It happens far too often – the heat rolls around and riders shed their protective gear for shorts and t-shirts. Living in California, we know the challenges of riding in extreme temperatures and let me tell you, it sucks. But the heat is no excuse to ride around unprotected. There are days where even riding in your birthday suit would be unbearable due to extreme temperatures. Perhaps on days like that you can opt to ride early in the morning while the temps are bearable. But if riding in the heat is unavoidable, here are a few tips to help you stay comfortable.
First of all many people don’t realize that in dry heat like we have here in California, you will actually be more comfortable wearing proper gear than going bare. Covering yourself from the hot air and sun will allow your body to better maintain its natural temperature without overheating. So even though mesh gear is the natural go-to for summer weather, folks living in dry heat areas such as Nevada, California or Arizona may also consider well vented gear such as Rev’It Sand 3. Having the ability to open just the right amount of vents instead of consistently getting hit with hot air through the mesh will keep you much more comfortable.
In areas where extreme dry heat is not a problem, mesh gear is a great solution. There are simple summer jacket options, such as Dainese Air-Frame D1 for men and women, which get the maximum amount of airflow. Mesh summer jackets are extremely light-weight and comfortable and perfect for short distance city riding. If you find yourself itching to hit the twisties on a hot day, you’ll need more sufficient protection. Perforated leather jackets are a great solution for such situations but for even more ventilation and comfort, consider getting a half-and-half jacket such as Rev’It Ignition. This type of jacket has large mesh panels on the chest and back but still has leather at the high-impact areas so you’re not sacrificing as much protection as you would with a full mesh jacket. This jacket pairs well with the Gear 2 pants which are constructed the same way.
There are also several full textile jackets that are very durable while still getting great ventilation. Dainese’s Super Speed Textile jacket and Rev'it! Cayenne Pro jacket are both extremely durable and have great abrasion protection. Both can be paired with the matching pants.
And don’t forget base layers! It is counterintuitive for most people to wear an extra layer of clothing when it’s already hot. But good quality summer base layers work magic. Not only do base layer whisk the moisture from your bod, but they also help you stay cool. It helps your body act like a personal A/C and makes it a whole lot easier to take off your gear because you’re not stuck to the gear with your sweaty body.
If you feel the weather is too hot for gear, stay home! Baking in the sun already decreases your ability to focus and puts you at a greater risk. Not wearing gear on top of that is a big no-no. It’s always better to sweat than to bleed!
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10 months and over 40,000 miles later, Henry stopped by Beach Moto to chat with me about his experience. Planning an adventure like Henry’s seems impossible. I mean, where do you even begin??