by: Carrie A. Blakley
With the Downieville Mountain Classic just around the corner, I’d like to take this moment to remind everyone, especially the bicyclists, to keep themselves as cool as possible. The temperatures in this area are reaching the high 90’s, and triple digits. This also happens to be the temperature range that causes the human body to start getting over-heated. I’ve actually heard people say:”Oh heck, my bath water is hotter than that. I can handle it”. To this, I respond as follows: 1. Your bath water is likely hotter, but you are only exposed to that heat for a short period of time, before the water starts to naturally cool down to room temperature. 2. No, you can’t handle that for extended periods of time. You’re not a cactus.
Keeping yourself from becoming over heated in this type of weather can sometimes prove to be a challenge, especially when you have no choice but to be outside for extended periods of time. If you have a choice….don’t stay outside for extended periods of time. Keep yourself in a cool location as much as possible. While the human body can withstand some very serious damage, heat is something that is not to be looked upon as a challenge. Keep the fans on. Keep the A/C on (worry about the power bill later….because that A/C could possibly be the only the keeping you from having heat stroke). Keep your pets indoors!! If you see a cat panting….they’re over heated, and need to cool down – immediately. The same applies for excessive panting in dogs. Also, in humans. Although humans do not ‘pant’, our breathing can become labored when we get too hot. If you see someone having difficulty breathing, get them indoors, and help keep them cooled down.
Drink plenty of clear fluids. Water is best. Keep ice packs handy. Wear clothing made of materials that will help draw the sweat away from your body, and wear lighter colored clothing, white is always best during the heat. Learn the differences between Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke. Pay close attention to the signals your body is sending you, and have the number of your doctor, clinic or hospital handy in cases of need/emergency. Stay cool. Stay safe, and have a great week!