Wow - it's July in Texas, and here and at the Tour de France, it is HOT HOT HOT! But are there any ways we can ride outside and KEEP OUR COOL!?
It's not easy, but it IS possible.
Start off with a mantra that's dear to me - HYDRATE! Drink early, drink often, drink your sports drink, and avoid the caffeine or diuretic medications. You just need to keep drinking a light-carb/smart salt solution, like OSMO or Skratch. I like them both.
Second, sunscreen is a Godsend. I'm more of a fan of having lighter sunscreen, like SPF15, and re-applying it every 90 minutes or so, but that can be cumbersome. Talk to a dermatologist about the pros and cons of seasonal protection and higher vs lower SPF values.
Third, lots of new kit fabrics come pre-treated with SPF protection, as well as Infra-Red ray protection. The kit at CCD reflects UVA and IR rays, thus keeping the skin about 8 degrees cooler. The kits are also built to help sweat evaporate instead of coagulating on the skin, thus helping with a cooling microclimate.
Finally, don't hesitate to use ice bags in your jersey pockets, under your jersey and on your back. We've seen it a lot in this year's Tour, and one thing I've noticed is that the riders, when given fresh ice bags at feed zones, will 'Pop' them with their fists, and then stuff them in their kit. When the ice begins to melt, it saturates the clothing, providing the user with a 'Swamp Cooler', that feels great!!!
Another trick along these lines is to take a ziploc of any size, snip the corners with scissors, and fill the bag with ice. Again - it'll melt and leak all over you, but it's reusable.
Be safe, stay hydrated, and keep your cool these next few weeks as summer wanes.