We have been waiting throughout the long cold winter for summer cycling season. Here are a few summer cycling tips to help you stay safe and hydrated during those long summer days cycling.
More daylight means you can start cycling earlier
During the peak summer days when the blistering summer heat nearly melts the asphalt beneath your tires consider starting your cycling at daybreak. The sun is rising in the sky earlier so take advantage of the cool mornings by starting your ride at the start of the daylight hours. You can get in a good 4-5 hours before the sun sits high in the sky and provides no reprieve.
You can take advantage of longer days by cycling in the evening
If your early morning ride was just not enough wait until the hottest part of the day passes by taking a bit of a siesta. Starting your ride after 3 pm will still allow you 5-7 hours of daylight riding with temperatures cooling through the evening hours.
Save the high intensity training for cooler hours
The heat of summer can be brutal, you will not be able to pull the same speeds and distances in the summer as you were accomplishing in the spring. Remember to pace yourself to avoid heat stroke. If you are training for a race shorten your interval training windows to reduce overheating and bonking.
Dress for the weather
Wearing the right clothing can make a difference in your comfort and your performance. Wear full zip jerseys that can be opened up for cooling as needed. Choose to wear helmets with more vents, to release more heat. Make sure clothing is lightweight and when appropriate wicking to provide a cooling effect while riding. Remember to watch for summer storms that can pop up in a flash. You do not want your body to cool too fast when overheating! Periodically splashing off with cool water is ok and will help you stay cooler, but riding though a torrential downpour with the rain coming from high elevations the water can be too cold for comfort in just a short time.
This is not optional – protect your skin! Skin cancer from the harsh UV rays is a real thing. Make sure you clothing has built in SPF protections and that you use a quality waterproof sun block. Be sure to adequately use on neck, arms, legs, and any other places that may be open to the sun’s rays.
Proper hydration starts before your ride and continues in the hours after as well. In addition to cool fresh water be sure you are replenishing your salts and electrolytes with hydrating sports drinks. Plan to drink 20-24 ounces for each hour of your ride, pay attention to your body as you may need more based on your physical build. After your ride refuel your body with recovery sports drinks containing sodium and potassium to help you rehydrate faster.
Change up your route
Summer is not the time to choose the sunny side of the street. Plan your route for optimal shade based on the time of day. Also you can look at routes that do not have you riding directly into the sun. You can look for higher elevations that may have the additional bonus of a cross, tail or headwinds (though not everyone’s favorite choice). Even in the city the buildings can provide a shaded route. If you do choose to cycle into the evening be sure you wear bright clothing and have proper lighting to stay visible.
We hope these tips help you have a safe summer cycling season and we look forward to seeing you on a Great Bike Tour this summer! To check out our available destinations visit https://greatbiketours.com/