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A taste of summer for D.C. cyclists this week. Are you ready to ride out the summer heat?

Image of the extensive bike lane network in downtown D.C. Source:

With temperatures soaring into the 80s to near 90 this week, the D.C. area is getting a taste of summer with early April feeling more like June.  For biking enthusiasts like myself, the switch to warm weather often requires us to switch gears (pun intended) from wearing copious layers of cold gear (especially on our hands) to figuring out what type of clothing (or lack thereof) will keep us cool.

Having been a member of the blog for a few months now, I’ve noticed many of our readers are avid cyclists!  As bicyclists, we must be acutely attuned to the weather so we know how to dress appropriately and how to avoid getting caught in thunderstorms.

Whether you ride recreationally or for commuting, I’d like to pose these two questions to my fellow cyclists:

1) Do you prefer riding when it’s cold or warm?

2) For those who continue riding through the summer heat and humidity, what are your secrets for staying cool? 

My two cents: I much prefer riding in the cold.  Assuming I’m properly dressed, I find biking in the cold very liberating.  The end result of a cold bike ride is usually nothing more than rosy cheeks.

Biking in the heat, however, is a different story.  When it’s really hot and I’m commuting, I often have to pack a change of clothes.  I also try to leave 15 minutes earlier than usual not only to give myself time to change, but also a chance for my sweating and red face to subside!  Not to mention my sweaty helmet hair, but we won’t go there…

Sure the exertion could be tempered by taking a more leisurely ride, but the commute might as well double as my daily workout, right? Or maybe it’s just my ‘need for speed’…

I’m interested to hear your opinions!

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Jack Williams · April 10, 2013

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