Summer Cycling: Tips to Make it Better

Summer happens to be the best time of the year in the UK to enjoy cycling. Many people don’t like cycling during winter simply because the plunging mercuries are enough to give you goosebumps. Surprisingly, riding a bike in summer also poses a set of challenges.

UV Protection is a Must

It is advisable to wear long-sleeved Lycras that are breathable if you’re planning to go biking in the sun. It would also be handy to wear an extra skin covering. Staying in the sun can result in tanning as a four-hour biking session in the sun is enough to expose you to 20 times the UV Rays required to burn the skin.

It is also recommended to buy cycling gear having anti-UV properties. You would have to spend a little more than usual, but it’s a productive investment if you’re planning to hit the streets frequently.

Some Points to be Noted:

  • Dark shades help block UV rays in a better way than most light colours. Dark red shades are the most effective.
  • Shiny surfaces also help you keep the skin away from UV rays.
  • While buying shorts or a T-shirt, hold it up to light, if the light can pass through it, so will the UV rays.
  • You can buy hot-weather Lycras that have unique wicking properties along with mesh panels that are breathable. Also, it’d be great if you can buy vented cycling shoes.

Use a Sunscreen

As far as the sunscreens are concerned, you need an SPF 50+ sunscreen with a UVA rating of 5 if you’re planning to go biking during the peak hours. It is advisable to reapply the sunscreen frequently because the rate of perspiration would be higher than normal.

Also, make sure that you’re applying an adequate amount of sunscreen. Remember to protect your face, the back of your hands, and your neck. Apply a minimum of two teaspoons of sunscreen. The first coat should be applied around 30 minutes before you go out. The next coat would be applied while you’re mounting the gear.

Keeping the Eyes Safe

It goes without saying that staying in the sun for a long period of time can result in eye damage. Cycling in the sun poses a great risk of eye damage as the glare which is reflected from the surface below is fatal if it comes in contact with the eyes. Avoid reflective surfaces such as dust, concrete, and pale stones. Buying sunglasses with the CE Mark is recommended. The mark provides the level of protection that has been laid down by European regulations.

Staying Hydrated and Refueling Frequently holds the Key

Staying hydrated would help you keep dehydration away. It’d also help you maintain a particular level of performance. It is a known fact that 60% of your bodyweight is comprised of water. Losing a mere 2% can hamper your ability to cycle at a consistent speed. In case you lose 5%, you’d be exposing yourself to heat exhaustion. You need to drink as much water as you can. Carry more water than usual and make it a habit to drink water every 15 minutes. Moreover, if you’re undertaking a long ride, you need a sports drink to help you refuel with carbs and electrolytes. Also, remember to take a few snacks along.

Other Important Factors Are:

  • Keep waterproof layers
  • Keep an eye on the weather
  • Be careful while riding near roads with heavy traffic

Author

A keen runner, skier and nuts about cycling. Karl lives in Cumbria, where he loves encouraging his two children to follow in his outdoor lifestyle. Whilst out and about keeping active, Karl keeps a diary and shares it with Outdoor Look.

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