As the temperatures start to climb this summer, we wanted to pass along a couple reminders about keeping it cool out there while riding. We will touch on hydration and the proper clothing to wear when the mercury rises.
First things first and that is water. Always hydrate before going out for a ride in the summertime. As you air up your tires and lube up your chain, remember to drink a couple of 8 oz glasses of water or the sports drink of your choice before you go out. This will be a good reserve if you end up riding longer than planned.
As you are check over your bike, decide whether a standard water bottle is enough for your ride or if a hydration pack is needed. We tend to play it safe and double down on the water bottle/hydration pack in tandem. On some rides a refill is not possible, so keep this in mind as you prepare.
When it comes to clothing, keep it light and loose. Always wear light colors while riding during the summer, as dark clothing will absorb more sunlight and will bring up your core temperature. This is especially true on road rides when there is little to no canopy coverage. On the trail, it might feel a little bit cooler on those forest roads between trail segments as well.
Along with wearing lighter colors, pay attention to your clothing’s fit. During the summertime, it is important to let your skin breathe and cool down. We suggest wearing clothes that is fitted, but not tight or baggy. There is a fine line here, so do your research. Plenty of cycling companies offer both a “race” and “training” fit in their catalogues.
Now, for a couple of pro tips from the crew. Like we said earlier in the blog, we like to bring both a water bottle and a hydration pack. We fill the hydration pack with Gatorade and two water bottles with water/ice. Even the most insulated bottles can’t always handle the heat. We use the water/ice filled bottles to either refill our pack or to splash directly on our face/body.
Through experience we also have added a second set of clothing. This includes a shirt, shorts, and gloves. Due to the heat and humidity in the South, clothes doesn’t dry as quickly and can become heavy with sweat over time.
The bottom line here is be overly prepared. Dehydration can lead to headaches, confusion, and muscle cramps to name a few. Play it safe out there and gear up for the long summer days and nights! Ride on!!