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Summer Burner: How to Survive Hot Days on a Bicycle

By Adam Marsal

Summer is in its second half, but the heat won’t subside in most European countries any time soon. This kind of weather is due to continue so it’s never late to repeat basic rules to keep when you want to survive cycling in a heatwave.

Keep hydrated

In such a weather, we simply sweat increasingly more, which is no surprise after all. This leads to a situation when we lose more liquids and it’s harder to estimate how dehydrated we get. The worst thing we can do is start drinking the moment we get thirsty as this means it’s already too late to keep the hydration level in check. It’s highly recommended to have a few sips from the first minute on the bike. Adding electrolytes to your drink will help with replacing those you lost through sweating, which will prevent your muscles from cramping. You can keep your drink chilled for longer by putting ice cubes in the bottle.

Shorten your rides

No matter how enthusiastic you are, the heatwave might squeeze liquids out of your body like a juice extractor. Keep in mind that an accidental heatstroke could keep you off the bike for some days to come, so if you want to cycle as much as possible, consider chopping the overall distance of your actual ride in order to stay fit.

Wear sunglasses

Everyone does it as a shield against bugs, however, the 100% UV filter will fight dangerous rays that might harm your eyes even worse than most annoying insects.

Don’t forget the sun lotion

Showing sun-tanned stripes to amused colleagues in the office is a part of any cyclist’s pride, however, each game has its limits. There’s a risk of skin cancer and getting sunburnt is also not a good outlook because once your skin absorbs too much ultraviolet rays, you’d hardly cycle the other day without a great struggle.

Wake up early

This is an advice most of us will simply laugh off but as far as all the basic rules go, this one makes the most sense. Starting at 5.30 AM even in August means you’ll enter your ride with the dawn making you able to complete your 100k portion before the gruelling heat hits your neighbourhood.

Drink after the ride

It’s hard to withstand a call for a cool beer after the ride. Although one or two might still be all right, more skittles downed would worsen the body dehydration. Instead of alcoholic beverages, sip fruit juices or lemonades. The more, the better, even if that means you should have forced yourself to a higher liquid consumption.