RideBellChain.com Blog


Too HOT to ride? No freakin' way!

6/17/2010 1:47:49 PM

It's full-on SUMMER here in Florida. Hot as I can ever remember it with the last week or so having heat indexes around 105+.  UGH!  But there's some relief from the heat that I found at my local motorcycle shop and eBay that I wanted to tell you about to help combat the heat.

As some of you may know, I'm pretty much an ATGATT kind of guy (All The Gear, All The Time) but I will admit that it's been a challenge lately to put on the armored and padded (mesh) jacket.  And the boots.  And the gloves. And the jeans.  Especially when I see lots of people riding "naked" as my wife and I call it - no gear, shorts, etc.  Yep, it's a challenge alright.

So there's some pretty cool products on the market allowing you to beat the heat. I've tried a few, with the exception of the new Air Conditioner unit that plugs into a vest while you ride.  That looks pretty cool, but I don't know if I want to ride around with hoses attached to me - I might be mistaken for a space-man or worse: an Alien!

The first item I wanted to tell you about, I got ours on eBay for about $5 each, but also is carried at most MC shops - a cooling bandana. This is a bandana that you soak in water for about 30 minutes.  It swells like a sausage and holds a lot of water in it, but it never leaks or drips. It does keep the fabric of the bandana slightly moist, which keeps your neck nice and cool. When you ride, the wind on it seems to cool you down even more from the evaporation process.  All of your blood passes through your neck, and the idea is that the bandana helps to cool it and as it moves throughout your body, it helps to lower your core temperature.  IT REALLY WORKS! (I don't sell them so this is not a sales pitch!).  In 90 degree heat, with a  jacket and full face helmet, I don't sweat or feel uncomfortable.  It takes a few days of hanging in the garage for all the water to evaporate - so that's a great bonus, too.  Before you think about freezing it to be even colder, DON'T.  The crystals will burst.

To take this concept one step further, I have a couple of friends that wear a cooling vest under their mesh jacket.
Same concept, and I think HD and Cycle Gear sell them, and I've also seen them online for around $35-$40.  The feedback I got back was that they were a bit heavy after soaking (but they got used to it right away) and it worked for about 4-5 hours until the water evaporates, and then it's like wearing a blanket.  So if your ride is say 5 hours or less, you're good to go!

Here's a picture to the onboard A/C unit.  

Man, this is pretty enticing today…just walked across the street to get lunch, and I'm sweating like a dog!
Regardless, I'm not gonna let the heat keep me off the bike!  What are you doing to stay cool?

Until next time, have fun and ride safe!
Mark (RideBellChain) Turkel

PS. A special shout out to the folks on the Gulf Coast dealing with what will be the worst disaster our planet has ever known…these folks are going to need some support, so let's not forget about them. If you want to help out, check out http://www.SurfRider.org - your cash won't get tied up paying for politician's salaries, and it will be used correctly.



Created By: heckman w  On 6/17/2010 2:51:33 PM
   I love my cooling bandana. Thanks for the tip. Also the pouring a bottle of cold water down the back of your shirt works pretty good too.
Created By: Olsen L  On 6/21/2010 1:54:08 PM
   Hi There, Cooling bandanas are great! Just dont buy the real cheap ones, they get sticky when cooling down. I also use the freezing gel packs to place inside my boots and pockets. They have all sizes,got mine at Walmart in the Coleman Cooler sections. I even freeze small plastic water bottles and place inside my jacket pockets. when they melt down some, you have a sip of cold water when you stop! Hope some of these help during the next HOT months of summer! I live in Houston and this is how I go....cooling bandanas, water bottles and gel packs, all frozen, as stated in prior post, good to go for 4-5 hrs. LOU
Created By: Pehrson J  On 6/22/2010 2:38:29 AM
   Yesterday morning it was 4C (about 39F) here in the middle of Sweden. I don't know what you are talking about ;) This is the coolest summer for years. Jan
Created By: Nilsen B  On 6/24/2010 5:13:51 PM
   Great article and tips! Looking forward to getting a bandana as I too am a ATGATT rider - which is indeed a challenge when heat index is well into the 100+ range. The only other trick I use is wetting down a t-shirt to wear under the mesh jacket...a good radiator. When it goes dry, its time to a break and another bottle of water for drinking and soaking.

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