The dog days of summer are upon us – and no matter where you are in the United States, you are probably affected. Sweltering heat and humidity can make your ride miserable. As bicycle injury lawyers and bikers ourselves, we know that hitting the road when it’s 90 plus degrees out can be a challenge. Follow the tips below to make it more tolerable.
5 Tips for Cycling Through the Summer Heat
- Stay properly hydrated! This rule of thumb applies no matter what the temperature, but is far more important in the heat. Drink before your ride and take plenty of water with you. If you pack a couple of bottles, freeze one ahead of time. It will melt a bit but still be nice and cool when it’s time to drink it, and will help lower your core temperature. Remember, a hydration loss of just two percent is enough to affect your physical ability and endurance. Try to remember to drink every ten to fifteen minutes when you ride. Your body will thank you!
- Dress for the weather. Performance fabrics from companies like Uniqlo and Athleta are worth their weight in gold. They are lightweight, wick perspiration, and dry quickly. Further, they reduce stickiness and odors – a definite must-have in the heat.
- Acclimate to the temperature. Allowing your body to adjust to the heat has been shown to reduce cramps and heat exhaustion. Don’t go from biking in the cool of the evenings to riding through the midday heat. Instead, make adjustments slowly. It can take up to 14 days to fully acclimate to the heat.
- Protect your skin. A sunburn not only increases your chance of developing skin cancer in the future, but can also contribute to fatigue. As you perspire, many sunscreens will wear off your body. Either reapply sunscreen frequently, or better yet, use a waterproof and sweat-proof sunscreen.
- Be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, both in yourself and others. If you experience nausea, headache, dizziness, unusual levels of fatigue, shortness of breath, or elevated heart rate, rest and take in some fluids. If symptoms continue, seek help from medical personnel.
We are cyclists first, and bike crash attorneys second, and we ride year-round. We know that riding through the heat of summer can cramp your style (literally). Follow the tips above and, as always, if you are involved in a crash, contact the biker attorneys at Kass & Moses.