It’s going to be a hot one!!!

With summer fast approaching and temperature rising well into the 30’s you might think that cycling stops here in Greece in favor of the beach or more leisurely past times. In fact the roads in Greece actually get busier with cyclists over the summer months, and while it does get hot, there  is no reason not to consider a cycling holiday over the summer and even less reasons not to consider adding some cycling to your summer holiday .

So how do you go about it? Here are some tips for riding in the sun

 Pick the right time of day.

Temperatures drop considerably once the sun has gone down. Early morning rides are great, cool temperatures and the chance to see nature in the golden morning sunlight while most are sleeping. Aim to have finished your ride by midday so a 4 hour ride you should set off around 07:00 – 7:30 giving time for the obligatory coffee stop. Evening rides are also great, just don’t forget to have lights and high vis clothing.

Try not to underestimate how long the ride will take. When cycling in new surroundings rides almost always take longer, factor in photo stops, extra rests and riding slower due to the heat and general holiday feeling

 

Stay hydrated

Riding in the heat will obviously make you sweat much more, so you will need to plan more water than your normal ride, 500ml -1000ml is recommended per hour. Electrolyte drinks help but also making you are already hydrated before the ride is essential, so plenty of fluids throughout the day while not riding and the night before is also a must . It is also worthwhile filling up at every opportunity regardless of whether you think you will need it, there is nothing worse than being stuck on a ride with no water left

Wear Sunscreen

Don’t be tempted to go without to work on your tan lines, it will seriously ruin your holiday and cycling should you get burnt. Sunburn also induces fatigue and increases your metabolism, causing your body to need more fluids and bring on dehydration faster. Avoid the forehead and wear a brimmed cap instead, as sweaty sun cream in your eyes is no fun! Use waterproof and maybe consider taking a mini tube with you.

Don’t overdo it

While it is certainly possible to go for a big ride, its best not to push yourself too hard, at least until you see how you cope. Regular stops in the shade or a café and use the opportunity to enjoy the amazing views

Keep your head covered

While it may seem counter-productive to wear a buff or hat under your helmet in the heat, keeping your head shaded is important to avoid overheating and heat stroke. You will very rarely see a rider here in Greece without something covering their head. Choose a thin lightweight skull cap or buff which also helps keep the sweat from your face while riding

And don’t forget while riding.. Soon you will be on the beach or by the pool drinking an ice cold beer to cool off!!!