Sunny summer cycling: tips for cycling in the heat
The days are finally getting longer and warmer which means it is an ideal opportunity to spend more time out on our bikes (even if there is some Scottish rain to go with it).
It is the perfect time of year for early morning cycles or late evening rides.
However before going out in the heat, there are a few things to bear in mind to ensure you are prepared for the heat and the issues it can present
6 simple cycling tips for hotter weather
1. Stay hydrated when cycling
It is important to make sure the bike is stocked up with fluids and you stay hydrated when cycling.
This sounds straightforward but it is easy to believe with the breeze in your face from the speed picked up that you are cooler than you actually are.
Hydration is key.
Water bottles, juice bottles, electrolyte water...remember to hydrate. You could also freeze your water bottle so not only does it have longer to thaw but stays cool for much longer in the sun.
Drink little and often.
Don’t just drink when you become thirsty. Instead, make sure you drink little and often throughout your cycle to ensure you remain fully hydrated.
2. Keep some money in your pocket or saddlebag
If however you rush out in a haste to get out on that ride, and you forget to lift those important fluids, it may also be worthwhile to carry some money.
A little money in your pocket or saddlebag would not go amiss in case you get seriously parched along the way and need to stop for some refreshments.
3. Protect your skin from the sun
Don’t forget to ensure your skin is protected.
Wear a good quality sun lotion - factor 30 at least - to protect your skin. Think about protecting the back of your neck, arms and calves, from where the sun will hit you during your outing.
If you are out all day, take a small pocket size bottle to reapply throughout the day. Sweat from all your hard work will wear away the first application so reapply to ensure you prevent sunstroke and sunburn.
4. Wear the right clothes for cycling in the heat
Wearing appropriate clothing for cycling in the sun is also important. Lightweight, sweat resistant clothing is ideal.
A lot of clothing has air vents to help your body breathe and remain cool. If there is no air vent, a top with zips can be ideal to allow your body to cool and skin to breathe. These are good items to wear during those hot days.
5. Keep your eyes protected
Eye protection is also recommended. Sunglasses that have good UV protection would be ideal to reflect the glare of the sun.
It is important to protect your eyes not only from the sun but from dust or gravel on the road and any rogue insects that fly in your direction.
6. Avoid cycling in the hottest hours of the day
It is an age old adage, but try and avoid the sun from 11am – 3pm. The hottest hours of the sun are probably best avoided to prevent dehydration and overheating.
It may be worthwhile heading out earlier in the morning or in the evening once the day has cooled; especially now we have longer and lighter days. Make the most of it.
And on that note – we hope you enjoy the summer sunshine on your bikes!
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