Cycling in hot weather can be challenging, as it places extra demands on the body. Here are some tips to help keep cool on hot day.
Wear the right gear
There is now a wide range of specialist cycle clothing available to help you beat the heat. Wear light sweat-wicking materials, which will dry out quickly and prevent you from feeling clammy and uncomfortable on your ride.
Sunglasses are recommended to protect your eyes from UV rays, and also to shield them from dust and bugs. Lightweight fingerless gloves will help to protect your hands from blisters, and from becoming slippery with sweat. Don’t forget to apply sunblock to all exposed areas of skin.
Take plenty of water
Dehydration is the biggest problem in hot weather, as sweating is the body’s first line of defence against overheating. It’s essential to bring a water bottle that can be attached to the frame of your bike. Take regular small sips throughout your ride, rather than wait until you are thirsty, and take a long glug all at once.
If you are going on a long ride, plan your route so that you can stop off for a refill at some stage. As your body loses essential minerals as well as water through sweating, some cyclists prefer to take drinks which have electrolytes added. These occur naturally in coconut water and fruit juice, and you can also buy infused sports drinks.
Avoid the midday sun if you can
They say only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, and this applies to cyclists too! If you can, plan your bike rides for the early mornings or later in the evenings, when the sun is not at full strength.
To avoid overstraining yourself in hot weather, you may like to consider using a lightweight electric bike, which can take a lot of sweat out of the pedal work!