Here are 4 tips you would be wise to put into action when it comes to riding in the sun :
1. Go slower
I’m crap at following my own advice on this, because I try to go hard on almost every climb in the sun
However, it’s sensible to realise that a scorching hot ride isn’t the best time to try and PR every climb.
Instead, go at 80% of your max and take it easier.
Unusual advice for me I know… but I have a sensible head in there somewhere too!
Just setting a steadier pace on the climbs and flats is a good idea. You’ll be more aware of fatigue setting in and you’ll keep more in the tank to make sure you finish the full ride.
If there’s a time for some shade… take it.
Whether it’s behind a slab at the top of a climb, under some tress, or under an out-building it doesn’t matter.
Whether you feel like it or not it’s a great idea to factor in some strategic shelter to cool down and get out of the sun for 10 minutes.
Often when we ride we get ‘in the zone’ and don’t notice that we are over heating… or lacking energy… or getting head-achy. Taking 10 minutes to cool down and shelter gives you chance to get in touch with your body and see how you are feeling.
A nice stream or lake is also a great shout. Get your legs in and splash it on your arms and face to cool yourself down as often as possible.
3. Share the load
If you are out with a group, consider splitting the load between all of you. One person could have food, the other the mechanical stuff and another spare water.
Make sure that you evenly share the weight… or give the heavier bags to the fitter and stronger riders.
Splitting the weight just means that one of you doesn’t ended up weighed down and burning more calories and energy.
4. Plan your escape
The hottest day of the year may not be the time to go on an all-day epic on open moorland 2 hours away from any roads or civilisation. If you can, try and make sure you are are 10 or 20 minute ride from a road, then if the worst happens and one of you goes man-down in the sun, it’s easier to get them out of there.