Summer Riding: Hot Tips to Stay Cool
When it comes to cycling, the perks are numerous. It’s affordable, it’s eco-friendly and it’s good for your health - among many other reasons.
While we’re the biggest of cycling fans, one of the drawbacks of riding is the lack of temperature control. Chilly in the winter and sweaty in the height of summer, being exposed to the elements can take its toll when cycling in the face of extreme weather.
Let’s be honest though: riding in warm weather is the absolute best. With summer cycling high on our summer agenda, we’ve put together this list of hot tips to help you stay cool in the saddle.
Watch the Clock
Doing a lot of exercise in the middle of a hot, summer’s day can get very sweaty, very quickly. Not only that, it can be dangerous, too.
Heat exhaustion can result in nausea, palpitations and fainting, which is particularly dangerous if you’re out on the road. So if you’re intent on getting your daily cycle in throughout the summer, get up early to clock those miles, or wait until the sun has dipped a little before you hit the road.
If you’re an early bird, set off at daybreak to give yourself a decent stretch before the sun reaches its highest point. Otherwise, heading out after 3pm will still allow you up to seven hours of daylight riding, with temperatures cooling as you pedal.
Take it Easy
Ever notice the heat can really take it out of you? You expend more energy exercising in higher temperatures than you would in the cooler months, so trying to maintain the same pace or distance as you would in, say, the spring could push your body too far in the summer.
If you’re riding during the hotter parts of the day, make sure to really pace yourself and take breaks when necessary.
Plan Your Cycling Route Ahead
Getting caught in the blistering heat without the right amount of food, water or cover is not only unpleasant, it’s dangerous too. If it’s really hot outside, we recommend sticking to roads that are covered by trees or tall buildings to avoid too much exposure.
Nobody wants to end a cycle sunburnt, dehydrated and weak. Don’t be that person! Research shaded or familiar routes before you go, pack plenty of water and keep your phone on.
Stay Hydrated - and Consider Isotonic Drinks!
It sounds obvious, but a lot of us don’t drink as much water as we should at the best of times. During exercise - especially in the summer - you should remember to drink water regularly to maintain a health level of fluids required to expend energy safely.
If you’re really going for it, consider drinking isotonic sports drinks, which can be absorbed into the body faster than just drinking water. These can help replenish electrolytes lost through sweat, and help regulate your body’s fluid balance so you can cycle more safely in the heat
Wear the Right Gear
Just like cycling in winter, it’s important to hit the road wearing the right gear. It’s common sense to ensure you’re wearing lightweight materials when out in the heat, but there are also some specially designed technical gear you could benefit from if you’re out in the heat. Bicycling.com published a great article on summer cycling clothing, which features items hand - picked by editors on their test team.
It might also be worth it to invest in an aero helmet for the warmer months. Since a lot of heat is released through the head, helmets with more vents could be your best friend when it comes to keeping your temperature down.
Adding Two Wheel Gear to your cycling checklist is of course a failsafe way to stay cool during any season (we couldn’t help ourselves). But remember, if you are on the lookout for a new bike bag, Insiders receive 10% off their first order when they sign up to our newsletter.