Top tips for warm weather cycling
With summer having well and truly arrived and along with it some record-breaking temperatures, we thought we’d put together a few tips on how to best deal with warm weather cycling.
The first thing our coaches thought of was the need to stay hydrated. Whether we’re going for a 30m cruise or 5-hour cycle, the need to stay hydrated remains the same. The worst thing you can do is wait until you feel thirsty before drinking, as it’s very difficult to rehydrate while on the bike. Instead our coaches suggest regularly sipping on your drink from start to finish. In normal temperatures our coaches said they’d easily drink 1 x 500ml bottle per hour, in the heat this can double or even triple! It’s really important to take enough bottles with you and plan stops to fill them up on a ride.
Extra tips include using a sports drink with electrolytes to help replace those lost when sweating or starting the ride with a cold drink (either partially frozen or with ice cubes in the bottle).
Protecting yourself from UV while on your bike is super important, particularly when you consider how much time you can spend out on your bike. While we all love a tan, the damaging effects of sunburn can go far beyond just discomfort. Make sure you slap the factor 50 on, particularly on the most exposed areas.
Clothing is key for heat regulation and comfort when it comes to warm days on the bike. There’s absolutely loads of clever fabrics out there, like this special hot weather climbers jersey, but appropriate clothing doesn’t have to be special cycling attire. Coach Ali says “for riding my MTB in warm weather nothing beats a loose fitting pair of shorts and a lightweight loose sports T-shirt”
Whatever you’re wearing, ensure it’s lightweight, wicks sweat away well and has plenty of ventilation.
Time of ride
This is an obvious one, just because you usually head out at 10:00 doesn’t mean you have to stick to this when the temperature rises. Head out first thing or later in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. Cycle races often move start times forwards as a response to heat, so why not apply the same principle to your riding.
· Wear sunglasses, they don’t prevent overheating but they do protect your eyes and keep you more comfortable.
· Start in a damp top/jersey – it might not last all ride, but anything you can do to help your core temperature stay lower for longer is good.
· Take regular breaks – high temperatures increase stress on your body, don’t be afraid to stop and rest in the shade to cool down. This is especially key with young riders who are less able to regulate their temperature.
If you like riding your bike throughout the summer months, then why not checkout our summer camps, you can read about them here or head over to our academy page to find out more about our regular classes.