The temperature is slowly climbing and the days are getting longer which can only mean one thing: spring has nearly arrived and summer is just around the corner! It’ll soon be time to ditch the layers and head out in a short sleeve jersey and shorts.
While nothing beats riding in the sun, it’s important to be careful. Leave yourself too exposed and you could find yourself sunburnt, dehydrated, or worse. So, here are a few top tips to help you keep the UV rays at bay when you’re enjoying your cycling time.
Always wear sun cream!
If the sun decides to show up, start applying sunblock before you even leave the house.
Remember, the SPF isn’t about the level of protection that the sun cream offers, but instead how long you can stay out in the sun before it starts becoming less effective. If you’re not sure which SPF number you need for your skin type, then you can find out more at the Skin Cancer Foundation. It’s always worth remembering that sun cream will protect against UVA/UVB rays but is never 100% effective at preventing sunburn or skin cancer, so try and spend time out of the sun, especially at midday or on completely cloudless days.
Grab some shade…
Even if it’s only slightly sunny, take more breaks when riding than you usually would. Getting out of the sun completely every now and again is the best way to guard against sunburn, so use that as an excuse for a well-deserved break!
…and grab some shades!
Sunglasses not only help to keep direct sunlight and glare out of your eyes (therefore making your ride a lot safer), but also help to protect your eyes from damaging UVA and UVB rays. Don’t be tempted to go for a cheap pair picked up on holiday, as there’s no guarantee that they’ll offer any protection at all. Buy from a trusted retailer and look for the CE mark, which shows that they adhere to European safety regulations.
If you already use clear glasses to keep out wind, rain, insects and everything else, then a set of Ridge Interchangeable Lens Glasses are a great option. Designed to help cyclists in varying weather conditions, you can simply click in the shaded lenses when the sun comes out.
Additional heat from the sun means you’ll dehydrate faster as you sweat, so keep fluids in by taking additional water for your ride. Consider adding an additional water bottle holder if there’s space on your frame, and possibly upgrade to a larger water bottle. You don’t have to be out very long to become dehydrated quite quickly.
If you don’t already have a water bottle, then check out the CamelBak Podium Chill Water Bottle. With double-walled insulation, your ice-cold water will stay cooler for longer – much better than having to force down water that feels like it’s approaching boiling point in the sun!
If it’s especially hot and you’re working hard up hills, then consider using SIS GO Electrolyte sports drinks. Use these scientifically developed drinks to replace the key electrolytes lost in competition rides, training rides, or from simply exercising in the heat.
We know that the last thing you’ll want to do is put a long-sleeved jersey on if it’s a red-hot day, but if you’re going to be climbing and descending, you’ll probably want to cover up to avoid getting too cold anyway. Try and keep as much of your skin out of direct sunlight as possible and remember to keep topping up your sun cream if it’s too hot to cover up your arms and legs.
Enjoy your ride
As long as you’re well prepared, riding in the sun can be a great experience. Our outdoor time is precious and the health benefits of staying active while riding a bike outweigh any risks from the sun.
So, head out on those rides and enjoy your cycling adventures!
Follow our tips and you can head out on your ride confident that you’re prepared. Now warm rides are on your mind, why not head over to Halfords.com where you’ll find a range of summer cycling clothing, sunglasses and energy drinks.
You want to enjoy summer cycling adventures, you want Halfords!