Every cyclist needs to adjust to the summer heat at some point.
Here in the desert, it is time to make the adjustments needed to avoid heat stress when riding your bike. So, here are a few things to keep in mind about how your body copes with heat, and what you can do to keep it cool!
Gradual Workouts – if you haven’t been biking much during the spring, it will be tough on your body to head out in the heat of summer to complete a ride. To get your body acclimated to the summer sun, make your workouts gradual. When you get out during the hottest time of the day, make sure you do a shorter route and gradually work your way up to a longer route. If time is an issue, put on a few extra layers in the morning when it’s cooler to purposefully increase the heat stress.
Hydration – the hotter it is, the more fluid you will lose throughout your ride. During a hard ride, you could lose up to 1 – 2 quarts through perspiration. Dehydration can not only make you dizzy and give you a more rapid heartbeat, but you will lose tremendous amounts of power or faint. If you know you’re going to ride on a hot day, start hydrating early in the morning! Start with at least 8 ounces before you even head out of your house. When you’re on your ride, make sure you have an appropriate hydration system. You want to carry enough water to keep your fluid levels where they should be.
Reflect Heat – it’s always good to have a wide variety of clothing items to wear for the riding conditions you will face. During the summer, you want to have light-colored breathable jerseys. Lighter colors help to reflect the sun’s rays and heat on your ride.
Types of Sunscreen – avoid oil-based sunscreens, if possible. These impede your body’s ability to sweat, which helps to keep your body cool.
No matter how you get your body acclimated to avoid heat stress, be sure to listen to it. You know your body better than anyone else. So, if you don’t feel well, take a break, grab some water, and try to find some shade. Then, head back at a slower pace. If you need any help picking out some gear for summer riding, just stop in and ask us. We’re happy to help you get the things to need to enjoy the trails this summer.