It’s time! You’ve memorized the weather forecast, and your bike is tuned and ready for that first summer ride. Staying cool and hydrated is challenging in warmer weather, but the payoff can mean the difference between a safe, memorable summer adventure and a big letdown.
It’s All About Ventilation
If warmer weather tempts you to grab a tank top and leave your helmet behind, you aren’t alone. With the right biker gear and accessories, however, you can stay safe and alert—and you won’t have to give up your leather and denim:
- Wear clothes equipped with plenty of zippered vents and generous mesh panels.
- Layer your clothing.
- Choose a safety-rated helmet, and keep the vents stay fully open.
Drink Water, Water and More Water
Perspiration and air movement work together to deplete body fluids and electrolytes. It’s essential to drink water before you feel thirsty. During your ride, wear a hydration pack filled with ice water for hands-free drinking. An occasional electrolyte sports drinks will replenish your body’s depleted minerals, but stick mostly with water, and avoid alcohol before riding; it causes dehydration and impairs judgment.
Remember These Riding Habits
When summer hits, practice these habits to get the most out of your ride:
- Get up with the sun. You’ll finish your planned mileage early, and you’ll be enjoying that cold microbrew by three in the afternoon.
- Make frequent, short stops, and don’t wait until you feel exhausted. Stretch your legs, and remove your helmet, chaps and jacket to release trapped heat.
- Give your face and hair a healthy splash during stops.
- Safely stand up on your pegs for a few seconds when stopped in traffic to give yourself a quick stretch and some air circulation.
Hydration and ventilation are your best warm weather allies. They will elevate your summer road trips to a new level, keeping your reflexes sharp and your decisions smart. When you feel energized and refreshed, your ride will be safer and more fun, even on the hottest summer days.