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Cycling in the heat

Cycling in the heat
Photo by Christian Chrome / Unsplash

Get ready for the hottest rides

Once again, we have managed to break records - but unfortunately this is no reason for joy. With a global average temperature of 16.95 degrees, July 2023 was the warmest month ever recorded, and there is currently no real sign of improvement. In short: It was hot. And it's going to stay hot for now. The great heat was also an issue at this year's Tour de France During the stages in southern France, air temperatures of over 40 degrees were measured. And on the asphalt, that quickly turns into 60 degrees - the poor peloton groaned in the face of this oppressive heat.

Now you may not drive a Tour de France and have the possibility to switch your bike tour to another day if it's 40 degrees out. Nevertheless, we all want to be able to pursue our favorite activity (cycling. duh.) despite the high temperatures. So here are the buycycle tips for cycling in the heat, so you can enjoy your next summer Ride . And even though most of them may seem obvious to you - they are vital. So let's take a look at the whole heat 1x1 again, instead of underestimating or forgetting something.

Triathlon competition - Road cycling
Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

1. Stay hydrated. Surprise.

Drinking enough is actually the solution to just about everything: it helps against headaches, against stomach aches, against dizziness, against everything. That's why you can't repeat yourself often enough when you play the same old song: Drink. Enough. Water.

That applies in every situation and also on every bike tour but it's even more important in hot weather. Often we do not feel enough thirst at high temperatures. And once it does arrive, we/ve already skipped our drinks for way too long already. But don't drink a whole liter of water, apple spritzer or iso all at once, rather take a few sips at regular intervals. For example, 100 milliliters every 20 minutes is a start.

Juice spritzers with a water-fruit ratio of 2:1, iced tea, or good old water are good choices. In the latter, it's best to add a little salt, as our bodies lose plenty of it when we sweat. Or fill your water bottle directly with an electrolyte solution that provides your body with (almost) everything it needs.

2. Eat well. After all, your drink needs company.

Not only your thirst, but also your appetite is much too quiet in the heat. Once again, looks (or feelings) deceive: your body needs extra energy to cope better with the additional stresses of the heat. So remember to eat enough food, pack bananas for magnesium, your favorite energy bars or kill two birds with one stone with one of the carbohydrate drinks from Ministry of Nutrition. They have their own "Heat" line of beverages that are designed for the high water loss that occurs when riding in the heat.

A cyclist taking a drink at sunset.
Photo by Chris Kendall / Unsplash

3. Protect your skin: sunscreen.

Even if it's a nuisance sometimes, put on sunscreen. All over your body and with a sunscreen with a sun protection factor 50. Ideally it is also waterproof, so that you can still protect yourself even if you break out in a sweat.

So put sunscreen on your legs, arms, neck and face properly and don't forget your hands and lips, as the skin is particularly sensitive here. Those of you who are bald should be aware of the sun's rays that hit you through the vents in your helmet and provide sufficient protection. And those who wear mesh jerseys (see tip 6) should also apply sunscreen under their clothing.

4. Protect your eyes: sunglasses

The sun can be dangerous not only for your skin, but also for your eyes. To protect them, but also for the very practical reason of having a better view in glaringly bright light, you must not forget your sunglasses. Remember that the lenses should have a UV protection of 400, so that they actually work. Last but not least, make sure your sunglasses fit snugly and tightly. Nothing is more annoying than having to constantly push the temple of the glasses back up your nose when riding at full speed.

5. Insect protection & tick check. Remain untouched.

Insects, especially the little mosquitoe beasts, love moisture and heat, and your sweat is basically a formal invite for them. So covering yourself in a cloud of anti-mosquito spray (please don't inhale that though) after applying sunscreen should protect you from the bloodsuckers' flirts. In some areas you should also arm yourself against ticks. In that case you should also check your entire body thoroughly after the trip to make sure that nothing has bitten you. Ticks love soft and thin skin, so take an extra close look at your chest, stomach, back of the knees and loin area.

6. Mesh clothing. Stay cool in the wind.

Clothes make the man. And the cyclist too, even in the heat. In the sun, light clothing is ideal and it's best to go straight for breathable mesh jerseys and shorts. They are lighter, let air and wind through and cool your skin. Riding topless may sound like the most refreshing solution, but it's actually more stressful for your skin and body.

Photo by Munbaik Cycling Clothing / Unsplash

Covering your head is a must, but if you have an inch of cyclist's decency, you'll be wearing a helmet on anyway. That's enough in most cases. If you sweat a lot on your head though, you can put a wet cloth under your helmet on your forehead, which will keep the sweat out of your eyes and can be moistened every time you take a break. This also cools your head!

7. Plan your route accordingly. Shade and water are your friends.

This may not work on the way to work but it's best to plan the route for your tour so that it leads you through shady spots, forests or long avenues. This will keep you cooler and protect you from sunrays. Also... Skip the long climbs if it's 35 degrees out...

If you then even take a break at a lake, stream or river, you deserve a medal in summer route planning. Here you can recharge your batteries and cool off in peace (but don't jump directly into the cold water, that will crash your circulation). Speaking of proper breaks: You should definitely take more of those than usual. Your body needs that extra breather.

8. The early bird does not catch a heat stroke

The highest load of heat and sunshine is between 2 and 5 p.m. So get up extra early to take advantage of the early, cool morning hours or take a short tour into the darkness in the evening. Be sure to avoid the midday sun and take a long break here. If you want to bike all day, take it easy in the afternoon.

9. Heat training

Before you venture out on your first longer heat tour, you should have already gained experience with many short tours in high temperatures. Take it slow and prepare your body for the special challenge!

In short: Take care of yourself. Always when cycling, especially when it's hot. Don't underestimate the load, listen to your body (except when you're not thirsty or have no appetite, because you'll still be shooting up) and don't overexert yourself. Then even a hot tour will be an unforgettable one. For further questions about cycling in the heat please contact our team is always there for you, everything else around the topic bike you will find on the blog. And the perfect bike for your heat tour is of course available at buycyclePre-owned and up to 60% cheaper. Browse through once, we wish you: Happy browsing, happy cycling! Stay cool.