Riders of motorcycles know all too well how hot it gets riding in the summer months. When it’s 85 outside, it feels like 105 on the bike with the engine idling, the sun beating down and the pavement below heating up. In addition, motorcycle riders have more clothing on than the average traveler in summer which adds to the heat that the rider experiences. Because of these factors, it is imperative that the rider pay attention to the warning signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Some signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration are:
Dry mouth Extreme thirst
Lack or no perspiration Muscle or abdominal cramps.
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea Dark-colored urine
Motorcyclists can avoid heat exhaustion and dehydration with a few simple tips.
· Wear ventilated motorcycle clothing like jackets with a flow-through mesh. Leathers may be more protective for a road slide, but it impairs your ability to lose heat.
· Wet clothing prior to going for a ride. The moisture in the clothing will help keep the skin moisturized, producing a kind of synthetic sweat to help the body cool itself.
· Keep your skin covered. Exposed skin may feel cooler, but that’s because the sweat is evaporating quicker, but that is just making you more dehydrated.
· Make more frequent stops to get out of the sun or find an air conditioned location to cool down.
· Always stay hydrated. Bring a bottle of water with you on the ride, wear a camelback water unit to keep water on you at all times. Even if water isn’t cold, it’s still wet and can keep the rider hydrated.
· Avoid alcohol and caffeine intake before and during riding. Not only is it safer for the ride, but alcohol is a diuretic which causes more frequent urination and a faster dehydration process.
There are limited months to enjoy a motorcycle ride in Wisconsin, don’t let the heat ruin them. Stay Cool.
Written by Kari Kempa, Public Relations Officer for ABATE of Wisconsin
ABATE (A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments) is a bi-partisan grass roots organization with a goal to give the motorcyclists of Wisconsin a strong, united voice with regard to their future, their way of life, their safety and their legal rights as motorcyclists and citizens. www.abatewis.org