Summer time is prime biking season. You get spectacular views, whether you are riding at sunrise, sunset, or anytime in between. It's easy to work up a sweat and get a good workout in, and you’re probably spending more time on vacation and there aren’t many conditions better than biking by the beach with a nice ocean breeze to keep you cool. But biking in the summer can also have its own problems. The summer heat can cause many issues and it's good to be aware of how to avoid them, and what to do if you run into them.
The first piece of advice is obvious: Wear sunscreen. Whatever skin is exposed during a ride can burn easily, and you don’t want to miss out on the next few days of riding while your skin recovers. Not only that, but without sunscreen you are at greater risk of sun poisoning; a very unpleasant experience that can lead to vomiting, skin rash, and even a visit to the hospital in some cases. Make sure to apply sunscreen before you head out, and if you are going on a long ride bring some with you so you can reapply.
While sunscreen is great at protecting you from the sun, sometimes its just not enough. On super hot summer days the sun can just be too much. Plan your trip around staying cool. Whether it be by planning a route that will take you through the shade, or by timing your ride so that it won’t be in the heat of the day, anything helps.
The most important thing to keep in mind is hydration. The better hydrated you are, the better prepared your body will be able to keep itself cool. When it comes to hydration, it's important to understand that it doesn’t start when you get on your bike, in fact it shouldn’t even start when you decide you want to go on a ride. You should start hydrating the day before you decide you want to go on a ride. This will ensure that your body has enough water stored up to keep your energy going. If properly hydrated, you may not even need to bring water on a ride. Some rides that are only thirty minutes or an hour may not be too much for your body to handle on its own. However, this is a personal comfort decision and you should always bring water on rides if you think you may need it. It is much better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Of course, the summer heat is still no excuse to not wear a helmet. That's why the XNITO helmet has ten ventilation holes to keep your head cool no matter how hot it gets. Stay safe out there, and as always Happy Riding!