Hot Weather Riding
Summer is definitely here! The sun is out in full force and the mercury is pushing 30 – and even 40 degrees in some places. It’s easy to get carried away on a Vitamin D high and think you just need to throw on a jersey and pedal out the door, but riding in hot weather requires preparation just like riding on cold days.
Here’s our advice for getting the most out of your ride on these beautiful summer days:
- This might go without saying but – DRINK LOTS! If your normal bottles are 500mL, consider picking up a few 750mL bottles for hot rides. Try and get through one 750mL bottle per hour – at least.
- Wear thin socks to avoid hot foot. During hot rides, feet tend to swell which can lead to pain and discomfort around the balls of your feet. Wearing thin socks will give your feet a little more space, and hopefully help you avoid the dreaded ‘hot foot’. If you still find you have trouble with this, you may need to look at getting cycling shoes with a wider toe box.
- Drink water AND mix. While cold water tastes delicious on a hot day, you need to be replenishing lost electrolytes. In hot weather it is best to start with two bottles of mix, and then drink a combination of water and mix as you replenish. If you don’t like the “electrolyte” options you can find at a gas station, stuff a few single serve mix packets in your pocket. If you find your clothes covered in salt after warm weather rides, try adding a little extra table salt to your bottles.
- Plan your ride. Make sure that you will have options to replenish your bottles along your route. Nothing will feel worse than ending up with dry bottles an hour away from the nearest water source on a hot day. When you’re planning your route, it’s good to have an idea of where you can stop for a re-fill.
- Sunscreen! Cyclists like to brag about their tan lines, but getting a sunburn is only going to make you slower. The stress a sun burn puts on your body takes a lot of energy out of you. Try finding a lightweight sunscreen that won’t make you sweat too much. Neutrogena makes a few that work well while riding.
- Remember to eat. When it’s hot out your appetite might go away on the bike, but you’re still working hard. Remember to eat regularly so that you don’t find yourself in a heat induced bonk.