Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

Chronicle of My Participation in the World's Toughest Enduro Rally – Again…

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  • Husqvarna

Sweating in the heat

Posted by desflurane on June 4, 2013

I rode today – both bicycle and dirt bike.

I rode the bicycle to and from Labor and Delivery call, pretty much as a matter of course. It just works so well. I have to go to work anyway, I just get a free workout thrown in with minimum fuss. Then, after completing an often tiring and sometimes infuriating twenty four hour shift there, I am forced to climb on and ride it home. Usually this ride is highly therapeutic and mind-clearing, and since I normally have the whole day off and no particular timetable – I tend to wander, climbing hills and exploring local roads that I never would have done otherwise.

But today I just booked it straight home, because my real goal was to get out on the dirt bike for some quality training. And I wanted to try out my new body armor arrangement – the Klim technical pants combined with the Leatt 3df upper body protection. As I assumed, the big spine pad can be removed easily when I’m wearing my Camelbak. The shirt fits well and works nicely with my Leatt neck brace.

Beyond just wanting to play with my new toys, I wanted to see how all this close-fitting, underwear-like body armor performs in the heat. All that protection is of limited value if wearing it causes heat stroke! Today the northern Nevada sun was pounding down without restraint and temps were around 90ºF. Everything played well together – meaning that there were no spots where pads from one item overlapped or impinged on one from the other. There wasn’t any chafing or pinching either. I would have to rate overall comfort quite highly.

When I got out on the trail and rode hard – it was hot – plain and simple. This would have been the case if I had been wearing nothing but my boots – it was just a darn hot day, no matter what. But the reduction in my cooling capacity brought on by the new padding was not all that significant. Both the pants and the shirt are made from Lycra-like materials that are intended to wick sweat away, allowing it to evaporate and cool the skin like it is supposed to. They both seemed to work quite well in this department. The only place I felt uncomfortably hot was beneath the crazy-thick front chest pad. I definitely had a festering swamp going on under there, but it wasn’t what I would consider a deal-breaker. I can imagine myself pouring cold water down my front as often as possible, however… Motion on the bike is not hampered at all, and the comforting sensation of some significant protection covering my tender spots is quite reassuring.

The ride itself was good, but nothing out of the ordinary for me. I rode up the switchbacks, then sessioned for a while at the ledges. I tried to get some pictures of a new line I found last time I rode there.

As always, It’s really hard to get pictures that adequately convey what riding conditions are actually like – brutally steep hills are rendered almost flat-appearing, and big gnarly rocks look like a thoroughfare when you have such a limited field of view. It’s hard to put everything in context…

Anyway, here it is:

20130604-161248.jpg

I ride right up the sloped rock at ground level and continue right up the next, near vertical rock sitting on top of that. After conquering this, there are a series of smaller ledges that I find I can just wheelie right over. I try to loft the front end off the vertical rock and keep it airborne until I’ve cleared the whole mess.

Here is another view.

20130604-164617.jpg

It is actually a great line, I wish I had somebody with me to get some video, I think it would look pretty cool.

Right next to this line is another:

20130604-161302.jpg

And next to that is a ledge that provides hours of fun for the whole family! (Ok, that’s a lie, but I enjoy it…)

20130604-161324.jpg

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