One of the worst things you can do in hot weather is wear too much. Being overdressed will cause you to overheat, lose hydration and become fatigued a lot quicker than you normally would.
If the weather is going to be hot, or even just warm, consider wearing more lightweight clothing, preferably with wicking. We all know how quickly you warm up once you’re on the bike, so take that into consideration as well when you’re deciding what to wear.
As well as clothing, it’s worth investing in some summer cycling shoes. These are generally thinner and will keep your feet cooler during a long ride.
2. Stay hydrated.
During hot weather, staying hydrated is even more important than normal. You’ll be sweating far more than you would during a cooler ride, so you’ll need to replace the fluids that you’re losing regularly.
Before you head out, make sure that you hydrate well. Prepare a suitable amount of fluids to bring with you, depending on how far you’re planning to ride. If you’re not sure how much to bring, always over-prepare! During your ride, drink small amounts regularly.
It’s also advisable to take a drinks break at some point during your ride, especially if it’s a long one. This gives you a chance to catch your breath, chat with your friends and drink a good amount of fluid.
3. Avoid riding in the hottest parts of the day.
It might seem obvious, but a good way to avoid overheating is to ride early in the morning or in the evening. Typically, we’d advise organising your ride before 10am or after 4pm. Not only is it cooler during these times, but UV levels are lower meaning it’s safer for your skin and eyes.
You still need to be just as prepared for the hot weather, but you’ll avoid a lot of the hazards of riding during the hotter parts of the day. You may even get to enjoy a more peaceful ride with less traffic.
If it’s still dark or visibility is reduced during these times, remember to fit a good set of lights to your bike and make sure that you’re wearing some form of high-visibility clothing.
4. Wear sunscreen.
UV levels are often high during summer months, especially when it’s hot. Whenever you go out for a ride, protect your arms, legs, face and neck with sunscreen. This will prevent sunburn and minimise the long-term damage that UV light can cause to your skin.
We all like to get a tan, but do what’s best for your body!