Monday, May 14, 2012

Cycling Under the Summer Heat

The summer heat can make a cycling experience much fun but sometimes almost unbearable. With temperatures expected to climb higher because of our planet warming up, our summer rides can become more challenging. Too much heat while riding a bike tour can make things very difficult. You would get dizzy, dehydrated and tired from overexposure to the sun’s heat. With too much heat beating down on you, you might also get irritable and lose your cool altogether. So what can you do?

You probably have been waiting for the summer season to arrive but you might just be surprised how the summer heat can make things very difficult. So before riding, make sure to expect high temperatures and of course keep in mind these tips that would help you keep cool under the summer heat.
  • Ice! Ice! Baby! – Keep your cool even when the summer heat is beating down on you on your tour by making a stopover at gas stations not just for water refill but for ice too! You can drop a few ice cubes in your water bottle to keep your water cool for a few miles and also drop a few ice cubes in the pockets of your jersey. This would help keep the temperature of your body down. Doing this may not last for a long time but it would refresh you while it lasts. You can also plan ahead and have two of your water bottles (of course with water in them) in the freezer the night before riding. In the morning, your water bottles would have frozen water in them. The summer heat would then melt your frozen water but at least you would have cooler water for a few miles.
  • Cool Down Your Jersey! – If it happens that the summer heat becomes too overbearing, cool down your jersey whenever you can. At the gas station, you can ask for water to soak your jersey into. You can also toss in some ice cubes while you are at it. If you come across a clean stream or a river, do a stopover and soak your jersey in the water. This would help keep your body cool down.
  • Breaks in the Shade! – When you want to rest, always pick out a shady area where you would take your breaks. If you have a flat tyre, keep rolling the extra distance until you find a shady area. You can just push the bike beside you until you find that spot where you can fix your flat.
  • Protect Your Skin from UV Rays! – At least 30 minutes before riding, apply sunscreen lotion on all exposed skin. This is so you can prevent skin damage. UV rays from the sun can cause much damage to your skin and can even cause skin cancer. Be sure to bring along your sunscreen lotion so you can reapply after about 2 hours. If you have been sweating a lot, you should reapply at once.
  • Don’t Forget your Sunnys – Wear a pair of sunglasses when you are riding out in the summer heat. Protect your eyes from glare. Too much light will only make you squint which can compromise your vision. Plus too much glare can give you a headache! But if you have cool sunnys on, you would even look cooler!  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Do I ride during my menstrual cycling?

Tough question, that only seems to be asked by women with very tough skin or no shame. It is something that all women go through, and daily riders can’t take the few days off to deal with their monthly “friend.”

Here are some of the best suggestions I can give :

  • Increase exercise the days before your cycle starts.  Exercise seems to relax those muscles and make the cycle go faster (for me.)
  • Plug it, and have a pair of shorts for those extra strong days.
  • Keep a couple extra tampons in a ziplock, air-tight, bag in our saddle bag.
  • Plan longer rides around stopping points were you can change out your tampon.
  • Avoid binging on trashy food and make yourself feel good with fresh fruits and vegetables.