It is officially summer in Australia, which means hot, humid days for all. But just because the weather is sizzling doesn’t mean your bike needs to be parked in the garage until the cooler winds comes back.
There are several things you can do to keep your core temperature lower this summer, allowing you to ride through the heat and maintain your fitness levels.
Ride in the early AM. The coolest time of day is sunrise so if you’ve got the motivation to pull yourself out of bed in the early morning then definitely do it. An added bonus is that you get your exercise out of the way before you even realise it.
Drink cold fluids. Don’t leave home without your trusty water bottle in hand and make sure you slip in a few ice-cubes to keep your water cool and drinkable. If you know you’re heading out for a long ride consider taking a drink with electrolytes to replace the salts you lose through sweat, and if you want the ultimate cool drink, freeze your water bottle the night before so it can melt as you ride.
Wear the right clothing. Choose your riding outfit carefully, making sure you pick clothes that will allow perspiration to evaporate quickly. If you can, opt for spandex or Lycra as they have superior moisture wicking properties, keeping you cooler and dryer in the long run.
Wear sunscreen. Don’t forget to protect your skin this summer. Lather up in a water-resistant sports sunscreen to avoid sunburn and sunstroke. Another benefit to this is that sunscreen can decrease your skin and body temperature, so you stay cooler during your exercise.
Slow down. If you’re cycling to commute to work or to get from point A to point B then simply slow down. Take regular breaks and sip your water, stop off at a coffee shop for a cool drink and take tree –lined, shady streets if you can. Most importantly, remember to smile at other cyclists and make the most of being out in the glorious Aussie weather - before you know it the rain will be here!