The combo of heat and humidity here in middle TN can make summer cycling a bit challenging. We generally log most of our miles in the summer and with all this riding, we need to be sure to protect ourselves from the nasty things the heat brings on…dehydration, leg cramps, sunburn, saddle sores…to name a few.
Most of the nuisances of heat are preventable with a bit of preparation. For instance, ride early in the day or later in the day to avoid the hottest temperatures, hydrate before, during and after a ride, protect your skin with sunscreen and protective clothing, acclimate to the heat gradually, use chamois cream and wash your shorts right after you ride, replace electrolytes…
Here are some links with tips plus the science behind why we need to do certain things to stay cool & safe in the summer.
How to Deal with the Heat
How to Prevent Muscle Cramps
How to Prevent Saddle Sores
Cycling and Dehydration
How Dehydration Affects Your Cycling and Tips for Avoiding It
Heat Stroke: Symptoms and Treatment
Tips for Protecting Yourself from the Sun
How to Recover After a Hot Ride
Or, you might want to try one of these tips from the staff of Bicycling Magazine. A poll was taken to determine the best ways to cool off mid-ride. The results were: 42% jump in a swimming hole, 33% eat a popsicle, 17% stop for a cold beer and 8% dip your head in a kiddie pool. Popsicle anyone?