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Heat Safety

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Riding Safely in the Heat

As we continue to see record breaking temperatures across the world, it's vital that everyone take steps to protect themselves against the dangers of overheating. Riding your bike, especially in long rides like the Cycle of Support, increases the risks and so demands we be especially aware and careful. 

Most important: Stay Hydrated.

It's very easy to underestimate the amount of fluid your body needs. Be sure to bring plenty of liquids on your ride and aim to take small, frequent sips, which helps your body more efficiently absorb water. If your bike only holds one bottle cage, consider adding another. Even if you think you have enough water, refill when the opportunity arises. 
Water is always a good option to help rehydrate you and cool your body temperature down; but on a hot day or after even moderate physical exertion, water alone may not be enough.  When you sweat, you lose electrolytes through perspiration and risk dehydration if you don’t replenish these lost nutrients. To properly hydrate, your body needs a mix of balanced electrolytes and minerals that allows your body to quickly absorb the electrolytes and water, hydrating you faster.
There will be plenty of water and electrolyte drinks at the rest stops and start/finish. Please take every opportunity to rehydrate and assess yourself for any possible signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration, and check on your fellow riders and teammates. 
A few listed signs of dehydration
irritable mood
mental fog

Avoid Heat Exposure

What you decide to wear can largely effect how your body will react to the sun and heat.  We suggest choosing clothes made from fabrics that provide sun protection and wick moisture away from your body.  Some may opt for sleeveless tops to stay cool, but we recommend wearing sleeves made of a cooling fabric to avoid sun exposure. On really hot days, wearing a  cap or bandana under your helmet can keep sweat out of your eyes. A bandana soaked in cool water and thrown over your face can be particularly refreshing when you stop for a break. 
Regardless of what you decide to wear, please be sure to liberally apply sunscreen to any exposed skin. We also recommend bringing along a good pair of sunglasses.  

 Cool Down After You Ride

Allow time for a post ride cool down. In addition to stretching, continue drinking water and energy drinks to replenish your body.  Take a moment to listen to your body and look for any signs you may be experiencing dehydration. After any ride, we recommend avoiding drinking alcohol, coffee, or sugary drinks that can dehydrate you further and mask any warning signs.