Look at the weather! The sun is out and the mercury is rising, and it’s our first good chance to put away the jackets and tights and escape outside for a weekend of cycling! Here are our top tips for making the most of your ride when it’s really hot outside.
Of course, some of you brave souls might have been heading out in shorts since the snow cleared, but now it’s something to enjoy rather than a challenge! Whether you’re riding 5 miles or 105, there are a few things to think about to make sure you enjoy the ride (or rides, if you’re really lucky!).
No, not to celebrate the weekend… I’m sure you’re tired of being nagged to remember to take on fluids as you’re riding, but we do it because we care! Aim to get through about a bottle of fluids an hour if you’re out in hot weather. If you haven’t had enough to drink, your performance will suffer. Much more worrying, though, is that if you haven’t had enough to drink, you can put yourself at a serious health risk! Keep cool by freezing one of your bottles (make sure to leave a gap for the drink to expand if you do), or fill a thermal bottle with ice and your drink of choice.
- Put on sun cream!
We really are starting to sound like your mother now, aren’t we? Waking up on the beach to find yourself burned is bad enough, but it’s even worse to get sun burn halfway through a ride and still be a long way from home. Make sure you’ve protected yourself from the sun, and take a bit of extra sun cream to top up if you’re going to be out for a long time.
- Dress to impress
Proper cycling kit is designed to wick sweat away from your body, keeping you cool and comfortable. Making sure you’ve got some good cycling kit makes a big difference when it’s really hot. A lot of hot weather cycling kit also has mesh panels to keep you cool, and is UV protective to keep you from getting burned (and help sharpen up those tan lines!).
- Stop at a café
Now we’re talking! Café stops are always a good idea, but when it’s really hot, they also give you a chance to fill up your bottles (if you ask nicely) and sit down in the shade to cool down for a moment. You might not fancy a cake and coffee when it’s really hot, so make sure you look for one that does ice cream as well…
The great thing about cycling is that you can just get up and go whenever you like, and we don’t want to get in the way of that. However, having an idea of where and how far you’re going, making sure you’ve got drinks, sun cream (we won’t tell if it’s the special tinted one) and the right clothes and knowing where you can stop if the heat gets a bit close can make the difference between a very good time and a very bad one!
If you’re not a huge fan of the heat, or you’re going to be riding hard or climbing lots, have a think about leaving earlier in the morning and trying to fit in the climbing or efforts at the start of the ride. That way, by the time it gets hot, you’re done with the hard work and can chill out and roll home – or to your posing location of choice!
So there you go – our top tips for cycling survival when things get hot! We hope you enjoy getting out on your bike in the glorious sunshine this summer – don’t forget to head over to our cycling section if you need to stock up on any cycling gear!