What to prepare for cycling in hot summer days
You know what summer means? Warm weather, fun days with your friends and long sun fill days, the perfect cycling season. At the same time though, it is undeniable that the heat can cause some issues on your ride, so we’re here to tell you everything you need to make your next journey in the saddle the best it can be.
1. Riding early in the morning or later in the evening
An obvious way to avoid the scorch of hot summer days is to not cycle during the hottest periods of the day. With the long daylight hours during the summer, if you can easily avoid that 12-2 death zone, then do it, you’ll thank us later. Plus, cycling early or late in the day means quieter roads, giving you a more safe and peaceful time for yourself.
Noticeably, if you ride in the evening, layers are the key, you don’t want to get caught out by a cool breeze, or a spot of rain, you can always take off or add layers if you have them. If you’re enjoying the ride too much that dusk turns to dark, it’s important to carry a set of lights. Not only do they help you see, but be seen, you can always trust yourself but it’s important to be visible when cycling around other road users.
2. Dress for the weather
What you wear when cycling undoubtedly affects your performance and comfort on the bike. Especially on the hot summer days, suitable garments and accessories are great not only to protect yourself but to make your day more enjoyable.
Lightweight materials are highly recommended as they help you cool off and prevent the formation of uncomfortable sweat. Particularly a lightweight base layer with wicking properties that gets rid of the evaporation of sweat from your skin. Also, a full-length front zip always comes in handy when wanting to have a slight adjustment of your body temperature. A comfortable and well-fitting pair of shorts or pants are essential, think of the potential rubbing, yep, if you can buy quality here, do it.
Besides your body, your head releases a lot of heat. We suggest an aero helmet with more vents for hot summer months. Also don’t forget to bring your favourite pair of sunnies to not only help you see but prevent damage, dust or bugs to your eyes.
3. Protect your skin
Some cyclists take pride in the visible tan lines as a badge of honour showing how much time they spent on the saddles. However, tan lines aren’t always the best since effectively getting lightly burned drains your energy and increases the chances of skin cancer. Hence, wear (waterproof) sunscreen on your exposed body parts: face, arms, legs, shoulders and the back of your neck. Tees and shorts with built-in SPF protection are a bonus point. Don’t be afraid to go Factor 50. Keep topped up every two hours to avoid any nasty sunscreen-less gaps.
4. Keep hydrated
Summer rides in the sun are fun, as long as you’re not dehydrated! The direct heat from the sun, that you’re constantly exposed to while cycling increases your body temperature and makes you feel thirsty faster. Remember to equip yourself with a bottle of water and sip a little and often during the ride, or if you’re really nifty, get a Hydration Bladder, for that bottle-free experience. Aside from the standard thirst-quenching drink, watery fruits such as watermelon and grapes are a great source of hydration. Along the route make sure to replenish on any liquids or snacks when you’re nearing to run out, you don’t want to get caught out with nothing around and nothing in the backpack!
5. Consider the route
Direct sunlight causes quicker dehydration, a hotter and sweatier you and more likely sunburns. Hence, if possible, opt for alternative routes where you can get more coverage from the sun. Roads with trees alongside or city streets with high-rise buildings are optimal choices. At the same time, beware of wet roads after summer storms since they can be very slippery and greasy, especially under dense trees.
With the longer sunny days that summer offers, spending time outdoors and enjoying what the world has to offer should not be passed on, especially, when such freedom is experienced on two wheels! At Reid, we offer no barriers to this kind of freedom, meaning we keep costs down, as the joy of cycling and being free should be accessible to everyone. We design and manufacture premium quality, affordable bikes for every kind of rider: novice to experienced, casual to obsessive, style-conscious to technically-minded.
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