It's true, riding in a summer heatwave it's not every cyclist's cup of tea, but it's not all that bad if managed properly. Actually, some might say than rides in a scorching weather can be far more pleasant than rides in freezing cold conditions, when you know how to overcome the season's challenges.
We've put together six of the most important tips we've gained through our own experience We hope they will prevent you from falling into the pitfalls of cycling in hot and humid conditions.
Heat acclimatization is the adaptive process where the human body physiologically adjusts to higher temperatures. For a cyclist, in particular, it represents the process of riding and performing trainings on hot summer days. If your calendar is marked down with an upcoming cycling event, make sure you give your body a chance to acclimate with the summer's high temperatures and humidity. Specialists suggest to combine cooler, longer rides (in the morning) with hotter, shorter ones (in the afternoon) until your body adjusts to new weather conditions. This process can last up to two weeks.
Protect your skin from sunburn
Protect from sun heat at all costs. Not only will dry up your skin (hence, more dehydration) but increase your metabolism leading to a raise in fluids, which can turn into a problem on a canicular day. Wear always sunscreen, sunglasses, cycling caps under the helmet and arm skins with built-in sun protection.
What to wear?
Needless, to say, wear special kits from materials especially created with UV protection, with wicking features and thermoregulation. Basic kit should include: baselayer, summer jersey, summer bibs, socks and cap.
From our range of products, we recommend our summer products:
Keep your body temperature under control
On top of a highly performant gear that helps you wick the sweat away, would help to be proactive in keeping your temperature under close control. When you feel your body heat spikes, you can put wet cloths with cool water over the neck hands or simply wipe yourself with it.
Don't over do it
In some cases, all the do's dont's are not enough and your body will start underperform. For rides during canicular days, try to avoid the hottest hours of the day, cut in half your racing time and ride more on plain roads. Also, to the last part of your ride, in the last ten minutes, it's best to reduce the speed, hydrate with water filled with ice, spin in the shadows to help your body overcome smoothly the internal high temperature.
Hydrate, the right way
Dehydration can reduce significantly your performance rate, especially on hot weather. For rides that take more than 1h, prepare 2 bottles of water and for the even longer ones, above 3-4h, also consider sports drinks to replenish the carbohydrates and electrolytes reserves. The water can be frozen over the night before or add ice to it for lowering down your body temperature. Remember that, the dehydration process begins long before you feel thirsty, so make sure you drink regularly, even though the thirst hasn't kicked in yet.
With this thought in mind, you might like our latest accessories: two water bidons and the musette bag carry on, for keeping your things at reach.