Safety tips: cycling in a heatwave

With yesterday becoming the hottest day of the year, it's apparent the heatwave isn't slowing up any time soon. So instead of struggling with the heat use these top tips to enjoy your ride even more. If you have any more tips feel free to share them on our social media so all your fellow cyclists can stay safe in the heat.

Looking after yourself

Drink plenty

This may seem obvious but even if you're popping to the shops it's a good idea to take a bottle of water or two. You don't want to get caught out thirsty and become dehydrated on your ride back home.

Use suncream

Even a half-hour commute can leave your extremities exposed and sunburnt if you don't apply sunscreen. That's not a nice way to turn up at the office in the morning. So suncream up before you go out, take some afternoon too in case you need any relief.

Takes a rest if you need too

If it's all getting a little bit too much don't be disappointed that you may need to take a rest stop. Find yourself some shade and relax for a little while, use it as a hydration stop and refuel with healthy snacks before you rebuild the energy to get back on the bike and finish your ride.

Avoid the hottest part of the day

If you're planning a weekend ride, avoid the hottest part of the day. Perhaps leave earlier than usual and plan to arrive somewhere during the midday sun, this way you can rest and recuperate in the hottest part of the day and then continue your ride when the weather begins to cool down.

Adjust your pace

If you don't fancy taking a rest, then adjust your pace. Take the ride slower than you would usually and don't be disappointed about beating and records or getting to your usual times and distances. On a hot day, it's risky to try and push yourself too hard.

Clothing

Wear something you know is going to keep you ventilated and has plenty of zip vents if possible. Take some spare clothes for your journey back, you may get a little warm on the way and it's not nice putting sweaty clothes on!

Take a shadier route

If you're going to be commuting then try and take a shadier route to work and avoid the full sun. This way you won't be super sweaty when you arrive at the office. If you're looking to the plan a weekend ride then go for a forest route and spent the majority of your time with the breeze in the trees - it'll be a much more pleasant ride.

Avoid cycling if it's just too hot

Don't be afraid to cancel your weekend ride if you think it's just going to be too hot. It's better to not exert yourself in the extreme heat and save the bike ride for another day.

Taking care of your bike

It's not just yourself you need to take care of, it's important to take particular precautions with your bike. If your bike is perfectly serviced and safe then it'll keep you safe too.

Due to the hot weather, the roads will be dry and dusty which can be a bikes worst enemy. Use a dry lube which will repel road dust much better than winter or wet lube. Dust can stick to wet lube which in time can cause the chain the seize up.

When the weather is hot, the roads won't be as gravelly or wet, so you can run on a higher pressure on your tyres and go faster. This could be up to 110 psi dependent on your tyres - be sure to check the recommended pressure printed on the tyre wall.

On extremely hot days, road surfaces can become 'tacky' as the Tarmac melts slightly. You'll need to be aware of this as tyres can pick up bits of gravel on your ride, this can cause cuts in older tyres.