Heading off on cycling adventures can be an awesome way to spend a summer holiday. Whether you’re setting off on a camping trip with your family and bringing your bicycles along for extra fun, or hitting the road with friends to spend some quality time in the sunshine visiting beautiful scenic spots, this country has some amazing trails and destinations to choose from. Regardless of who you’re travelling with, the key to having fun and staying safe through your summer cycling trip is preparing to keep yourself cool despite the hot summer sun.
Get the timing right. Depending on your region or where you’re heading for your mountain bike riding getaway, timing your trip well could make a major difference to how well you handle the heat. Certain areas of the country can hit extremely high temperatures during the hotter months of the year, which will make them a bad match for a high-energy activity like cycling where you already generate plenty of heat. Time your trip to avoid the hottest months or destinations, and pick a more moderate time of year, probably during springtime, to make sure you can enjoy the sun without getting too uncomfortable.
Get the right gear. Your summer cycling kit should look very different from the layers you wear during winter cycling trips. While a zip-up jersey may keep you warm if you’re cycling against a cool breeze, it’ll also allow you to zip down and let air in once you start to feel the heat. Summer-friendly helmets are also a great investment for warm weather cycling – they have more vents so they’ll let more air in and keep your head fresh and cool while you ride. You can also shop for cycling gear that’s specifically designed for warmer temperatures – these clothes will help keep perspiration off your skin and regulate your body temperature.
Bring plenty of fluids. You may not be able to load up your backpack with bottles of water, but you should aim to have a plan for keeping yourself hydrated as you cycle through the hot summer sun. Sports drinks that contain balanced electrolyte solutions are great for rehydrating your body when you’re sweating through a tough ride. If you’re travelling a longer distance, you’ll need to make sure you have rest stops planned along the way where you can access sufficient fluids so you don’t risk dehydration.
Head out early. If you tend to cycle for fitness or pleasure throughout the year and don’t want to quit just because the weather is warming up, you can always simply shift the time you head out to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Changing your regular cycle of the day or bicycle commute to work to earlier in the morning will make sure you can still get your workout in without starting the day off with an intense sweat session.
Pace yourself sensibly. The speeds that you cycle at during cool weather may need to be adjusted if you’re cycling through high temperatures. This is especially important if you’re training for a race or taking part in interval training. Remember that your body uses more energy when the temperature is high, so you may need to slow down and pace yourself to avoid injury or illness.