Monday, July 11, 2011


Most of my riding comes in the form of commuting. On the weekends Heather time becomes the priority. Of late, the priest at the Church where I assist has needed to be out of town much more than planned so my Sunday morning rides there and beyond have also been curtained. Of course, there was also the issue of Billie's chain. Anyway it was beginning to seem the 10,000 mile mark was never going to be reached.

Sunday I did my preachy thing and the other errands that needed to be done. It was rather hot here. It was only 95F but the heat index was over 110F. This was a bit high for us to load Heather's bike and my skates in the car and head for a trail. Ah, but it was the perfect opportunity to see how my hot weather gear stacked up.

When it gets this warm my gear changes a little bit. I leave the textile pants on their peg and take down the vented cordura pants instead.

Yep, these are snowmobile racing pants. I wear a set of hip pads and strap on knee pads underneath them. I have an insulated pair made by the same company that I wear during the colder months and liked them so well, I bought these.

Vents open.
I use an evaporating cooling vest when I'm not commuting. When I commute it gets things too wet.

I'm still learning how to use this. I think I've padded it dry but then it takes two days for it to hang dry after my ride. Oh well, better that than . . .

I wear a long sleeve wicking shirt under the vest.

No big name brand, but it does its job.
The goal was to visit my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter out in St. Charles. I took a photo of the odometer before I began.

I planned my route so I could stop at Creve Coeur Lake and drink a liter of water.

Then it was over the Page Avenue Extension to St. Charles and my heart's destination. This was the fastest I've ever rode on Billie. Before the chain change I was lucky to hold it at 40smph*, but at one point I was holding 50+smph while moving up a slight grade. Once downhill I breached 60smph. To say I was pleased would be a major understatement.

Alma likes her shoes.

The cutie.

After a nice visit it was back over the Missouri River and home.

And how did the gear do? Excellent. I suspect I wouldn't be able to convince all the riders I saw wearing cut-offs and sleeveless tees that I was quite comfortable.

Now I can stop saying Billie has almost 10k miles on it and begin saying she has over 10k miles. Yay.

*Symba Miles Per Hour. I've never done an actual check of the Symba's speedo, but suspect it is optimistic. That said when I go past those "Your speed is:" things I'm always at or above what it indicates I'm going.


  1. Only 95˚? Yikes, that would be a heat wave here. We hate it when it gets up over 80-85.

    Hooray for Symba turning over 10k miles. And what a way to make the milestone, visiting family. Woohoo.

  2. Congratulations!!! Great milestone for the both of you.

    I feel for you and your heat. We are experiencing the same circumstances and I couldn't bring myself to go riding last week in it. Finally convinced ourselves to go out on Saturday...and couldn't stop sweating in vented clothing. :)


  3. Trobairitz,
    Summers in St. Louis can get rather warm. We call 85F "resort weather."

    Billie thanks you for recognizing her accomplishment. And, I'm grateful for your comment. Thanks again for stopping by.

  4. Lori,
    You want to sweat that's what cools you down, but . . . it certainly is messy isn't it. Oh well.

    The moving is okay, but the stopping at the lights, especially the long ones is no fun. By the way, why is there a rule that says if the temps hit triple digits I have end up approaching all the long lights just as they have turned red?

    I've become a believer in covering up when it gets above 95F. I'm still getting the hang of it, but thankfully I don't get as much practice with really hot days as I do with cold ones.

    Ride on and good luck with the heat. It is a very big, real, and underestimated challenge.

    Thanks for commenting. I'm missing your postings. I'm hungry for your wit and playfulness.

  5. Hi Keith, I find it not too hard to dress for cold or rainy weather, it is the heat that is troublesome. Other riders go in shorts, tees and sandals, while I still ride in armoured jeans, likewise mesh jacket, and boots. Better safe than sorry!
    Congrats to your major milestone, and many happy miles and smiles to come.

  6. Sonja,
    Thanks for your congratulations.

    As I was riding Sunday I saw a lot of bikes and scooters out and about. I saw only one other rider wearing gear like mine and he was riding a BMW. Most of the others were wearing t-shirts and shorts. We still have a helmet law in Missouri, so everyone was wearing helmets.

    I, too, find it easier to dress for the cold. I'm working at getting better at the heat.

