Summer is finally here, I believe most of the people would like to order a cup of cool drink and enjoy their spare time reading or watching TV series in a place with air conditioner. But as for sports lovers, nothing is more appealing than getting out on the bike and enjoying these beautiful sceneries. It sounds perfect to go out on a bike, but along with the hot weathers comes the challenge of dealing with high temperatures.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy riding in hot weather and avoid the side effects of high temperature at the same time.
“Hydrate or die”—this is a slogan used by a well know hydration pack company. Maybe the slogan is a little extreme in general, but it does bear some truth. In hot weathers, you will sweat a lot more and it’s of vital importance to avoid dehydration, which can sap your strength and make you feel exhausted and unable to pedal.
Many people drink water only when they feel they are thirsty. Actually, this is very wrong. If you are thirsty, it’s more than likely you’re going to be dehydrated. There is an easy way to judge your hydration status. That is to gauge by the color of your urine; a light straw color is good; a deep yellow bordering brown is a sign for you to drink more water.
Therefore, to avoid dehydration, you shall make specific plan considering how long you are going to ride in the hot weather. You should also think you will either take enough water with you or plan convenient stops so you can top up. Prepare for about 500-1000ml per hour of riding at a moderate speed. You should sip often during the ride to five your body a steady flow of fluids.
For long distance ridings, it’s necessary to consider electrolyte or functional beverage. While sweating, your body loses not only water but also element sodium and other nutrients. Also, remember to drink plenty before and after riding as well.
Riding in summer days means sunlight is inevitable. It sounds awesome to riding in summer days, but the fact is if you don’t do suitable protection, you will get serious sunburn and your skin will be seriously injured. We need not to state the benefits of applying sunscreen lotion on hos sunny days, but while it may be the first thing which pops into your head when you go to the beach, it’s easy to forget when getting ready to ride.
You should look for a high factor for the best protection. If you are a boy and don’t know this, you can ask your female friends. I believe they would love to give you guidance about how to choose sunscreen. As you’ll likely to sweat a lot, a waterproof lotion can stay in place longer, and on all-day rides we suggest taking a small bottle of sunscreen with you so you can rub some more on the riding. The most important areas are those with thin skin, nose, ears, cheeks, arms and legs for example. Don’t forget the back of your neck and legs, as sunlight reflecting off the ground can burn your calves and the back of your knees which make you fairly uncomfortable and ugly.
Take It Easy
Riding in hot weathers mainly aims to appreciate the beautiful sceneries on the road side. The faster and harder you ride in high temperatures, the harder your body is going to be. Sometimes, it is inevitable to be in a race in such riding, but if you are out in the country on an all-day ride, keep the speed steady and try to keep your energy expenditure low. Take it slow, and don’t charge up all the hills. If you don’t slow down, you can hardly enjoy this riding.
Wear Light and Breathable Clothing
Wear technical clothing with high sweat wicking properties and which offer plenty of ventilation; mesh panels (don’t forget to apply sunscreen underneath…) full-length zips and the like, so you can get as much cooling air over your body as possible. A wicking base layer will also help remove sweat and keep you drier. Do not neglect your feet either; thin socks and well vented shoes will keep your toes from getting clammy. Some brands now offer clothing which is super-light (and sometimes with reflective cooling technology like Coldblack or UVF protection) specifically for riding in hot weather – check out our buyer’s guide.
Don’t Forget to Eat
On hot days, it’s easy to forget to eat, and often you will also lose your appetite. It’s quite normal, but anyway you have to eat something to keep your energy. You can try to nibble on high carbohydrate snacks, nuts, malt loaf, chocolate, bananas and energy bars for example. Also, remember to drink plenty water if you want to avoid choking.
Use Insect Repellent
You can always expect an increase in the number of insects when you going out in hot weather. And there is nothing more unpleasant than being stung by mosquitos, especially at night and dust. If you have plans on camping, insect repellent is much more important. So you should bring an insect repellent and spray some on your legs and arms.
Keep the Sun off Your Head
Differences Between Cheap and Expensive Helmets You are Actually Required to KnowHelmets are designed for your safety and comfort. Generous venting ensures you get refreshing air wafted across the top of your head. For those bereft of hair, don’t forget the sun can get through the air vents in a helmet, resulting in comedy leopard-spot sunburn. Either slap loads of sunscreen on or pop a Buff, or similar garment between scalp and helmet. Some brands, like Chapeau, offer lightweight, high-wicking caps for use in the summer.
Preparation is Essential
Planning your route in advance and knowing where the nearest shops/pubs/sources of water are can be handy in case you find yourself running low at any point. Planning a route with options to shorten the ride or shortcut back to your starting point in case you start to struggle is also a good plan – there’s nothing like being in the middle of nowhere, running low on water and having no idea where the nearest tap is, to put a dampener on your day in the sun.
Don’t Forget Sunglasses
Riding in bright sunshine can be tiring for your eyes. UV rays can also damage them over the long term. A good quality pair of sunglasses with dark lenses can eliminate much of the excess light reaching your eyes making seeing where you’re going easier, and also keep the harmful UV rays out too.
Avoid the Hottest Part of the Day
One way to ensure you don’t have to deal with the hottest part of the day is to plan your ride around it, meaning to either start earlier or later. This means you’ll be able to enjoy your ride when it’s a bit cooler and therefore suffer less from the effects of high heat. With long days, there’s plenty of time to ride in the early morning and evening. This is even more crucial if you’re planning visiting parts of the world where the temperature regularly exceeds that of Britain and more importantly, that which you are used to. If you're working and riding for exercise, do it before or after work/office hours. First light is a great time to be out, you'll see any local wildlife before people drive them out of sight, and it's a very calm time of the day in most places. Or follow the crowd and go out for a ride after work. There're more people, less wildlife, and it's usually hotter, but that is relative to dawn, not midday, it's still a lot better than riding at 3pm.