This post was contributed by Petra Kravos; She’s a healthy lifestyle blogger who runs one of the top UK health blogs, Be Healthy Now.
While cycling is a great form of exercise and cheap if you have your own bike, cycling in the UK has its own challenges, even more so when there is a heatwave. While it may be tempting just to get on your bike and enjoy the good weather, a little bit of preparation is key if you want to stay safe and well on the road. Besides, your ride will be much more enjoyable when you are prepared. So here are my top tips and advice for you to enjoy cycling in the summer:
1. Carry enough water
When the weather is hot, you will experience more perspiration and your body will lose water faster. So you need to carry enough water with you. Use a water bottle holder on your bike to easily access water bottle when needed and sip throughout the ride to avoid dehydration.
Also, carry an extra water bottle with you in your backpack to make sure you don’t run out. Alternatively, you could use a hydration pack to stay hydrated.
Being hydrated means that your body will be able to deal with fitness challenges better and this is also an important way of avoiding any injuries.
2. Don’t forget your sunglasses
Did you know that your eyes can actually get a sunburn? Avoid eye damage and always carry sunglasses with you. If it’s cloudy, slightly tinted glasses are great as these will not only protect you from UV light but also from any bugs getting into your eyes.
3. Plan your route well
To enjoy your ride, you really have to plan your route well. You should avoid very busy roads as these will be more dangerous and there is more risk involved. The last thing you want to experience on your ride is an accident, an injury or even death! I don’t want to exaggerate and scare anybody but cycling can be quite dangerous, especially if you pick the wrong route. While being careful on the road can help, there is nothing you can do when cars overtake you inches away. Cycling accidents do happen and it’s just something you need to be aware of and prevent when possible. So pick your cycling routes carefully and if needed, use trains or a car to get to your starting point.
4. Be extra vigilant on the road
Cars go fast and they come from all kind of directions. On junctions, check all the possible directions where cars could come from. Look twice and only proceed when 100% sure. You never know, but that extra check could save your life.
5. Wear a helmet
A really important tip, wear your helmet! In case of an accident, this could save your life. I, personally, am not a fan of helmets but I do make an effort when I go for a long ride. If you need a new helmet, take a look on Wiggle and see whether you can find a helmet that you like.
6. Wear a sunscreen
Don’t forget to apply a sunscreen before you start your ride. You don’t want your ride to end in sunburn, don’t you? I recommend going for a natural sunscreen, just to avoid various harmful chemicals.
7. Cycling essentials
Don’t forget to take with you cycling essentials such as a spare inner tube, levers, mini pump and a multi-tool. If you get a puncture, you will need these to get back on the road. Also, be prepared in case your ride last longer than anticipated and take some bike lights with you. You do want to be visible on the road when the sun goes down.
To keep your energy levels high you will need some good snacks when cycling for more than a few hours. Fresh and dried fruits are always a good source of energy so always carry some with you in your backpack.
9. Be prepared for the weather to change
It’s always good to check the weather forecast before you go out for your ride but sometimes the weather can be unpredictable, especially in the UK so it’s not a bad idea to pack a light rain jacket, just in case the weather turns sour.
So here you go, my top tips for cycling in summer which will help you stay safe and well on the road. It’s important to be well prepared to make sure your ride is enjoyable with no nasty surprises. Pack all the cycling essentials and don’t forget the sunscreen and sunglasses. In this way, you can enjoy your ride without having to worry about anything.
Petra is very passionate about health and loves helping people on their healthy living journey. On her health blog, you will find a variety of topics, from natural health and healthy eating to fitness and natural living. You can follow Petra on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.