Everglades Bicycle Club
As you are all doubtlessly aware, South Florida is not impervious to the record-setting heat wave affecting our planet. In fact, the last several weeks has seen the highest heat index ever recorded. https://www.axios.com/2023/07/18/heat-wave-temperatures-us-europe-asia
This means that cycling in the later hours of the morning has become downright dangerous for many cyclists, especially those that are uniquely susceptible and otherwise unprepared. It is not uncommon for cyclists on the road at 11am in the morning to experience heat indexes of 120F or more. Tomorrow, July 22, 2023, the heat index may reach as high as 109F. We have not seen this before in Miami, at least not such consistent extreme heat lasting weeks on end. With a changing world, we must also take special precautions to try to protect our members.
Starting immediately and until further notice, EBC will implement a Heat Protocol for our Saturday Training Rides to ensure the safety of our riders. The protocol is subject to amendment and input from our members.
Heat Protocol Rides:
1. Starting July 29, 2023, Training rides will commence at 7:00am, not 7:30am. We will revert back to 7:30am later this year, as the heat wanes and days get shorter.
2. Training rides' routes will be modified to not exceed 35 miles. The calendar will be revised soon with new routes. We will still vary ride routes each week.
3. Training rides will be supported by a SAG vehicle. The drivers will be EBC volunteers, who will assist on their own accord. Please speak with Gaspar or Sue if you can assist, and would be willing to be on the SAG vehicle rotation. The SAG vehicle will trail a safe distance behind the 17-19mph group, and be equipped with bike repair tools, cold drinks, and air conditioning. The SAG vehicle will pick up struggling riders and bring them to the turnaround point or to the ride-start at the end of the ride.
Heat Protocol Rules:
In addition to the Rules found in the EBC Ride Guide, the Heat Protocol adds the following:
1. Drink. Riders are required to bring at least two water bottles filled with adequate hydration. No exceptions. If you do not have two bottles, ask Gaspar or Sue. Riders with only one water bottle may be turned away at the ride start. You should be drinking fluids at least once every ten minutes, even if you are not thirsty. With extreme heat and physical exercise, your body will become dehydrated much faster than your brain will receive any thirst signal from your body. You could be feeling fine, and then pass out, resulting in tragedy. Drink and eat, even when not thirsty. If you do not know how to drink while pedaling, wear a camelbak or similar hydration bladder until you learn. Practice! Again, ask Gaspar or Sue, we'd be happy to help.
2. Communicate: Riders should communicate with each other to make sure they are riding safe and not suffering from overheating. If you are "not feeling it," at the moment, don't be afraid to jump in the SAG car and take a breather in the air conditioning, grab a cold drink. If your buddy next to you is riding a little squirrely, speak out! We have to take care of each other.
3. Sunscreen. While this does not do a great deal to protect you from the heat, it is crucial to wear sunscreen to protect you from the increased UV that is assaulting your body for 3 consistent hours. Wearing sunscreen is not mandatory for Training rides, but greatly encouraged.
A great guide was also prepared by our own Sue Kawalerski, which you should all read here.
This Heat Protocol will be employed when average temperatures for the day will be 92F or more. This generally means a heat index of 100F. When EBC is functioning under Heat Protocol, this will be announced on our website at https://evergladesbc.com.
Look forward to riding with you all!