Hot Weather Cycling – Top Tips To Keep Yourself Cool

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Giant 2021 TCR

Riding in the heat can feel like an uphill battle. Far harder than the cool British conditions we’re used to. We’ve outlined some top tips to keep you cool in the heat and riding for longer.

Swapping the sun for the cold British winter often seems like a no brainer. But it’s not without it’s challenges when we get the few days of British summer each year.

If you’re planning on going out in the heat make sure you follow some of these tips and you’re prepared.

— SADDLE SORES – HOW TO TREAT AND PREVENT THEM —

Keep Hydrated:

It won’t come as a newsflash to learn that in the heat you lose a lot more fluids as it gets hot. And if it’s really hot a lot of it will evaporate fast leaving you with white, salty kit. Learning to keep on top of fluid and hydration will save you from cramp towards the end of a long ride.

It’s often a good idea to include electrolytes in your water to replace the salt & other minerals you’ll lose in the process of riding. Carrying a few salt or electrolyte tabs in your pocket and planning a route where you can stop to fill up water bottles or buy extra can get you out of a tricky spot.

— CYCLING CADENCE – WHAT SPEED SHOULD I PEDAL —

On a hot day you’ll get through a lot of drink, two bottles on a long ride is quite common in winter, in the summer you can get through a lot more. It’s better to keep drinking through the ride rather than only drink when you’re thirsty.

It could help to include carbs in your fluids, and definitely make sure you eat enough. If you’re pushing hard in the heat and going through a lot of fluid, it’s easy to overstep the line. So consider shortening the ride.

Dress For The Weather:

Technical gear is getting cheaper and cheaper, there’s no excuse to be wearing thermal gear out in the sun. A light wicking jersey & under layer can be a great way of keeping you cool in the heat. They’ll also help avoid the uncomfortable build up of sweat.

Technical gear is getting cheaper and cheaper, there’s no excuse to be wearing thermal gear out in the sun. A light wicking jersey & under layer can be a great way of keeping you cool in the heat. They’ll also help avoid the uncomfortable build up of sweat.

— HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO CYCLISTS NEED —

Don’t get tricked by the breeze into thinking it’s cool, the sun is still strong a lot of the time. Sometimes lightweight sleeves can help to keep the sun off your skin whilst keeping you cool. An open full length zipper will also help while you’re heading up a climb.

Spending good quality on shorts goes a long way in the summer. As they get damp with sweat they can start to rub if they’re loose fitting and chaff. Chamois cream applied before the ride can really help these areas.

Check The Roads:

Though it’s not quite as slippy as being out in ice or sideways rain, summer on the British roads presents it’s own set of issues. Slippy & sticky tarmac or lifting road surfaces can be difficult to ride across.

— HOW TO GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP FOR A GREAT RIDE —

Often the British councils use the summer months to resurface roads, so loose and slippy gravel can cause spills. Go careful if you see the road works sign!

Avoid The Rush

Avoiding the hottest part of the day is not only going to make it easier for the riding, but also keep you out of the most intense sun. These are often also the busiest time of day on the roads, so avoiding the traffic will keep you safe. Through the summer months the days are long, so you can get out early and ride back late without any issues. The early alarm will be worth it once you’re out and about!

If you do stay out late, make sure you take lights for the way back. You don’t want to be caught out at dusk with no safety. Night riding with the right lighting is a lot of fun!

— CALORIES BURNED CYCLING: THE NEED TO KNOW —

Wear Defence:

Make sure you pack your suncream! There are now a lot of great sports brands making sun cream that can stay on for the duration of the ride rather than washing straight off with sweat. Questionable tan lines that you can boast around your friends are the least of the concerns, skin cancer is a serious issue. Avoiding skin damage long term is something that should be taken really seriously.

Giant 2021 TCR

Make sure you cover the danger spots like the back of your neck, arms & nose. The front of your legs are often more in the sun that the areas on the back of your legs.

When you get home make sure you cool off with plenty of fluid, salt and a good feed. A cold shower can really help, or an icy drink… even treat yourself to an ice-cream or two!