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Thread: Relief from the Heat in NC

  1. #1
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    Relief from the Heat in NC

    Yesterday was one of those days when it feels like you're wearing the hot air and its actually a steam blanket. Actual temps in the 90s, much hotter on the roads, humidity into the 90s and local weather guys reporting it feels like 115 or worse. Been going on this way for a while with no rain. The assault of the hot humid air makes riding decidedly unpleasant as there is no way to easily stop core temp heat gains for a sustained ride, only to mitigate the damage.

    Anyway, while doing a 50 mile ride from my friends place on the coast back to my more inland location I got lucky and ran into one of the very rare and localized rain showers moving the direction I was headed. It started light and then got heavy- the kind of drops that sound like small hail when they bang off your face shield. Not much wind and the nearest scattered lightning about 5 miles away over the site of a forest fire that had burned about 30,000 acres- I guess the smoke encourages the lightning hits in the vicinity. Nice downdrafts dropping 70s and high 60s air from higher altitudes.

    The rain was so heavy my first thought was to reach for the rain gear that's always on my RT. But that wet stuff coming out of the sky with cool air sure felt great. So I did something I haven't done in a while- rode 50 miles in a downpour with only my usual summer gear. Wow!- what a great ride. The coolest and most comfortable I've been on my bike in months. Not too chilly- just right!

    Got to my place dripping a bit but drier than I expected - the RT's excellent lower protection and my Z Tech screen and Barkbusters block a lot of the direct rain hit.

    So I stopped to hose the road spray off my bike and blow it dry with my Master Blaster before putting it away and even got a lazy guys bike wash out of it. No bugs left in the oil cooler after that rain blast and the bike is as clean as its been all summer.

    It only stayed cool for a couple hours and today its as hot as any other recent day so it looks like my Veskimo will get a workout on longer runs planned soon.

    Don't underestimate the pure pleasure of a rain ride if you've been baking for a while! I may start detouring into storms just to get cool if this hot spell keeps up much longer!

  2. #2
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    I love the Summer rain. Just like you said, it is so refreshing. I learned to stop and soak my clothes when it is not raining to replicate the feeling. The only concern I have is to keep the crotch dry. Getting wet "all over" makes for a very uncomfortable diaper rash on multi day rides!

    Today I took my bicycle out with a buddy (the Tour de France has us psyched to ride) and it was 102 degrees. We usually do 20 miles, but were dying after 6 miles and came home. Man, that was stupid!
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  3. #3
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    racer7 - How do you like the Veskimo? After the MOA rally in PA, I am considering one.

    Roy F

  4. #4
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    Not enough personal experience yet to do a review- have just recently gotten it wired and done first play bits. I will post comments after UNRally around mid August by which time I'll have a few thousand miles using it in hot and humid NC days (this is by far our worst riding time of year and when all the Harley/T-shirt and flip flops crowd comes out, not even understanding that you will gain body core temp in most of our riding conditions even if you were naked.)

    However, I can tell you MCN rated it 5 out of 5 as a desirable accessory and people who use them rave about them and that's why I have one. Plus its essentially the same as racing cool shirts or cool suits that car racers have used for a long time so the principle is very well established as workable. I can also tell you its a bit of a home brew device that IMO could use better switches and wiring and layout design - which may happen if they sell enough. If you buy one you will need to also buy a DIN (BMW style) accessory plug from one of the usual suppliers or perhaps an SAE connector to rewire their cord (depending on how you choose to connect to your bike) but that is a very minor thing to do. The vest is pretty flexible for sizing but be sure not to buy one that is too long (width is fully adjustable for anything rational). Their service and delivery is good. The vest does not cover the neck area (or helmet area of course) so I expect to find that some good wettable neck protection is a good complement to the Veskimo which should be used "buttoned up" and not just under a full mesh jacket with no wind blocking layer. Working out what "transition temp" to get out the Veskimo and blend it with windproof and mesh gear I already own is something I will also need to do- the same as knowing when to grab which jacket, pants and gloves from the various choices on my rack.

    Ice blocks (use Glad 2 qt disposable plastic container to make them) will last longer than crushed stuff or cubes but obviously you can get a bag of ice at almost any gas station. I'll try to get some experience with switching on/off to see what it does to cooling time. Veskimo does sell a pump speed controller which would do much the same thing but I have chosen not to buy it originally- thinking about a remote speed controller instead like my remote heat troller for my electric jacket. It would be really cool if the jacket controller could be made to also control pump speed because clearly you wouldn't use a Veskimo and a heat jacket at the same time and being able to use just one controller would be cool (and warm), literally.

  5. #5
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    If it's that bad in ILM, imagine how things are inland! Even my pretty short-distance commutes in Raleigh have been miserable, with traffic lights being more of an enemy than usual. And no, it ain't a dry heat!

    I second the rain ride. I was riding back home from a job in Greensboro when I ran into a light shower while heading out of town. It had to be around 90F and it felt great!

    Safe travels,
    -Andy

  6. #6
    The D
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    Y'all haven't experience HEAT until you've been in TEXAS!!!! I live about 15 miles north of Dallas and wow it's HOT. WE are about to break a heat record that was set in 1980. My first daughter was born that year and my wife sat in the bathtub most of the summer. Forty two days straight of over 100 degrees. Ouch!!! We're going to beat it this year!

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