How To Stay Cool While Cycling
The summer heat can press down on you like a sweaty blanket learn how to stay cool while cycling.
What Do You Wear to Stay Cool?
One of the most important considerations is what you are wearing on days where you are cycling in the heat. It’s important to wear clothing with the following traits:
- Light colored – to reflect away the sunlight. I now only buy white jerseys because I am very prone to overheating.
- Wicking – to move sweat away from your skin and to the outer surface where it can evaporate.
- Zippers – so you can unzip and catch a nice breeze.
Another way… wear as little as possible. While this could keep you cooler, it also opens you up to sun damage. However, there is something to be said for at least keeping your arms and shoulders bare as these are places where your axillary arteries are. Axillary arteries carry cooled blood back to the heart to cool the rest of your body, so it’s worth keeping them exposed if possible.
Accessories are not just for looks, they are for functionality as well:
- Sunglasses – a surprising amount of heat can be absorbed through your eyes. Keeping the sun out, as well as bugs and dirt, will keep you cooler.
- Helmet – pay a little extra for well ventilated helmets, no one enjoys heat stroke.
Not only do you need to stay well hydrated, but you should keep extra water to soak yourself. Take advantage of those big vents you paid extra for on your helmet and spray some water down them. Keep your head cool first, and if you have enough to spray under your armpits, near your groin and down your back as these are the places that your blood vessels are close to the skin.
I used to hate wearing sunscreen, but I noticed a major improvement in performance when I slapped it on… now I don’t leave home without it. I have read that applying sunscreen can keep your body temperatures 10% cooler.
Take a look at the forecast and if you know it is going to be hot, ride in the morning/evening when you don’t have to battle the heat.
A little common sense goes a long way in the heat. If you start to feel woozy or start overheating stop and take the time to cool down because heat stroke can kill you or cause permanent damage to your brain and internal organs. It is serious stuff… so stay cool.