The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings in Southern Utah. St. George has seen temperatures up to 111 degrees (just 1 degree off of a 1936 record)! The Wasatch Front, though a little cooler than Southern Utah, is still reaching temperatures in the high 90’s. Excessive heat warnings are dangerous; 4 people in Arizona have already been killed from heat related injuries. Dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion can really put a damper on your day if you plan on being outside. If you are audacious enough to take the bike out, especially in Southern Utah, here is what you need to know to beat the heat.

Get an early start

You might already be in the habit of riding before work. If you are, don’t break this habit. The sun really begins torching the area around 9:00-10:00 am. You can avoid being locked in the furnace by making your morning riding routine earlier.

Stay Hydrated

This one is obvious, but understated. Hydration is critical, especially with excessive heat warnings. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Avoid alcohol, sodas, and caffeine as these are proven to dehydrate your body. The Mayo Clinic provides excellent advice about how to prevent, and see signs of

Wear the right clothing

This includes sunscreen. Having a sunburn is not only painful and uncomfortable, but it prevents your body from releasing heat. Your risk of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and heat stroke increases when your skin is blistered and charred.

Wear the right clothing. Dark clothes absorb heat, and are not recommended during any recreational activity in excessive heat warnings. Whether you are walking to your car, or a quick 20-mile ride, wear clothes that are breathable, light weight, and light colored. The Deseret News recommends wearing a wide brimmed hat when being outside, although wearing a hat will help keep the sun off your face, this might be distracting on a bike ride. Instead, make sure that your helmet is properly ventilated. If not, consider finding one that is.

Sources like WebMd and the Mayo Clinic, are excellent sources to help you be aware of symptoms of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. If you are aware of these symptoms, swallow your pride and stay inside. Pay attention to others who you are riding with as well. The Utah Bicycle Lawyers remind you that cycling during excessive heat warnings is dangerous; be cautious, and rational, when deciding whether its okay to go ride.