With things hotting up in the UK these last few months, we’ve had some fantastic weather for riding.
But to enjoy it, staying cool is essential. Now you could don the flip flops and shorts to nip around on the bike. But for me, the pure thought of degloving simply makes my precious skin crawl! But each to their own, I’m not going to preach to you about what gear to wear. However I will give you my top tips to not sweating it in a heat wave whilst on your bike. N.B these are my personal views and opinions and do not in anyway endorse what you should choose to wear/do/use.
Water, water, water!!! Hydration is key and it may seem an obvious thing but can easily be forgotten when on the bike. I tend to always carry a water bottle either on my person or underneath my bike seat *tip: freeze your water before going out so your drink stays ice cold, it will soon thaw out. Even just having an empty bottle can be handy as there is always somewhere to refill. Although when I go to New Zealand in November I will be looking at investing in a Hydration pack which can hold a few litres of water at a time.
Not everyone is keen on filtering but when it’s this hot and you’re in full gear stuck in a traffic jam, it can be essential! The risk of overheating is much higher, so keep moving when you can. Picking up a bit of speed can be bliss on a hot day!
Take a Breather
If it does get too hot take a breather somewhere in the shade to cool off.
This thought came to me the other day but I am yet to try it. The idea of running into the ocean in full bike gear just seemed really appealing at the time (but maybe not practical with all the armour). But at least soaking my base layers/neck scarf to keep me cool under my gear would be ideal on really hot days.
Yeah, yeah, whatever! But there’s nothing more uncomfortable than already being hot and bothered and then sunburnt! Try a light dry mist sunscreen which doesn’t stick to all your gear.
Unlike layering up as with my essential winter riding gear its more about layering down for summer. All whilst not compromising on protective gear:
- Base layers
In terms of base layers, I keep it simple (depending on the type of ride) with a strappy vest top and shorts. This way if I stop off anywhere, I can just take off my jacket and jeans and chill in my shorts, plus bike boots look soooo sexy with shorts, lol. Although bear in mind the temperature can soon dip in the evening, so its always handy to have a jumper if you’ll be riding at night.
I don’t tend to don a jacket as such, although I do have a textile one in case it rains. My personal choice is a Kevlar armoured hoodie for summer. Which although seems thick and heavy, I personally find is more airy than a leather/textile jacket.
For me it has to be Kevlar jeans/leggings. I currently have a pair of armoured dragging jeans which with their bagginess gives plenty of room to breathe. Although I am more prone to call them my ‘sweaty knee jeans’ with the placement of the armour right over my knee caps. But I’d rather sweaty knees than no protection at all. I do however want to buy a pair of ladies fitted jeggings which I have personally tried on in store and they fit beautifully, plus they do them in a short leg! But I would worry with the fitting if they would be too hot and clingy in this weather? I would love to hear your ladies opinions on wearing these in the hotter weather?
My ideal boot to wear (if I had the pennies) would be these Dr. Martens ladies ankle boots. Not officially a biking boot but ideal for the multi-purpose boot I need for biking and hiking, plus more lightweight than full motorbike boots.
Apart from a decent lid, that’s pretty much my basic summer gear sorted. Although their is a vast choice of lids to choose from with some possibly being more suited for hotter weather such as open faced Or flip up. Again this comes down to personal choice.
Have you got any other tips on this subject? Please feel free to post in the comments below…..
Enjoy this awesome summer guys!