As the temperatures rise sometimes it can be difficult to motivate yourself to leave the comfort of the air conditioning and get outside to ride. You could be sitting in your 65 degree living room, drinking a cold beer, and watching the Tour de France, but instead you are going to head out into the blazing heat to put in some intervals and climb some hills. Sounds appealing, right? The heat can drain the life right out of you, as well as much of the water in your body. So how can you survive the scorching summer sun and not turn into a human puddle out on the roads?
- Plan your rides out based on the roads with the most shade. Your map may wind up looking quite crazy when you upload it to Strava, but avoid those roads that will keep you roasting in the sun at all costs!
- Wake up earlier! Get out and ride at the coolest part of the day before the sun has a chance to heat up the air and the pavement! You can ride in the evenings too when the sun it less intense, but the coolest time of day is usually around 6am.
- Fill a stocking or sock with ice and put it in the back of your jersey. You are going to be soaked with sweat anyway, so why not mix it with some cool melting ice that will at least help to keep you from overheating for a while.
- Buy some thin summer weight cycling clothing. Not all short sleeved jerseys are created equal, some are made of thick material that doesn’t breathe well, while others are light, airy and will allow more airflow over your body as you ride.
- HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! Drink more water or electrolyte drinks than you think you need. You will be sweating a ton, so bonking from dehydration is a real possibility. Make sure to hydrate well after your ride too.
- Keep your stops to a minimum! When you are moving you are getting that nice breeze that makes a ninety-degree day feel like a seventy-five degree one, once you stop moving the temperature will seem to jump up to blazingly hot within seconds.
- Invest in a lighter weight and more breathable helmet. Allowing for more airflow to pass over your head will make it so that less sweat is dripping into your eyes and will make you feel ten times cooler and more comfortable on those hot days.
- All of your rides should start and/or end at an ice cream or frozen yogurt shop. Plan your route strategically so that you can finish with a sweet icy reward. You are out there in the heat riding as many miles as you can so you’ve earned a big ice cream sundae! YUM!