Clear summer weather makes this time of year a great opportunity to get outside and take a ride. However, the extreme heat that often occurs in the peak of summer can create risks for those taking their bike out for a spin. Here are our summer tips for riding in extreme heat:
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Dehydration is not only bad for your health, it can also make you drowsy and inattentive while riding a motorcycle, putting you at risk for injury. You should drink around 2 liters of water every day, and the hotter it is, the more you need to stay hydrated. Make sure you have enough water available to you for any longer rides, and avoid drinks with alcohol, caffeine, or sugar, as they contribute to dehydration.
Avoid the Hottest Hours
To the extent that you can, minimize your riding during peak heat hours in the summer (typically between 11AM and 5PM). Riding for long periods of time in direct sunlight during these hours can take a toll on your body.
Wear the Right Gear
In this day and age, there are so many pieces of gear that can help you stay cool. From head covers to breathable jackets and gloves – we cover it all in our article covering “Top Summer Riding Gear.”
Store in the Shade
When you’re done riding, avoid leaving your bike out in the heat. The sun can fade your paint and cause parts of your bike to become brittle, peel, and, in some cases, crack.
Give Yourself Breaks
When you can, be sure to give yourself time in the shade. You can take brief stops inside or even under a tree to drink your water, and give your skin a break from the sun. These pitstops can be key to preventing your body from overheating. When planning your day, schedule specific times for those breaks if you’re taking a long ride.
Protect Your Skin
Consistent exposure to UV rays can put you at risk for melanoma. Even if you are outfitted with gear, those rays can still reach you, especially on your face. Frequently apply sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF — the higher the better.
Protect Your Vision
The summer sun also contributes to increased sun glare when outside. Find yourself a quality pair of polarized sunglasses or a helmet with a face shield that can keep the sun out of your eyes. Wearing polarized sunglasses can help you to avoid eye fatigue while riding.
Prepare for Extreme Weather
With summer comes thunderstorms, flooding, heatwaves, and hurricanes. Be ready for whatever comes your way by downloading a weather app and turning on its notifications. Check out our article on riding during storms.
Look for Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Watch for signs that you have overheated while riding outdoors. You’ll want to keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, flushed skin, goosebumps, a rapid pulse, weakness, heavy sweating, muscle cramps, and/or headaches.
- If you or a fellow rider show signs of heat exhaustion, immediately pull over, get out of the heat, and find ways to hydrate and cool down.
- Signs of heatstroke include lack of sweating, high body temperature, slurred speech, headache, rapid pulse, chills, confusion, nausea, or vomiting.
- If you or a fellow rider show signs of heatstroke, immediately seek emergency medical attention.
We hope these tips can help you keep comfortable and safe while riding outside during the warmer months. And if you’re looking for your next motorcycle, be sure to check out our wide selection of bikes at CycleTrader.com