A ride report from my brother Mark in St. Louis:
Matt, on his visit to St. Louis, was nice enough to give me a bike jersey that he and his A/B riders wear on occasion. It’s the “On Your Mark” jersey. The weather that I had been waiting for came this week and I pulled on the jersey and headed out for a ride.
That was Tuesday.
My brother is crazy
Tuesday was the day that we hit our high for the year, 98 degrees. The heat index was 102. I like to ride when it’s hot. I also like to sit in the car with the windows up when it’s hot and let the heat warm up my bones. Sorta like being a ham in an oven effect, nonetheless I like the heat to a no-pun-intended, “degree”.
I went to Forest Park and did my loops of the park and immediately noticed that I must be the only one who likes that kind of weather because there were no other riders at 3pm in the afternoon.
In fact, the park was empty of people except for some of the city kids who were sitting in the areas of the park that have waterfalls in them, and they were sitting in the water in the shade.
I admit that it was hot. With every 6 mile loop of my route I filled up a water bottle.
When traveling on a bike there is always some constant breeze (given you are going fast enough to generate one) and that became very evident each time when I stopped to fill up my water bottle. As soon as I unclipped my feet the rush of stifling heat surrounded me and the sweat would pour off me much like the waterfalls the kids had taken refuge in.
A “cool” hot T-shirt
But I like the heat. Back on my bike I began to feel the heat get the best of me around mile 28. I told myself that I would stop at mile 30 and call it a day OR when the bright sky started filling up with specks of darkness right before I blacked out. I was just rounding out my 30 mile mark when I looked over to see three other riders with me, it was Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Apparently the Angel decided to sit out this fiery furnace ride.
[Editor’s note: for those of you who weren’t consigned to a parochial school for eight years, plus kindergarten, you can read about the Three Men in the Fiery Furnace here.]
The heat did not beat me to the point of blacking out and luckily I was close enough at mile 30 that I could coast to my car, load my bike up and sit in the car this time with the air conditioning on FULL blast. I have learned that a 102 heat index is my bar for NOT going out to ride.