Summer is finally here with much of the UK basking in hot temperatures and enjoying clear blue skies. However, while many of us are relishing in the warm weather and sunny climes, those planning on a mountain bike holiday over the next few days need to take care by packing essentials to protect themselves from the sun.
– Scorching temperatures
Temperatures have soared this week, and weather forecasters predict the mercury could hit 35C in some areas of Britain over the next few days.
Indeed, the BBC reports that temperatures might even beat the all-time record of 38.5C on Thursday, surpassing the reading taken in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003.
Speaking with Sky News, Joanna Robinson said: “There’s now an 80 per cent chance we’ll break the July temperature record on Thursday and a 40 per cent chance of recording the hottest ever day.”
While the sunny weather tempts most of us out of our offices and homes in a bid to make the most of it, it is also important to stay safe when the temperature soars.
– What to wear
While cyclists are restricted with what to wear when the weather is hot, it is important to choose lightweight, breathable materials that do not trap the build-up of sweat.
Cycling Weekly recommends a zip-fronted top so you can open it up more, depending on how hot you are, while a lightweight base layer will help with removing sweat from the skin.
When it comes to sunglasses, choose those with 100 per cent UV filtering lenses, as this will prevent dust and insects flying into your eyes.
As well as the right clothes, it is also important to prepare for your trip by wearing – and packing – suncream. As well as avoiding unflattering cycling tan lines, by putting on a high factor suncream, you will reduce your risk of sunburn, thereby protecting yourself against skin cancer.
Whatever you do, make sure you bring plenty of water on your ride. With the temperature as hot as it is, you can get dehydrated incredibly quickly, particularly if you are sweating a lot.
According to the Institute of Medicine, cyclists need to drink two gallons of water on a hot day to prevent dehydration from setting in.
Bring enough water for the day and stop regularly so you can drink properly. It is a good idea to put some ice cubes in the bottles at the beginning of the day, as this will help keep your water cool, also try using dyrolyte as a way to replenish salts on a long ride
Don’t forget to pack enough food too. While the hot weather might affect your appetite, it is important to continue eating so your energy levels do not plummet during a long ride. Fruit, such as melon, or raw vegetables help to replenish lost fluid, while grains soak up water while cooking, which is then absorbed by the body during digestion, making them an ideal choice too.