 30 minutes of cool. I wonder if they make full body suits out of it...

There are other gizmos you can buy -- I think Robin and Minor have little fans that attach to their handle bars (or maybe it was spray bottles...)

As for what to eat or not to eat -- I finally realized that milk shakes are really a bad idea in 100-plus heat. Otherwise, eat light and drink as much water as you can every time you stop. I keep meaning to look into getting water bottle holder, but since I stop so often it's probably not necessary. (I don't stop every 30 minutes in normal weather... really...)

It seems a little odd to be writing about this in January, but since I did finally come up with something that works, I've just been waiting for an excuse to brag about it...

[originally posted in the Women Riders International (WRI) forum]

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From Kristi:
"I started riding 18 years ago - an antidote to turning 30... I ride a Honda
1100 Shadow Ace Tourer, and regularly hang out at
Women Riders International (WRI) and Shadow Riders Forum - particularly when I'm supposed to be working."

WHAT YOU NEED to Know! Cyclechex Motorcycle History Report.
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