Well it is hot hot hot down here on the Gulf Coast and it will be so for another several months. But you know, with a little adaptation one can keep cycling through the summer without much problem. Now the combination of high temps and humidity does turn people off to cycling in Mobile for much of the year. And the weather is one of the more frequent reasons I hear people say they won’t ride their bikes or they feel cycling cannot take off in Mobile. I for one don’t buy this. Virtually every place in the world has some form of inclement weather. Southern California might be “perfect” weather but the most bike friendly cities in North America are found in the rainy northwest or freezing Minneapolis or Montreal. Mobile is hot during the summer but we almost never have snow or ice on the roads. We get thunderstorm bursts in summer but just about everywhere gets summer afternoon rains. Nope, Mobile has mild weather 7-8 months of the year and it is a flat topography. Rain might cramp you style every once in a while but this is a minority of times. Most hours of the day the sun is out. By the way New Orleans is coming along just fine as a bike town. Their climate is identical to Mobile’s.
My jaunt up to the grocery store is approximately 2 miles and on the way I ran into several neighbors and chatted them up. One of the great things about getting out of the car is it is so much easier to see, stop, and speak with the people in your community. It really does build a sense of community and place. And while I never feel like I’m getting exercise I know all the little activity created by casual cycling really adds up and is good for me mentally as well as physically. And I only had a slight sweat going, not enough to show through my t-shirt and something that was gone after 5 minutes back in air conditioning. By the way, my feeling is that on flat terrain and hot weather that a speed of approximately 7-8 mph is ideal for getting somewhere on a bike because it is just the right balance of exertion and breeze creation. But I’ll need a speedometer to know for sure!