The popularity of cycling has surged during the Covid-19 pandemic. As social distancing has forced us out of the fitness studio and onto the bike, we thought we’d share our top tips for staying safe and enjoying your time in the saddle for the summer season.
Be An Early Bird
Getting out early has multiple benefits, including beating the heat. There is also typically less traffic on the roads in the very early morning hours, making your ride more safe and enjoyable.
Protect Yourself From The Sun
While some wear their tan lines like a badge of honor, the dangers of too much sun exposure is well studied and documented. Sunscreen and protective clothing like arm-sleeves are must-haves for those looking to limit their UV exposure.
As your sweat rate increases, so do your hydration needs. There’s nothing wrong with drinking plain old water for short rides under an hour. For rides lasting 60+ minutes, you’ll want to include electrolytes by using a sports drink like GLUKOS Energy Drink Mix. Invest in an insulated water bottle to keep your drink cool.
Bonking in the summer heat is the worst. Make sure to keep your energy levels topped off by keeping your GLUKOS Liquid Energy gels handy so that you’re not forced into a Circle K stop for junk food.
Foul weather can pop up quickly during the summer. Check the forecast before leaving the house and if there is a chance of rain, consider bringing along your bike lights so that you stay visible in low light or rainy conditions.
Inspect Your Tires
Summer storms and winds can leave increased debris on the roads. This means your chances of flatting are also increased. Make sure your tires are up to par haven’t worn too thin and have enough tread on them to ride safely in the rain.
Wear Protective Gear
Wearing a road-cycling specific helmet will help protect your noggin if you happen to take a spill. The threat of crashing doesn’t just come from motor vehicles – even riding your favorite bike path can take a dangerous turn if you hit a crack the wrong way or swerve to avoid a critter. Cycling gloves come in handy during the summer to help you keep your grip when your palms get sweaty. They will also save the palms of your hands from road rash if you do happen to tumble. As a bonus, gloves with terry cloth on the tops are great for wiping away brow sweat.
You might be able to get away with wearing your favorite concert tee and gym shorts to take a spin the rest of the year, but during the summer you’re going to appreciate the moisture wicking ability of cycling-specific apparel. You don’t have to buy high-end to reap the benefits. Embrace the spandex.
Know When To Skip a Day
There are some days when it’s just not smart to ride outside. These include days that reach above 100 degrees, when the threat of damaging storms are imminent or after times of flooding when the roadways are covered with debris. Be smart about the risks you want to take.