It’s hot outside and you want to go for a bike ride. But what should you do if it is really hot out? Should I just not ride my bike at all? The answer is no! You have options. In this article, we will discuss the best ways that cyclists can stay cool during the hottest time of the year and some best practices from Nomad (Canadian Cycling Specialist).
If you are biking on a road, avoid riding during the middle of the day. Early or late in the afternoon is ideal. This gives you more time to ride since it’s not as hot outside yet and there will be fewer cars on the road at these times than later in the morning or after work hours.
Maintain a steady pace. It might be tempting to push yourself and ride harder on a really hot day, but this is actually more taxing on your body than riding at a slower speed for the same amount of time. Riding faster will only make you sweat more quickly without making much progress towards your destination.
Include plenty of stops along the way in order to take some time to cool off. Do this as often as you need in order to feel refreshed again and continue riding. In between these stops, find shady areas where you can rest for a bit without getting too hot.
Do not stay out on the road after dark if it is still really hot outside at that point and ride only during daylight hours.
If you are biking through the woods, find shaded trails to ride on so that fewer of your body parts will be exposed directly to the sun. Also, go for routes with lower hills or flat terrain rather than steep climbs where it is even hotter because there is less wind and more direct sunlight hitting you as compared to flatter surfaces.
If you are biking at the beach, consider going to a different location for your ride. Riding along sand will increase how hard it is because of all that extra effort required just to keep moving forward. If this is not an option and you want to stay by the ocean anyway, focus on areas where there might be some wind like dunes or at the water’s edge.
Avoid riding in the middle of a road that is not shaded or along train tracks where there will be no shade whatsoever and most surfaces reflect heat back up towards you. Also, try to avoid biking on roads with large numbers of vehicles since these areas tend to get hotter than other spots because there are so many cars all adding heat to the area.
If you are biking on grass, pick trails that lead through open areas with plenty of sun exposure where there is also some wind. This will help keep you cool while keeping your ride interesting too! Also, find mostly flat terrain or gentle slopes so that it won’t be as hard for you to get up a sweat.
When you’re done riding, take a cold shower or bath as soon as possible and drink lots of fluids to replace what you’ve lost while cycling. Eat foods that are high in water content like fruits and vegetables, too.
Now that you know the best ways to stay cool while biking on really hot days, go enjoy your ride!