Cycling In Hot Weather
Keeping Your Cool In The Heat Of Summer
The hot weather is here and there are more cyclists out and about than at any other time of the year. Riding your bike in the glorious sunshine is an absolute pleasure, helping you feel good and keep fit.
The sun and heat come with their own challenges all easily overcome with some simple steps by following our top tips for riding in the hot weather.
Top Tips For A Great Ride In The Sun
1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
A few minutes preparing the night before your ride will be well spent and make tomorrow’s ride much more enjoyable. Fill a water bottle three quarters (3/4) full and place in the freezer. Tomorrow you will have an ice cool drink that will slowly melt as you ride. Why can’t I fill the bottle to the top? Water expands as it freezes. Your bottle will look much fuller in the morning. Freeze a full water bottle and you risk the bottle cracking.
2. Wear The Right Clothing
You don’t have to wear cycling-specific clothing. Wear comfortable clothing that is not going to make you overheat. Lighter materials that don’t hold sweat are best to keep you cool and at ease throughout your ride.
3. Stay Hydrated
You have your frozen water bottle prepared the night before. But take two bottles, one you fill before you leave. Ice cold water will flow straight through your body cooling you down and helping you feel great, but not providing much hydration for your body. Water at room temperature will hydrate you much better with your body retaining much more of the moisture than from iced water. Drinking large amounts of water in one go satisfies your thirst in the short term. Drink little and often to keep your body hydrated in the long term. You will find you drink less water, feel better and make your water last longer during your ride.
4. Use Sun Cream
In the excitement of going for a ride on your bike, it’s easy to forget to apply a good sunblock. Pay particular attention to your neck, the top of your ears and your knees. If your cycling top tends to ride up as you pedal it’s worth adding sunblock to your lower back too. Sun burn is uncomfortable to say the least, especially for children. After-sun cream is also a good investment in case you missed a spot with the sunblock.
5. Refuel Regularly
Your body burns more energy when the weather is warmer. Remember to eat to keep those pedals turning. Little and often is a mantra that works for food as well as water. Healthy snacks are much better for you too. Your body will crave protein and carbohydrates for energy.
6. Focus and Stay Alert
Cycling can be meditative, but you should stay focused and alert at all times. If you find yourself losing concentration or becoming tired much sooner than you expected, it could be the heat. Sun stroke and heat exhaustion are common and are caused by a drop in blood pressure. Feeling faint, sick or sweating heavily? Take action. Extreme fatigue and tiredness mean you need to stop, drink, eat and rest.
7. Rest As Needed
Cycling for hours and hours under a hot sun is not advised without plenty of rest breaks in between. The numerous health benefits are some of the reasons a lot of us cycle. Not resting is not healthy particularly on a hot day. Take care of yourself and younger cyclists by insisting on regular breaks. There’s always plenty to stop and see when out on a bike ride.