Beat- and enjoy- the heat with these tips for warm weather cycling
With the Summer Solstice happening now, it’s time for those warm weather rides and longer days. Summer brings new challenges to being outside, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy time in the sun, riding your e-bike. We’ve got a few simple tips that will help you beat the heat and have fun in the sun, alone or with friends and family.
It seems obvious, but it’s important to start your summer rides hydrated, and then keep hydrated. Dehydration can lead to cramps, headaches, and even contribute to heat stroke. Though it may be obvious, it’s easy to forget to drink enough. An old rule of thumb from sport is that it’s important to drink before you feel thirsty- thirst is your body’s way of telling you that it’s about to be too late! It’s also important to replace the electrolytes (salt) that we lose through sweat. This too helps prevent dreaded muscle cramps. Simple water is still highly recommended, especially if you have some snacks that contains things like salts, too.
Just like staying hydrated, it’s important to remember to refuel on longer rides in the heat, especially. Though it might not feel appetizing to eat while exercising, your body will thank you for keeping the fuel coming. Again, cramping can ruin a great day outside on your e-bike, so remember to carry or stop for snacks. Simple carbs and sugars can really make a difference- especially things like gels, gummies, and other easy to digest foods that won’t upset your stomach. Beat the bonk and keep the tank full.
Sunscreen or warm weather protective clothing.
It’s no secret that the sun’s rays can also be bad for our skin, all year long and not just during summer, but we often wear lighter or less clothing to stay cool. That extra exposure means we need sunscreen for protection- and/ or lightweight, breathable, SPF clothing. Sunscreens should be of the waterproof or sweatproof kind, and if you’re out for more than a couple hours, it’s a great idea to bring some extra to reapply during your adventures.
Dress for the conditions!
Summer riding can be made much more enjoyable by planning ahead and being ready for changing temperatures. Depending on where you are, your rides might start with a little chill in the air and then get much hotter as the sun comes out. In these cases, layering is the key to comfort. A light long sleeve shirt or jacket might be needed when you start, but then things get warm enough to ditch the sleeves. Or, maybe, afternoon rains are forecast. Being prepared with a light rain shell in your bag or carrier could be a major bonus. Planning ahead for the conditions and dressing accordingly, or having extra gear, is a great way to make sure your adventures go comfortably.
Ride earlier or later in the day.
We don’t always have a ton of options, but when possible plan rides for either in the morning or later in the day, when things are cooler. If you’re commuting to work, this might already be exactly your plan by default. If you’re out for fun and exercise, plan rides that avoid the peak of the heat. If you can’t, remember the tips above!
Hydrate after your ride too!
Don’t forget to complete the hydration process after your ride as well. Just as it’s important to keep hydrated on the bike, it’s also important to keep hydrated and refuel after riding, too. Drinks with some protein or electrolytes can make a huge difference in how you feel later in the day/ evening, or next day. If you tend to sweat heavily when you exercise, making sure you get enough water back into your body is important. If you frequently get headaches or muscle cramps after a ride, improper hydration might be a factor.
An e-bike makes life cooler in the heat!
Obviously, if you are straining less on your rides, you’ll have a better chance of remaining a little cooler in the heat. Your e-bike helps take the edge off your efforts, while enjoying your favorite summer activities. Heading to the beach? Carrying all that extra beach gear is way easier on your e-bike. Attach a surfboard carrier and hit the waves, leaving the car behind to avoid the parking hassles at crowded beaches. Hitting those trails away from the crowded beaches is easier on your e-bike too! And, getting under the trees is a great way to stay cool outside. The commute to work or school is less sweaty with the help of an e-bike, getting you to your destination fresher and drier.