The heat of the summer is one of allies that helps you ride for hours, but also an enemy if we know we can not adapt to it… at ROTOR we want you to enjoy the summer on your bike, but we want to prevent you from making the most basic errors during summer rides.
1.NOT HYDRATING CORRECTLY. The first and most important mistake you can make in the summer is not to hydrate yourself properly. Keep in mind that sweating in high temperatures is extremely high and that we will have to drink much more often than we do in more spring type conditions. This means that in addition to carrying a couple of bottles (you can carry more if you have a place on the bike), it is convenient to check the route to know where you can stop to refill water or where there are shops or similar where you can stop to drink if you have run out. Another simple trick is to fill your bottle with water to three quarts of capacity and put it in the freezer the day before.
So when you go out, if the temperatures are very high, the ice will melt and you will drink cool water at least in the first hours of your ride or if you keep filling it up. Whenever you stop somewhere, try and fill the bottle/s to always keep them full, because you never know where you are going to be able to refill them again. As an indication, remember that for a cyclist weighing around 70kg, it is recommended to drink at least half a liter of water for every hour of exercise.
2.ALWAYS PUT ON YOUR JERSEY. Never leave home without a jersey. It may seem ridiculous advice, but there are many people who leave their jersey at home with the consequent risk of not only not staying at optimal temperatures, but also due to the possible severity of sunburn. Find the most breathable jersey you have and apply sunscreen both on the areas of the arms and legs that are exposed, as well as under the jersey if it is very thin.
Many of you will remember photos of professional cyclists with sunburned skin under the jersey. Today the quality of the jersey fabrics is at a maximum, with which they not only transpire very well, but also better maintain the temperature of the skin. Do not forget to take some sun cream with you if you go out for long periods, since it stops being effective after a couple of hours depending on the heat and extreme sweating.
3.NOT WEARING A HELMET. A helmet must always be worn. It does not matter if it is very hot, or even if you are climbing a mountain at 40 degrees. The helmet is not only the number one protection element of the bike in the event of a fall, but it will also lower the temperature of your head a few degrees from the outside. Yes, you may sweat a lot, but the effects of the sun will be much less than if you did not wear one. Another important aspect is to forget, if you have an option, the aero type helmets with few ventilation openings and use the most ventilated helmet you have.
Aero helmets prevent the head from being ventilated to the maximum and may be the cause of accelerating dehydration or even favoring heat stroke. And if you stop to wet your head in the fountain, which we recommend, be careful not to get your shorts wet. Having your head, helmet or jersey wet can help you maintain body temperature and have a greater feeling of freshness, but if you get your shorts wet and the water reaches the chamois, this can irritate your skin and you will notice a great deal of discomfort for the rest of the ride.
4.NOT PLANNING YOUR RIDES. Do not go out at 3 in the afternoon. Avoid the hours of maximum temperatures. It is that easy. In summer, between 7 and 11 in the morning and 19 and 21 in the evening are the best times to go cycling, without the external temperature being too high. You will pedal much cooler, with less traffic, if you ride on the road, and you can train in much more satisfactory conditions. Do not forget that if you go out during sunrise or sunset on the road, you must carry lights to be visible even in low light conditions.
And if for some reason, you have to go out in hours of maximum solar radiation, do not go for very long rides and in areas where there are few people, continuously hydrate yourself and apply sun protection of the highest index depending on your skin type. Regardless of the time you leave, it is always recommended to do it in company and if you do it alone, notify a family member of the route you are going to do. And always carry a phone with a battery and some cash. And wherever possible, if you do have to go out in very hot hours, take advantage of the forest and shadowy areas you have around the area where you live.
5.EATING INAPPROPRIATELY. Not only do we need water, but in addition to hydrating yourself, you have to eat, and it is convenient that the food you bring does not deteriorate too much with the heat. Carrying fruit is a good idea if you eat it in the first hour of departure, but after an hour or two the fruit is almost useless in the jersey pocket with heat and sweat. Do not abuse foods with salt, or fruit gels that when hot are not what you want to eat the most.
Take bars that do not have chocolates or similar so that they do not melt and if you have the opportunity to go through urban centers, stop to eat fresh fruit or foods that are not too heavy to digest. Fruit juices always help to recover well and do not forget that you always have to carry some food, even if you think you are not going to need it.