Summer is finally here and much of the country is sweltering under a blue sky and roasting sun. That may sound perfect for getting out on the bike, but along with the hot weather comes the challenge of dealing with high temperatures.
In the hope that the rest of the summer is going to stay warm and dry (who are we kidding?), here are some top tips from the RoadCyclingUK team to help you enjoy the hot weather without any of the side effects which can easily ruin a ride.
A well known hydration pack company uses the slogan ‘hydrate or die’ which, while a little extreme in general, does bear some truth. On hot days you’re going to sweat a lot more and so it’s vitally important to avoid dehydration, which saps your strength and makes you feel tired and unable to push the pedals.
And it doesn’t take much to enter the throes of dehydration; if you’re thirsty, it’s more than likely you’re already nearly there. You can gauge your hydration status by the colour of your urine; a light straw colour is good, a deep yellow bordering brown a sign and you need to drink a lot more.
So, to avoid dehydration, ensure you consider how long you plan to ride in the hot weather and either take enough water with you or plan convenient stops so you can top up. Plan for about 500-1,000ml per hour of riding at a decent pace. And sip often throughout the ride, to give your body a steady flow of fluids.
For long rides it’s worth considering electrolyte tablets or energy powder to add to the water to replace those essential salts and other nutrients lost as you sweat. Also, don’t just think its important to drink during your ride, don’t forget to drink plenty before and after the ride as well.