Few things in life are as pleasant as a summer bike ride – but while a long ride in the sun might sound like a dream, it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re not properly prepared. Luckily, Arnold Clark Autoparts is here with a few helpful tips to keep yourself cool, healthy and safe while enjoying your next two-wheel excursion.
What to look out for – sunburn
The first thing to consider when cycling in warm weather (besides traffic, of course) is sunburn. Sunburn may not sound like the worst thing, but if you don’t protect yourself properly and are exposed for hours and hours, you could do some irreparable damage to your skin.
With that in mind, always make sure to apply sunscreen on any exposed part of yourself, especially on your face, nose, ears and back of the neck. We also recommend wearing a light cap underneath your helmet to help protect your scalp.
Of course, if halfway through your ride you are painfully reminded that you missed a spot with the sunscreen, make sure to bring some afterburn treatment and apply it as soon as possible to help the skin heal. Arnold Clark Autoparts has a fantastic range of burn care that you can add to your first aid kit and ensure you have everything you need to quickly and effectively deal with any degree of burn.
What to look out for – overheating
Even more so than sunburn, overheating should always be a major concern for any cyclist that sets off in warm weather. Cycling is hard work, and hard work in hot weather can mean a very bad time if you’re not careful.
You must make sure that you are keeping yourself hydrated for the entire time you are cycling. You will be losing more water than usual and if you don’t keep on top of it, you could quickly become dehydrated. Symptoms to look out for include: feeling thirsty, dizziness or light-headedness, and dry mouth, eyes, and lips. How to avoid this? Bring water!
And if you don’t have a water bottle, or you just fancy a new one, Arnold Clark Autoparts has the Tiger Cycles Water Bottle with Alloy Cage available for you, so now there’s no excuse not to bring that H2O wherever you go.
On top of this, a great way to help combat overheating and dehydration is to ensure that you don’t cycle on an empty stomach. And if you’re planning a particularly long bike ride, make sure to bring a few tasty snacks with you so you can top up your energy supplies as you go.
Of course, if you do feel yourself overheating and need a quick way to cool down, there are a range of instant cool packs you can bring with you that fit nicely into your first aid bag. You can either go for the re-useable Hypagel Standard Hot/Cold Pack, though you will need to pre-cool this in the fridge before each cycling trip (it does have the added benefit of acting as a hot pack, just stick it in the microwave to make it nice and toasty), or the single-use Hypacool Standard Instant Cold Pack, which requires no pre-cooling – just squeeze it and you’re good to go – but can only be used once.
Whichever one you go for, having a cool pack easily to hand is essential if you are in the middle of nowhere and need to cool down fast.
What to look out for – visibility
The final thing to take into account when summer cycling is poor visibility. This may seem crazy – poor visibility because of too much light? But being dazzled from reflective surfaces is a serious danger, especially for cyclists.
First, make sure you bring some polarised UV-blocking sunglasses. These will obviously protect you from being dazzled by the sunlight, but they should also offer some protection from grit and errant bugs while you power along the road. Arnold Clark Autoparts sadly doesn’t sell a huge range of sunglasses (yet), so whatever is comfortable for you should work best.
However, it might not just be you struggling to see in the sunlight. If a car is driving into the sun and their visibility is impaired, you want to make sure that you are as easy to spot as possible. Some hi vis equipment, such as the Hi Vis Reflective Rucksack Cover from Arnold Clark Autoparts, can go a long way to making you stand out, even in the worst of glares.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is: be sensible.
Despite how lovely it can be, hot weather can be a real hazard, especially while doing any intensive work. Stay cool, stay safe, and enjoy your rides!
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