  7. Well done my friend on the 10 milliion miles........oh hang on that was the oterh guy. Gesting aside, great post and it is great to see those miles mounting up.

  8. Dear Keith:

    Well it seems you got a nice ride in, despite the heat, and your grand daughter is indeed a pretty kid. My summer gear is an armored Joe Rocket mesh jacket, over Diamond Gusset "Defender" Kevlar-lined jeans. And in the summer heat, this gear is still too damn hot. I am soaked through with sweat before I get on the damn bike.

    Have a great summer, and here is my hope that cooler temps are on the way,.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  9. Congrats on reaching 10K! I hope you and Billie get to enjoy another 10k together.

  10. I'm like Jack, sweating before I even get on the bike. Yes, sweating is beneficial for cooling...but when the damn air is too saturated for the sweat to evaporate? You can be in big trouble still. I know I should wear the long sleeves, if anything to help pull my riding jacket up my arms and prevent the jacket from sticking! ;) I see that your temps are actually higher than ours right now. Stay cool. Hope the heat breaks soon.

    Thanks for the comments. I'm working on a post now. The muse has left me for a little bit. :) But friends keep me going.


  11. Roger,
    Yeah, that was the other guy. I must say that is a lot of miles in a tube.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Jack,
    Sorry for the delay in replying. Had some issues with a computer virus. Anyway, heat is difficult there is no getting around it. I keep looking for more tools to make it safer and more bearable. Stay tuned.

    Good luck on the presentation and enjoy the friends coming your way to lend support.

  13. Lori,
    We are going into an unprecedented hot spell. The temps for the next couple of weeks look binary: All "1's" and "0's". Oy vay!

    I've ordered a new cooling jacket. I will blog about it after I have a chance to wear it a few days. I do so hope it will be a positive review! I, also, have a neck cooler coming. I've been thinking of these for a while. Nothing like the prospect of a streak of 100F+ days to get one motivated.

    Sorry to hear your Muse has gone missing. You could always travel to Alaska and get a new one. I hear they have lots of Muse there . . . Oh, Heather tells me those are Moose. Never mind.

  14. I will be interested in your reviews. Rode with someone a couple weeks ago that had one of those neck coolers. It was too big for her though, so don't know how effective it was.


  15. The majority of my riding is commuting as well. Weekends are Allison time, and she doesn't ride.

    I've been battling the heat and humidity in the Atlanta area this summer myself. It's manageable as long as I am 60+mph, but under 60 it's just hot blasts of air. If they stop and creep for a wreck or something, it's even worst.

    My Joe Rocket air mesh jacket with armor helps, but I haven't found anything yet to take the place of my chaps that helps. I am looking into mesh riding over pants. So far Jury is out on that one.

    The only other thing I can think of is converting a NASCAR cool helmet system to the bike. But from what I have seen of it, you would lose at least one saddle bag and it would probably knock the alternator in the head.

    Glad the gear/chain change worked out so well.


  16. Keith can you send a little of the heat our way. I read on Trobairitz's blog that wee Billie was knocked over in a storm, was Billie hurt? Hope all is well that way. I am still wearing wintery-ish gear and wishing for sun & heat. All we have had has been varying shades of grey and rain. Yuck. Hope you get some relief from the heat.

  17. Keith:

    Isn't it funny that in the car we want to keep the mileage DOWN, but on the bike we want to rack up the miles. I'm glad you have the heat where you are, it's much more pleasant riding in cooler weather, which we have right now. There's a limit to how much you can take off

    Riding the Wet Coast

  18. Allen,
    I have a new cooling vest, but because of my recent little adventure on inline skates won't be able to check out. I'm hoping it will give me the 40min to 1hr. commute time. I read some reviews from some small oval track guys and have reason to be hopeful. We'll see.

    The chain has done wonders.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  19. Dar,
    I've posted about Billie's little incident. No real damage. Still hot here, but no riding for me until at least the weekend.

    Yes, it is still hot and humid here.

    Thanks for your concern and for stopping by.

  20. bob,
    I agree on the weather. Cold is difficult and dangerous, but heat is treacherous which makes it even more dangerous to me.

    Yeah, it is funny the difference between bikes and cars when it comes to mileage.

    I've delighted it reading about your latest adventure in "racking up the miles".

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.