We can't wait for the summer after the frigid temperatures of winter but with the beautiful skies and clear days come excessive temperatures that soar to infinity and beyond in some areas.
For motocross riding enthusiasts and competitors, the summer heat poses a critical problem as staying cool and hydrated is at the top of the list to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. How to avoid overheating requires a little planning before hitting the track.
Motocross is, by far, one of the most physically demanding sports. It even warranted its own study in 1979 by the National Athletic Health Institute. The test determined motocross riding is more physically demanding than other sports including soccer, pro football, track and basketball.
Now, combine the weight of the bike, the time you're on the track, length of time exposed to the sun and the rising temperatures of summer, and it's easy to understand why motocross riding is a "hot sport" and staying cool is mega important.
Here are a few tips to get everyone started on staying cool as a cucumber whether riding socially off the beaten track or competing on a motocross course.
Drink lots of water. Bring a cooler filled with plenty, even extra, in case someone needs a drink. Also include drinks like Gatorade or Powerade to quench your thirst and keep you hydrated. No sweet sodas allowed.
This handy dandy piece of gear can be a lifesaver. There are several styles to choose from that are easily attached to backpacks or that strap onto the body. Check out the products and styles available such as Camelbak, Osprey, Leatt H-2, Thor and Scott to see which type works for you. Products provide the perfect way to bring water along for the ride whether it's for leisure riding or for extended periods of competition on off-track terrain.
Wear a cooling vest prior to starting a race. The vest will cool your inner core meaning, it will take longer to heat up once you're on the track. For the exterior, wear lightweight, vented gear specifically designed to endure hot temperatures. Include your helmet. It should also be vented with all vents open while racing to keep your noggin cool.
An old saying, "made in the shade" fits the motocross riding circuit when it comes to staying cool. Whenever you aren't racing, find a shaded spot to cool down, drink water and relax. Bring a sunshade, large umbrella or a chair with its own sun umbrella to set up, if necessary. If you're not competing, do your practice riding or riding with friends off the track in the morning when it's cool or later in the day when temps cool down.
Sunscreen isn't just for the beach. Being out in the sun all day, whether on or at a motocross track, allows excessive rays to tackle the skin. Put sunscreen on exposed skin areas for protection from UV rays that can cause skin cancer.
Add any additional ideas to your list of cool tips and be sure to follow them at all times. We all know that overheating of a vehicle whether it's a car, truck, ATV or motorcycle is a sign of bad things are happening. Keep that in mind for yourself, as well, and pay attention to any signs of heat exhaustion. Happy and safe riding, everyone!
Written By: AndrewT