How To Ride Your Bike In Hot & Humid Weather | GCN's Pro Tips

- It's that time of year when many of us

in the northern hemisphere

are contending with really hot temperatures

and possibly humidity as well.

They make for some tough riding conditions,

and so here are some tips on how to cope with it.

And yes, it might seem strange listening to advice

on this subject from an Englishman,

but believe you me, it's so rarely hot in this country

that when the temperature does rise,

we need to pull out all the stops

in order to be able to cope with it.

And since you were wondering, yeah,

this is hot rain, yeah, it's quite rare,

but we get it sometimes.

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Let's start with clothing, shall we?

It's your first port of call even before setting out.

So you want to have a lightweight jersey,

definitely with a full-length zip,

and then pair it with shorts

that have got really minimal bib strapping on there.

So that means that, in combination,

you can get loads of air circulating even at lower speeds.

Now, there's loads of different types of fabric available,

of course, some of which promise

even better heat management.

So treatments like Coldblack,

or, on our Assos kit, something called Icecolor,

which means the fabric actually absorbs less heat energy,

stuff like that can really make a difference.

Hot conditions often go hand in hand

with an increased risk from UV, as well,

so you need to make sure

that you've taken adequate precautions,

and that may well mean,

if you're wearing a particularly lightweight, meshy jersey,

that you actually need to put sun cream on your back

even though you're wearing something on top of it.

And then, if the sun is really fierce,

you can actually use your clothing to help you out.

So something like these Coldflash arm warmers

from Bellwether, and they've also got matching leg warmers

called the Sol-Air, as well,

so they give you much greater protection from UV light,

but they also stop you getting hot.

Then, there is one last thing, as well.

I can never quite understand

when people wear a hat underneath their helmet.

Now, fair enough, having a peak

to shield your face from the sun

may well make you more comfortable,

but it definitely, definitely makes you hotter.

In fact, even hair makes you hotter,

so you may well find

that if you really mean business in hot conditions,

you want to shave your hair off.

I know, it's pretty extreme, but it will work.

Definitely, definitely makes the vents in your helmet

work more effectively.

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Before we set out, let's also talk about nutrition.

Hydration is absolutely critical,

so unless your ride's got loads of water stops,

you need to make sure you take plenty with you.

'Cause of the cooling effect of the wind,

you can be sweating absolutely bucket-loads

and not even know about it.

Potentially going through litres and litres of liquid.

However, your body is really good at letting you know

exactly how much you need to drink.

Certainly, research seems to suggest,

although the jury, admittedly, is still out,

that drinking to thirst is the right way to go

rather than forcing loads of water down your neck.

Either way, what you need to remember

is that you can't train yourself to do without water

like you can food, to a certain extent.

So, always, always have enough with you.

Now, it's a good idea to have something other than

just plain water in your bottles,

particularly if you're out for a long time.

You could use, like, an electrolyte tab,

like the Science in Sport Go Hydro ones I've got,

or if you need the calories,

a carb drink with electrolytes in.

And the great thing about an electrolyte tab

is you can actually take a stash with you

and then pop it in your drink as you refill it, as you go.

Now, although you might not get as hungry when it's hot,

your body is still burning through loads of calories.

Apparently, you actually burn more calories

trying to stay cool than you do when it's cold

and you're trying to stay warm.

So you definitely need to keep on top of it

in order to avoid blowing.

I don't know about you, though,

but when it's hot and I'm riding hard,

I just don't feel like solid food.

So I rely much more heavily on carb drinks and also gels.

And if I can do another quick plug,

for my mates at Science in Sport,

these gels have got electrolytes in, as well,

so you can keep on top of your salt intake

and maintain that all-important sodium balance.

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Now, if you're doing an event or a race,

you might not have much control over this,

but if you're just riding for the fun of it,

or for training, then you should definitely think

about the time of day that you ride,

so you're trying to make the most of the times

when it's cooler.

So people who regularly contend with extreme heat

will often be on the bike by 5 a.m.,

meaning they can be done and dusted

when the temperature starts to climb.

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Have a think about where you ride, as well,

so if you've got the luxury, try and plan routes

where you can be sheltered from the sun

as much as possible.

And also avoid long slow climbs where you can,

the kind of climb where there's no cooling effect

because you're going so slowly

and so you just sit there and bake.

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If you live in a cold climate,

but you are gonna be going somewhere for an event or a race,

then it is possible to actually start to heat acclimatise

before you've even left home.

What you need to do is supplement your normal training

with five consecutive days of riding on the indoor trainer

just before you go.

Now, when you're on there,

you don't need to absolutely smash it.

What we're looking for is to start sweating.

So if you turn the heat up in the room,

and then ride a moderate intensity,

that should get you sweating, and sweating profusely,

and then, all you've gotta do is make sure

that you drink loads and loads of fluid, as well.

And those five sessions really, really will

make a difference.

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Now there is one last thing we haven't covered.

It's called doing a Mario, after the legendary Cipollini.

You see, he has, quite frankly, the body of an Adonis,

and so, rightly, he's concerned about tan lines,

which means that when he rides in hot conditions now,

he do so without a jersey on,

and his bib shorts rolled down.

Now, you can probably imagine that, given our physiques,

Mario and mine, are quite similar,

and I haven't really got any tan lines to speak of,

I actually do this quite a lot.

You've just got to bear in mind the whole sun cream issue.

And Mario probably has a queue of people

wanting to rub sun cream into his amazing body.

I, on the other hand, am just gonna do it myself.

Now, on that note, do make sure you subscribe to GCN.

To do so, just click on the globe,

and if you want to view more content, randomly,

we caught up with Mario, in 2013.

You can get through to that video just down there.

Or for another classic,

how about what not to wear when cycling.

That's just down there.

Can you see my pecs rippling?

Can you?

I'm tensing pretty hard.