I'm from Michigan. It gets cold in Michigan. I can handle the cold. Its ways are familiar. Its seductions known. The heat remained pretty much a stranger until I moved to Oklahoma. Even then, I wasn't very good at handling heat.
I'm getting better at it now. I believe the main reasons is riding Billie, my Symba.
Last Sunday I was riding through some residential neighborhoods. It was hot. And, there were no people in sight anywhere. No one was sitting in the shade and turning their faces to the occasional breeze. I traveled through some alleys and the backyards were abandoned as well. I suspect everyone was inside comfortable with their air conditioners on.
Air conditioning is a wonderful thing. The last summer St. Louis experienced like this summer was 1936. That summer 479 people died of heat related illnesses. This summer the count is 23 people. No one can argue air conditioning has made a big difference, a good difference.
Still, I'm grateful I'm leaning into the heat. Heat isn't something you conquer. It is something you have to cooperate with, become intimate with, befriend. My body is adapting. What was unbearable isn't so much now. I'm using my head to move safely through this treacherous time. Why? There is a satisfaction in doing it and doing it safely. Also, there are so many wonders outside to behold.
There was an article in the Post Dispatch Sunday about a man who died in this summer's heat. I know it is important to be smart and not stubborn when it comes to the heat. Hydration is critical and protecting ones core body temperature is crucial. (Click here to read the article)
If you're riding where it is hot: Please, be safe. Please, be sane. And, I hope you are continuing to experience the world around you.