There’s nothing like riding your bike in warm weather. The sun is so inviting you can’t help yourself. That’s no reason to neglect your health and wellbeing, however. Here are some tips for how to survive cycling in the heat.
1. Wear the Right Clothing
Carefully choose an outfit that keeps you cool when riding. Thin fabrics are best as they draw sweat away from you, so it evaporates. Lighter colors are suitable for hot weather, but some clothing companies have clothes of all colors that work to reduce heat absorption, so you stay cool.
Staying hydrated is an essential part of doing anything in warm weather. You might drink a lot of water while riding, but how hydrated are you in the hours before a bike ride? Ensure that you stay hydrated all day long, before, during, and after a bike ride. Try drinking sports drinks with extra electrolytes so that you also have the proper fluid balance. Keep an eye on how much you sweat too. Some people sweat more sodium than others, meaning they have it harder than others. Check your gear for white rings, which are a sign of salt in your sweat.
3. Get Acclimated
While you can get used to riding in the heat, everyone adapts at their own pace. Several factors affect how your body adjusts to temperature changes. It’s good to practice your hydration and cycling strategy ahead of time and do some light training to get used to the increased temperature. Consider heat training at home by taking hotter showers. You’d be surprised at how much it helps.
4. Pace Yourself
Riding a bike in hot weather causes problems for your body. You already have a higher core temperature due to the external temperature, and exercising raises it even more. A core temperature increase of just one degree is enough to kill your exercise efforts. Pacing yourself is the key to success with training, but it’s essential in hot weather. Don’t be afraid to work less and keep an eye on your heart rate in hot weather.
5. Timing Is Everything
While you won’t have much choice regarding when you ride for an event or competition, you’ve got plenty of control over personal bike rides. It makes sense to choose the coolest time of the day for your ride. Hop on your bike early in the morning or a little after sunset for a cool ride. Getting out of bed that early may take some extra effort on your part, but the benefits of such an active start to the day are worth it. Consider taking an evening bike ride for that idyllic summer evening. Go with the flow and ride at a time that suits you and your schedule.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself while riding your bike this summer. Wear sunscreen and stay hydrated before and after your bike ride to stay safe.