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HOW TO: 6 ways to keep cool on hot summer roads

If you're in the southern hemisphere right now, the arrival of summer is around the corner.

This means riding in the heat ... and often, the oppressive humidity.

Not the most appealing weather for riding, as Bridget found out in 2019 during a never-ending European heatwave with only a non-ventilated alpine jacket. Don’t be like Bridget. :)

Taking a break at a stazione di servizio in Italy

what to look out for

Heat stress is a constant risk when riding in hot conditions.

It can creep up on you, so regularly check in with yourself for symptoms:

• clammy skin

• feeling dizzy or faint

• fatigue

• weak rapid pulse

• nausea

• headache

• cramping

• cognitive slowness – finding it hard to verbalise your thoughts or make a decision

"In the baking heat of Italy, I could feel my thoughts becoming slower and slower. When Alan asked me a question, I struggled to form words to answer him."

Keep an eye on your riding buddies, too.

keeping cool

Some red hot tips (see what we did there) for preventing heat stress:

Gear - wear summer protective gear that has good ventilation

Go early - ride in the cooler part of the day

Hydrate - drink cold water or a sports drink every hour

Get wet - dunk your buff in cold water and wear it around your neck

Lunch - take a longer break in the hottest part of the day

Plan ahead - avoid hangovers

when you don't feel so good

If you’re experiencing heat stress or generally not feeling great, find a cool spot to kick your stand down and rest and rehydrate.

If symptoms worsen, get medical help.

Don’t underestimate the seriousness of heat stroke – if your core body temperature doesn’t come down, it can kill you.

Riding in summer can be great fun, but always look after yourself and your riding buddies.

Cheers, Bridget and Alan


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