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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Heat wave with 100+ degree temperatures

The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting near record-high temperatures Friday across the state. The all-time record temperature was broken in Nashville at 109 (was 107). Chattanooga hit 106, tying its all-time record. Same with the Tri-Cities at 102. Knoxville tied its June record at 102 as well. Oak Ridge broke the June record at 104. The Tour de Rocky Top, taking place today (Saturday June 30) had its century ride (100 miles) cancelled this year due to the heat for safety reasons.

With an ongoing heat wave across Tennessee and across the entire country, what are things cyclists and walkers can do to stay safe? Suggestions generally include minimizing exposure to the heat by avoiding the hottest hours and by reducing the hours of physical activity spent outdoors. An extra effort should be made to stay hydrated; drink extra water. WebMD has an interesting "drinking schedule" of 24 ounces two hours before exercise, 8 ounces right before starting exercise, and another 8 ounces every 20 minutes during exercise. The fluid can be water or another non-caffeine containing drink with electrolytes. (For distance cyclists, such may well be difficult without stocked rest stops since water bottles don't hold that much water; each refill would last for only 2 hours or so.) Be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion. Stop, rest, and cool down if such develop.

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