Riding on a Hot Day? Here’s What You Must Know!

Hey cyclists! We know how fun and rewarding it is to ride on a hot day, but there are essential riding tips you should take into account to avoid sunburn, dehydration, and other related issues. Continue reading to learn more! 

Introduction 

A woman happily posing with her bike on a hot day

A woman happily posing with her bike on a hot day

Summer is just around the corner – and this is one of the best opportunities to take your bike off your garage and hit the road. Nothing beats the pleasure you feel or the sun's feeling on your face after a long day riding on dry, clean streets. While it is good to be out during hot days and enjoy what it offers, there is a negative side.

Yes, I'm talking about the sun. This golden circle brings added challenges for the cyclists – ultraviolet damage and dehydration. Good thing, there are numerous ways you can do to enjoy the whole ride under those hot golden rays.

Possible Results of an Overheated Body 

The man riding a bike under the very hot sun

The man riding a bike under the very hot sun

Riders produce heat on a constant basis when the production of heat outstrips heat loss body temperature increases. An overheated body has a variety of stages, including:

  • Faint
  • Also called heat syncope, faint takes place when the blood is pushed to the skin, and the blood in the legs' veins is pooled, leading to a reduced flow of blood to the brain. What you see is a person that feels weak, nauseous, have heavy sweating or tunnel vision with dizziness.

  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat exhaustion is the result of salt loss and too much water. Although not totally a severe condition, it can develop to heat stroke. Hence, the casualty should be removed immediately from the heat source. You will know a person suffers from heat exhaustion if he or she feels unwell and complains about dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, muscle weakness, nausea, or thirst. The pulse and breathing may also be higher.

  • Heat cramps
  • Exercise in a hot condition along with sore muscle contractions resulted in a shortage of salt in exhausted muscles. What you only see are painful muscle spasms. 

  • Heat stroke
  • Heat stroke happens when the body mechanics of a person that is intended to conduct heat out of the body suddenly fails. This can eventually threaten your life. Unconsciousness or confusion/ a headache/delirium, quick pulse and breathing, and intense thirst are among the noticeable signs.

    What should you do to avoid these dangerous things and keep cool in hot weather? 

    There are many!

    Prepare and plan

    Before taking your bike, it is essential to plan your route and know the nearest pubs, shops, or sources of water. These are very convenient especially in the event of finding yourself running at a low point. Consider planning a direction with alternatives to shortcut or abridge your ride. If you don't get used to hot-weather planning and preparation correctly, a chance of potential injury is high.

    Avoid the hottest period of the day

    A rider struggling with the heat

    A rider struggling with the heat

    Before taking a ride, check the weather forecast first. Usually, the hottest time of the day for a bicycle trip is between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm. Thus, it is good to head out early or later to enjoy the hot weather. What makes riding in the late afternoon or early morning beneficial is that it has less traffic and quieter roads. Not to mention, you have ample of time riding on your favorite bike and enjoying the view.

    Drink enough water

    This one is crucial as it helps prevent heat stress and overcome fatigue. Do not wait for your body to feel thirsty before drinking water. A lot of sweat flows while riding, so make sure to do your best replenishing the lost fluids before fatigue occurs. Drink water before, during, and after training.

    Say no to sunburn

    A man applying sunscreen on his skin

    A man applying sunscreen on his skin

    The sun's radiation is another significant factor why it is harmful to expose too much in hot weather. Your best solution is to wear sunscreen, especially on the exposed body parts. Don't forget to put some sunscreen on your face and your neck's back as well. It is recommended to look for water-resistant and quality sweat sunblock that has at least 30 SPF and guarantees long-lasting protection.

    Wear your gears

    Lightweight clothing will do. Among the crucial gears that must be included in your list are:

    • An easy to wear a cooling vest
    • Helmet with vents wide open
    • Textile pants with vents
    • Jacket built for warm weather riding
    • Boots with appropriate protection for shin, ankle, foot, and Achilles tendon
    • Moisture-wicking socks
    • Riding gloves constructed for more ventilation

    Besides, a wicking base layer helps in removing sweat and keeping you drier all throughout your ride or tour.

    Protect your eyes

    Of course, don't forget your eye protection – goggles or sunglasses. This is for those whose helmet has no visor. These eye wear protections ensure your eyes will free from UV rays-damage as well as prevent flying insects, dirt, and dust from getting in your eyes. Not only that, people who ride on their bike for a more extended period may find goggles or sunglasses highly beneficial for protecting their eyes from UVB and UVA rays (cause sunburned eyes).

    Take breaks

    The man taking a break from a hot day under the tree

    The man taking a break from a hot day under the tree

    Refresh yourself by making frequent stops in a more relaxed setting. This allows you to go through another tank full of energy in the worst heat. You have to drink something at least each hour to avoid hydration. If the weather is scorching, drink at least half a liter of water for every hour at smallest possible, and more like 1 to 1.2 liters for every hour.

    Get wet

    Never toss down some ice cubes on your jersey – no matter how tempting it is to do so. It is not recommended at all because it can lead to tightening the blood vessels, which ultimately sprout hot blood back to the core of a person. Merely pour cool water over your forearms or neck instead. Otherwise, wipe your sweaty body with a damp, cool towel.

    Know your borders

    Do not go over what your endurance, drinking, and heat can do. Stretch yourself and experiment with various drinking strategies to make the riding a lot more fun and fulfilling. When thinking about riding a bicycle, do not just think about the fitness benefits you can get, but the condition of the environment that you are getting familiar with. Test your borders and choose the best way to approach them depending on your weaknesses and strengths.

    Do not become a victim of the heat. Hope these tips helped you in enjoying the temperature of the day riding on your favorite bicycle or motorcycle without adverse effects both on your body and skin!

    Watch: How to Ride in Hot Weather

    Conclusion

    It is not right to just enjoy riding on a hot day or having a ride under the sun; what's more important is to know various ways on how to protect yourself to avoid further problems with your skin or health.

    Beat the heat with these essential tips in mind!

    Like and share. Do you have other tips to keep fresh on the road? Share it with us below!

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