With the sun shining bright and the temperatures climbing, the road is ripe for riding but are you ready? Nothing drags you down like bonking in the heat, and the last thing you want is to lose valuable riding time thanks to an avoidable issue. In today's post, we'll walk through a few easy things you can do to make sure you spend summer in the saddle and not nursing yourself back to normal.
First up, protect your skin! The sun's rays are sneaky; warm, comforting, and slowly killing your skin cells. A bad enough sunburn can keep you out of comission for a while, not to mention the long-term downsides to not keeping your outer-layer healthy and happy. Before you roll out in the sunshine, slather on some sunscreen to keep your skin safe.
Doctors recommend anything over SPF 30+, but use whatever works for you (and don't forget the back of your neck! It's super exposed when you're hunkered down over the handlebars).
Next up, hydration! The sun makes you sweat, and sweat uses up your body's H2O, that's just science. Most riders have a story about getting caught out on a ride without water, and the resulting struggle to get home is usually enough to make sure it never happens again. Luckily for you, you can learn from our mistakes and always be sure to strap on some sip-ables before you roll out.
Most pros recommend drinking a bottle (22oz) of water for every hour you're out in the sun. Just be sure to space it out; 22oz over the course of an hour does a lot more good than downing the whole bottle in 3 gulps after you've started to feel the effects of dehydration. And if you drink a bottle of water before you even set out, you'll have some moisture in reserve and hit the road ready, right from the start!
And the last thing you want on a scorching day is to be stuck on the side of the road waiting on some spares. Make sure you've got everything you'll need to handle common road-issues so you can spend your sunny time in the saddle and not sitting on the curb. Toss a patch kit or spare tube (or both) in your bag along with a travel pump and multi-tools so you can be ready, no matter what the road throws your way.
Plus, being able to help out other stranded riders is a karma-goldmine and a great way to make ride-buds. You might not always need to use your prep-kit, but one day the ride you save might be your own.
Now get out and enjoy the sunshine! We'll see you out there.