Guest post by Sonia Holcomb. Summer time is approaching. The weather (should) be warming up and therefore so does your ride.
Arriving at your destination doused in sweat and drowsy isn’t ideal though, especially if you make the daily commute to work. Obviously, we like to look at what clothes you wear to make your ride as comfortable as possible at The Discerning Cyclist, but what else can you do further to optimise your ride in the sun?
Hydration Is Key
Keeping yourself hydrated is important. It’s easy to become dehydrated without even realizing it. Even in the spring sunshine, you’ll sweat if you’re moving around a lot. Take a hydration pack, and buy some gel packs to keep your electrolytes and sugar up. Something as simple as a premixed formula will do the trick. You can find them on SportPursuit.com
site or a similar site that sells hiking or outdoorsy stuff.
Food is also important. Nuts, seeds, jerky, and dried fruit are all good choices when you know you’ll be away from civilization for a while. You can make these things yourself pretty easily, or you can just go to the store and buy them. If you do buy from a store, look for items that are low in preservatives, have no added sugar, and are low in sodium and other additives. What you want is real food, or as close to it as possible.
Wear Protective Gear
It’s important to stay safe when cycling and that can range from finding a good helmet on Active Authorities
to protecting your skin from the sun. A little sunshine is good for your skin. UVB rays from the sun help your body convert cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D – a critical hormone for your immune system and for building strong bones. But, too much much sun can also be harmful. Excess UVA and UVB rays burn the skin. Wear protective gear if you plan on being outside all day. In general, it’s safe to expose your skin to sunshine for between 15 minutes and an hour, depending on your skin color and sensitivity to the sun. Lighter-skinned people don’t need quite as much sun. Darker people often need more. If you plan on being outside for more than an hour, for example, and you have fair, white, or olive skin, put on some sunscreen after 5 to 15 minutes of direct sunlight. If you have brown or black skin, you can probably get away with up to an hour or possibly even 2 hours of sun without sunscreen. Beneficial UVB rays are generally only able to hit your skin when your shadow is shorter than you are tall, so you can use this as a general rule of thumb for time of day when you’ll get beneficial sun exposure. Also pack hats, protective clothing, and sunglasses. All of these things will help protect your skin and eyes from excessive sun exposure.