Sun's out, Schwinn's out!
It's summertime. That means it's the season to mount up on your bike and take trips to the beach, the ice cream stand, the farmer's market, or even the office. Summer biking delivers the perfect mix of smiles and miles if you're properly prepared. So we've compiled a few helpful tips designed to help maximize the summer biking fun.
You've got skin in this game
We all seem to be a lot better in recognizing that too much sun can be harmful. Still, the incidence of skin cancer has risen over the last couple of decades meaning we must give extra attention to fighting the sun's harmful rays. It's easy to forget you're exposed to ultraviolet rays when you're riding your bike, but UV radiation from the sun can start being harmful for some folks after just 10 minutes. To combat that, apply a high-protection sunscreen made specifically for athletics and put it on before the ride even begins. Make sure your sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection. And take the time to reapply it after you've sweat some of it off.
In addition to sunscreen, clothing like shirts, shorts, and gloves can be valuable in offering protection against the sun. Modern fabric technology has given us clothing choices that are lightweight, breathable, cooling and designed to keep the sun's harmful rays off our skin. Sun protective clothing is rated on a UPF scale (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). When buying clothing for summer cycling, look for a UPF factor of 30 or above. And make it bright. Even in the mid-day sunlight, you want to be as visible as possible.
The eyes have it
Got your sunscreen and protective clothing? Great! But don't forget the importance of protecting your eyes against the sun's harmful UV rays. Make sure you always have a pair of good-fitting sunglasses to wear. As an added bonus, sunglasses also play a vital role in keeping your eyes free from dirt, dust, and bugs.
The e-bike factor
Yes, we love the extended range our e-bikes offer. While you’re out having miles and miles of fun, don’t forget about the heat! Staying hydrated and applying some sunscreen will go a long way in keeping you prepared for those summer temps. If you’re looking to take it easy, you can always crank up the pedal-assist or use the throttle to make your ride easier. Nothing beats the feeling of a nice cool breeze in the sun while you don’t have to pedal.
We could do an entire blog post on the importance of staying properly hydrated when summer biking. We'll touch briefly on it here, but let's start with always making sure to take a full water bottle along with you – even if it's a short ride. Sure, sports drinks are OK, but feel free to cut them with water. Also of note: We offer water bottles and bottle cages that fit virtually any bike.
Across the country, summer is the busiest time of year for road work. If you've ever tensed up just driving through a construction site, you may feel the same on a bike. The good news is that any versatile hybrid bike makes the transition from pavement to gravel and back to pavement again a breeze. If you know for sure you'll be riding on roads, plan on checking out websites of state and local transportation agencies to determine where and when road construction is planned. Try to avoid road construction sites if you can, and if you end up navigating through one, it’s no biggie! Just be extra aware of your surroundings. Safety is the top priority for you and the workers, and whether you’re holding onto a hammer or some bike handlebars, everyone should be wearing some head protection.
Warm weather exercise can take a toll on a body. If you've spent time putting the hammer down on, say, a mountain bike ride, make sure you have a cold recovery drink waiting for when you're finished. A shower helps in recovery, too.
Bring along company
Summer biking is way too fun to do alone. Our selection of bike trailers makes it easy to bring along the kids, a pet, a cooler filled with plenty of hydrating fluids, or additional gear you might need.
There's so much to love about summer bike riding. With just a few minutes of planning and pre-ride preparation you'll be able to make the most out of it!