Thursday, May 25, 2017

How to beat the heat

BWL Column
The News-Press, 5/25/2017
by Ken Gooderham

Photo credit:
Yes, that last lingering cool front has blown away and summertime temps are here to stay.

Actually, this next stretch is worse than summer for temperatures. Until the regular summer rains kick in, there’s nothing to cut the afternoon heat… so heat indexes can be through the roof in late May and June.

If you like to ride, run or walk outside, how can you keep your cool (or some approximation thereof) until next October? It means making some adjustments:

  • Adjust your body. Work on staying active even as the temperatures rise. Your body will be better acclimated to the higher heat and humidity, and better able to cope with the stresses that brings.
  • Adjust your expectations. The workout you did in January won’t work in June, at least for most people. Experts recommend you exercise by exertion, not pace, adjusting your efforts to compensate for the toll heat takes on your body.
  • Adjust your route. Look for shade, avoid dark road surfaces (which radiate heat) if possible. Also check the wind direction… finishing your exercise heading into the wind will cool you off when you need it the most.
  • Adjust your timing. Get out early to beat the worst of the day’s heat, or go out late (very late if you going to let he built-up heat dissipate).
  • Adjust your wardrobe. Wear light colors, wear wicking materials, wear a hat and wear as little as you need to remain legal (and comfortable).
  • Adjust your hydration. Not only should you drink more, but include more than water to replace lost electrolytes. There are a number of ways to determine how much you need to consume to keep your body in balance… try them, since too little or too much hydration can cause trouble.
  • Adjust your location. Some days, the heat wins. If it’s just too hot to handle, or if the weather and your schedule won’t sync, head indoors (boring but temperature controlled) or head for the water (to swim, run in the pool, or just cool down after exertion).
The only upside? Those crowded bike lanes or shared use paths from last winter will be yours (mostly) alone to enjoy this summer.

No action on texting

Another legislative session, another whiff on efforts to make “no texting while driving” a more enforceable effort. Despite a number of bills working to elevate texting while driving to a primary offense (meaning you can be stopped and ticketed for it), state lawmakers failed to pass any of them (or even get them out of committee).

Yes, there is a statute banning texting while driving on the books, passed in 2013. But it makes the violation a secondary offense… meaning the driver must have done something else illegal (the primary offense) to then be cited for texting while driving. This leaves law enforcement with no recourse to respond to a distracted driver until they do something really wrong… such as hitting a pedestrian or cyclist.

In a perfect world, drivers would understand that being distracted while directing a large and heavy vehicle down the road isn’t a good plan. They’d put their phones away at least until said vehicle is fully stopped, and we wouldn’t need a law to make them drive right.

But this world is far from perfect... and, judging by the weaving and wandering too many driver of too many vehicles allow as they motor down the highway, it will take a primary and enforceable law to get their attention.

Maybe next year? Given the Legislature’s lack of attention, maybe not.

Ready to ride or run?

Run? Memorial Day means a 5K, with races in Naples (SNIP Collier Memorial Day 5K,, Cape Coral (Sandoval 5K, and Punta Gorda (Memorial Day Veterans 10K and 5K race, or

Ride? Critical Mass rides Friday night (Cape Coral at 7:30 p.m.), Saturday (downtown Fort Myers Slow Roll at 9 a.m.), and June 2 (downtown Fort Myers at 7:30 p.m.). For night rides, lights are required; helmets recommend for all riders, and required for those age 16 or under. Details at

Both? Still time to sign up for the Naples Junior Triathlon (kids only) June 3 ( or the Fitness Challenge Reverse Tri in Naples June 4 ( Down the road? The American Spring triathlon/duathlon in Naples July 2 ( and the Englewood YMCA Spring Tri in Englewood July 8 ( Also, registration is open for the Galloway Captiva Tri Sept. 9-10… spaces are limited and the kid’s races usually fill up first, so don’t miss out.

Tell us about your ride:

Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at, and maybe we can feature it in an upcoming column.

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Ken Gooderham writes this on behalf of BikeWalkLee, a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County — streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at

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