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Hot Weather Cycling Tips

Who doesn’t love cycling with the sun on your face and a warm breeze behind you? But hot weather cycling can also leave you overheated and dehydrated. Here are our top tips for enjoying riding your bike in the summer…

Stay hydrated

In hot weather you lose moisture even during your normal daily movements. If light perspiration evaporates quickly you may not even notice feeling sweaty, but when you’re exerting yourself on a bike you could rapidly find yourself dehydrated unless you increase the fluids you consume throughout the day.

Drinking to your thirst is a good guide outside of exercise but the only way to be sure you drank enough while cycling is to weigh yourself before and after your ride. For every 1kg of weight lost during hot weather exercise you need to replace 1.5 litres of fluid within the next 2-6 hours. A little bit of carbohydrate in your bottle, or as solid food, not only gives you energy but also speeds up hydration.

When it’s hot and you’re sweating a lot, taking on electrolytes – such as sodium –becomes critical to replacing the salts you’re losing. If you notice white marks on your clothes or helmet straps this is a good indication that you’re losing a lot of salt. An electrolyte sports drink can help address this, or you could eat salty foods washed down with plain water.

Wear sunscreen

Cyclists love a sharp tan-line – it’s one of the subtle ways of boasting about how many hours you’ve spent on your bike in the sun! But when you consider the length of time you spend outside on your bike, it’s vital to never skimp on sunscreen.

The tops of thighs, backs of hands and backs of ears get a lot of sun exposure while cycling so make sure they’re well protected. When you apply cream be careful to apply it high up on your legs and arms in case your jersey or shorts move up as you ride. And remember to apply cream to your chest and neck if you unzip your top to get some air. Cyclist Brian Morris shared his story of skin cancer with Cycling UK in the hope that more bike riders would become aware of the dangers of cycling in the sun.

Watch out for bugs

Summer brings out the flowers – and with them come the wasps and bees. Unzipped jerseys and helmet vents seem to act as a kind of funnel, perfect for scooping stinging insects into, especially when riding fast downhill. For most people wasp and bee stings are nothing more than uncomfortable and annoying but for others it can result in anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is potentially life-threatening and requires emergency treatment. About 3 per cent of people who are stung by a bee or other insect quickly develop anaphylaxis. You may notice severe swelling, difficulty breathing and a weak rapid pulse. If this happens to you or a rider you are with then you must act quickly, with the first step being to phone 999 or 112. Road Bike Rider has further advice on actions to take if you are stung.

Check the weather

Checking the weather report is just as important in summer as winter. A good weather forecast will give you the UV Index as well as the temperature and wind direction, all important factors in planning your ride and what to wear. In very hot weather it is wise to choose the cooler parts of the day to cycle and avoid midday sun. Hot weather can also be a prelude to storms and heavy rain so take note that there may be ominous rain clouds over the horizon even if the sky looks clear.

Wear the right clothing

While summer cycling kit is more minimal than winter layers, choosing the right kit still requires some thought. Look for lightweight and light-coloured materials that take sweat away from the skin to keep you dry and cool. Avoid normal cotton socks or T-shirts that will hang onto sweat and leave you feeling clammy. Even in summer wind chill can be an issue if your skin is damp from sweat or summer rain. To avoid this carry a thin windproof jacket that you can slip on at the top of climbs or if the weather changes. An extra layer is also handy for impromptu pub or café stops!

Protect your hands with thin or short fingered gloves that will help you keep a grip on the bars if you start to sweat. Sunglasses aren’t just for keeping the sun out of your eyes and posing, they’re also safety kit – grit or bugs in your eyes can cause real damage and with more flying insects around in summer, getting a decent pair of wraparound shades is essential.

Have fun in the sun!

British summers are ephemeral – blink and you might miss them! Make the most of every sunny day by getting out on your bike. Don’t forget to share your sunny riding shots on our social media channels.

For more information about our services or to start your claim, call 0808 100 9995 and speak to one of our specialist solicitors. We’re here to help. You can email us or schedule a callback.






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