Summer time is quickly approaching which means more time under the sun and higher temps, below are a few simple tips to keep in mind to help your Summer rides stay safe and enjoyable!
Water Water Water… Keep Hydrated!
If there is one thing to remember it’s to drink plenty of water well before, during, and after your rides. Our bodies are mostly water so we need to drink water to help our bodies function properly and to best regulate our built in cooling systems. Riding in hotter Summer temps means increased sweating and faster loss of fluids through respiration, a good rule of thumb is if you feel thirsty then you are probably already close to being dehydrated, if not already. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids even well before any rides as you don’t want to begin a ride already in a near dehydrated state. For rides longer than about 45-60 minutes it is a good idea to replenish your body’s sodium levels with your favorite electrolytic drink.
Sunscreen & Sunglasses
Need we say more? Sunscreen is imperative to protecting your skin against harmful UV exposure from the sun, even on cloudy days. Choose sunscreen with an appropriate SPF rating for the amount of time you plan to be exposed and remember to reapply when necessary. Equally important is protecting your eyes from reflected UV light bouncing off pavement and other surrounding environmental features by wearing UV rated sunglasses, preferably ones contoured to the face so light can not sneak in from the sides or bottoms of your glasses and into your eyes. Polarized sunglasses are a smart purchase and provide exceptional glare reduction and increased clarity of your surroundings which makes for safer riding.
Take Breaks, Stay Cool
Avoid pushing yourself too hard when it’s hot outside, pay attention to your body and how you are feeling. If you need to rest, do it! Don’t be ashamed to not perform as well on a 95 degree F day as you would on a 65 degree F day, and again, remember to stay hydrated and be constantly sipping water — chances are if you are thirsty then you are probably already dehydrated.
Smarter Clothing Choices
Evaporative cooling is extremely effective when it is hot and dry outside, take advantage of this and wear clothing appropriate for whatever type or style of riding you are planning. Pay attention to clothing construction and look for built in features that can enhance cooling and look for high performance sweat wicking materials with ventilation. Available from some brands today is clothing that can aid in sun protection by utilizing reflective cooling as well as additional SPF protection.
When it is hot outside you are not as likely to feel like eating, with this in mind it is important to actively remind yourself to refuel with some carbohydrate-rich snacks — it does not have to be much, a favorite snack bar or some nuts or banana can go a long way to helping your body stay happy in the heat.
Plan Your Ride
One of the easiest ways to stay cool on summer rides is to simply avoid riding during the hottest part of the day, stick to riding in the early morning or later in the evening to avoid the extreme heat. It is a good idea to become familiar with sunrise/sunset times for your location so you can best plan your ride, especially if you are vacationing and away from home in less familiar territory.
Keep Cool This Summer With Help From These Serfas® Products…
Short Finger Gloves
Performance Ventilated Cycling Footwear
Bar Mounted Beverage Cup Holder
Grippy Silicone Polka Dot Bar Tape
Stylish Single & Double Pannier Bags For Somewhere To Stuff Those Oversized Beach Towels, Snacks, and Sunscreen!