Is it ever too hot?

I wrote this piece during the last heat wave in July 2011. Now that we’re deep into a serious heat wave of 2012, it’s a good time to re-post. See my comments below for my new take on heat.  

I didn’t want to, but I cancelled Bike for Life on Friday afternoon (July 1) because the temperatures were 90 degrees with a heat index of 97.

Wisconsin licensing rules forbid children from engaging in outdoor activity when it’s above 90 degrees (except swimming of course). The rule is designed to keep kids safe, but it is also restrictive.

Yes, it was hot, but it wasn’t too hot for a healthy kid to bike less than a mile to Olbrich Park, go swimming, and then bike back. Imagine what kids do in the south?  They would never go outside in the summer with a rule like that.

I believe that rules like this teach kids to fear the outdoors. For example, we went skiing in sub zero temperatures and the kids were fine. They learned what to do to stay warm. The same is true of heat. The kids lost a valuable opportunity.

Next year, I’ll plan bike club in the mornings to avoid cancellations. I can’t change the rules, but I can change the times that we ride.

And, if it’s hot on Friday, I’ll be planning to do something else.

What do you do when the weather’s hot? 


One thought on “Is it ever too hot?

  1. Yes, it can be too hot. For the last week, temperatures have been near 100 degrees in Madison, Wisconsin. This is dangerous heat and very rare for Wisconsin. Even I agree that it’s too hot for most activities except water sports, but even then you have to be careful about sun burn and dehydration. It is tough staying inside when it’s so hot.

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