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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.

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Old 2 Dec 2015
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Hello and I also have a question regarding clothing for HOT climates

Hello have just joined here as have heard so many good reports about this site.
I thought I would begin with asking a question if that is ok as I plan a trip in the summer to the USA with my brother.
The main question I have is.. With the weather being so hot where we are going I really need some advice on comfortable protective clothing for what will be stifling weather.
I watch Henry Cole on his travels on tv and the mesh vest with the body armour he wore on his trip around route 66 is just the kind of thing I was thinking might be ideal but wondered if there are any other altneratives around to give me a choice? ANY advice on clothing e.g. trousers, neckwear, basewear, footwear etc or indeed anything else for touring in hot weather would be extremely appreciated.

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Old 2 Dec 2015
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I suggest that you read the thread linked below:

Thereafter, there are earlier discussions on the matter of riding in hot conditions, but the one above is the most recent example.

to the HUBB for your first post!!
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Old 2 Dec 2015
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I suggest a light coloured mesh jacket, trousers with mesh bits, laced up booties (loosen laces when feet are roasting, cotton tshirt and boxers, light coloured helmet (not matt black!). Start early in the morning and take a looong break mid afternoon. Everywhere is air-conditioned

PS route 66 is bloody awful compared to other cross country alternatives

I made a line accross linking national parks and places of interest like Nashville etc.

Last edited by Churchill; 2 Dec 2015 at 19:39.
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Old 2 Dec 2015
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My basic approach for summer riding: stay north, aim for higher elevations, wet down my clothes and hair (what's left of it) frequently, and stay moving. That last bit means I steer clear of cities in favor of wide open roads--nothing worse than being stuck at traffic signals or rush hour jams during sweltering weather.

There are also regional weather patterns which need attention: anyplace exposed to Gulf of Mexico moisture will be ridiculously humid in addition to hot, so there's no way in the world I'd ride through the deep South or Texas during summer; the southwestern deserts will fry you in June, but by August are prone to seasonal monsoons which help make them more tolerable; etc.

Hope that's helpful.

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Old 2 Dec 2015
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Some northern cities are good in summer, liked Portland, Seattle, obviously San francisco, Chicago is special, Detroit is scary
could go on and on; but the altitude comment is very true and useful
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Old 2 Dec 2015
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Hi Tony

What time of year are you planning to go? When we were planning our just completed US trip we were advised to avoid the heat of the summer - June, July and Aug. May was too early for us so we went west in September and came back east in October. Even so we were still getting close to 40C in New Mexico and Nevada and over that in parts of southern Arizona on the way out.

I took a lot of my regular UK biking stuff over with me but after a few 35C days in New Jersey it got left behind and I did almost all the trip in jeans, T shirts and an armoured jacket with ventilation zips. The ventilated bit was really important; without it I'd have baked and probably taken the jacket off. Most of the other bikers we met (including bike cops) were just in T shirts / shirts. "All of the gear all of the time" would just have been a quick way to heat stroke. One of the things we did use all the time was a silica gel filled bandana that you soak in water and tie round your neck - this kind of thing:

Amazon.com: JellyBeadz Cold Therapy Cooling Neck Wrap Bandana / Cool Body Scarf: Health & Personal Care

While we didn't aim to do Route 66 we did end up riding along bits of it and touristy though it is it was fun to follow for a few miles. Compared to the traffic on I40 it was a pleasure to ride as in Oklahoma, NM etc it's more or less empty. Henry Cole does leave an awful lot out and missed some of the best bits (IMHO of course)
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Old 2 Dec 2015
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If you wear what Henry Cole does you could become dehydrated very quickly- you need to control fluid loss by using a vented mesh lined cordura jacket with a technical fibre t shirt underneath, not cotton. I also wear leggings because the mesh can chafe... And use a hydration pac.
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Old 3 Dec 2015
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I have been using these for years in the Aussie outback
Cannot overstate how good these are under a mesh jacket and critical to it all is to keep hydrated......YOU and the vest
Have a great trip

HyperKewl Cooling Sport Vest
My memory is becoming that good, I should be able to organise my own surprise party soon
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Old 3 Dec 2015
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Can we assume this will be a Summer tour?
For some areas of the USA there are better times to visit. Cooler, fewer tourists.

Cycle Gear will have the Mesh Gear you'll need. Stores nearly everywhere and good online service too. Cheap and quality has improved 100% since just a few years ago.

I just bought their Sedici "Arturo" mesh pants for just over $100 USD (cheap)
As good as more expensive brands, well made, perfect fit. Pair it with a mesh jacket. I would wear regular boots ... or perhaps vented ones, don't compromise on boots or gloves. Most of this gear is armored.

Cycle Gear - Search

You need to tailor your route for survival. As Mark says, try not to get stuck in big town traffic in the heat, stay UP HIGH when you can ...keep moving in heat of day or take a break.

When you stop for fuel, pee, rest or to eat, always pull into SHADE. Get your gear off right away. Before heading back out, wet down head, neck, T-shirt. Drink constantly, small sips best. (Camel Back drink system or cheaper similar A MUST for constant water intake. Critical)

By the look of most of the guys you'll see out there, you'd think riding in a Tank Top T-Shirt with a Nazi "Beany" helmet is best, because that is what nearly ALL the Harley guys wear. There will be thousands along your route. The HD crew get a lot of heat stroke and really bad sun burn. Riding uncovered will dehydrate you quickly ... so stay covered in heat, light colors, well vented or Mesh and wet down if truly HOT (over 100F)

For most of USA mid to late Sept. through November are best time to ride West and Southwest USA. Same for deep South. Humidity drops, temps moderate but you CAN have rain. Coastal Pacific Northwest is cool year round ... and SUMMER is the WORST time to visit San Francisco. (I live there)

If you can avoid the brutal heat of May, June, July and August.

Riding in high heat can be a shock if you're not used to it. It will take at least two weeks to acclimate. (for most) During that time you may be miserable.
Walking in mid day heat and drinking HOT TEA can speed things up. Constantly diving into AirCon places will EXTEND your acclimation and make your riding day even more miserable. Get out in it and EMBRACE IT ... and try to Zen through the misery! (it's all in your head! )

Have fun!
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Old 3 Jan 2016
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Location: crumlin, county antrim, northern ireland.
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Hello and I also have a question regarding clothing for HOT climates Reply to Thread

Just want to say thanks to everyone who replied to my question of clothing to wear in hot climates.
I have been reading up on BMW rallye 2 or 3 suits that people wear for long distance travel and they are suited for all round riding. Has anyone here used these and what is your opinion on them.
We were originally going down around alabama but now it looks as if the destination may have changed and now thinking of going to the shenandoah mountains and will be in april of this year.
Thanks again for all your help and I'll post details of the trip.

Cheers Tony.
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Old 3 Jan 2016
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2 years ago I did a ride from New York to California in June. I pretty much stayed in the highest elevations I could for most of the trip. Temps were mostly around 25C with only the west part of Oklahoma and part of Arizona and California between 2 mountain ranges where it was over 35C. Good planning beats sweating every time.

This was my plan as well on my trip from NY to Argentina that I am on now, Almost the entire trip I was in temperate weather due to altitlude. Unfortunately, panama, where I'm stuck with a broken shock is not one of those places, but as soon as I hit Colombia, I'll start climbing again.
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Old 4 Jan 2016
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Cooling off

Carry ice in a ziplock bag in a couple of pockets or a frozen water bottle. Have a wet bandana around your neck as well.
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