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How To Ride Your Bike In Hot & Humid Weather | GCN’s Pro Tips

– It’s that time of year when many of us in the northern hemisphere are contending with
really hot temperatures and possibly humidity as well. They make for some
tough riding conditions, and so here are some tips
on how to cope with it. And yes, it might seem
strange listening to advice on this subject from an Englishman, but believe you me, it’s so
rarely hot in this country that when the temperature does rise, we need to pull out all the stops in order to be able to cope with it. And since you were wondering, yeah, this is hot rain, yeah, it’s quite rare, but we get it sometimes. (upbeat rock music) Let’s start with clothing, shall we? It’s your first port of call
even before setting out. So you want to have a lightweight jersey, definitely with a full-length zip, and then pair it with shorts that have got really minimal
bib strapping on there. So that means that, in combination, you can get loads of air
circulating even at lower speeds. Now, there’s loads of different
types of fabric available, of course, some of which promise even better heat management. So treatments like Coldblack, or, on our Assos kit,
something called Icecolor, which means the fabric actually
absorbs less heat energy, stuff like that can
really make a difference. Hot conditions often go hand in hand with an increased risk from UV, as well, so you need to make sure that you’ve taken adequate precautions, and that may well mean, if you’re wearing a particularly
lightweight, meshy jersey, that you actually need to
put sun cream on your back even though you’re wearing
something on top of it. And then, if the sun is really fierce, you can actually use your
clothing to help you out. So something like these
Coldflash arm warmers from Bellwether, and they’ve
also got matching leg warmers called the Sol-Air, as well, so they give you much greater
protection from UV light, but they also stop you getting hot. Then, there is one last thing, as well. I can never quite understand when people wear a hat
underneath their helmet. Now, fair enough, having a peak to shield your face from the sun may well make you more comfortable, but it definitely,
definitely makes you hotter. In fact, even hair makes you hotter, so you may well find that if you really mean
business in hot conditions, you want to shave your hair off. I know, it’s pretty
extreme, but it will work. Definitely, definitely makes
the vents in your helmet work more effectively. (upbeat rock music) Before we set out, let’s
also talk about nutrition. Hydration is absolutely critical, so unless your ride’s
got loads of water stops, you need to make sure
you take plenty with you. ‘Cause of the cooling effect of the wind, you can be sweating
absolutely bucket-loads and not even know about it. Potentially going through
litres and litres of liquid. However, your body is really
good at letting you know exactly how much you need to drink. Certainly, research seems to suggest, although the jury,
admittedly, is still out, that drinking to thirst
is the right way to go rather than forcing loads
of water down your neck. Either way, what you need to remember is that you can’t train
yourself to do without water like you can food, to a certain extent. So, always, always have enough with you. Now, it’s a good idea to
have something other than just plain water in your bottles, particularly if you’re
out for a long time. You could use, like, an electrolyte tab, like the Science in Sport
Go Hydro ones I’ve got, or if you need the calories, a carb drink with electrolytes in. And the great thing
about an electrolyte tab is you can actually take a stash with you and then pop it in your drink
as you refill it, as you go. Now, although you might not
get as hungry when it’s hot, your body is still burning
through loads of calories. Apparently, you actually
burn more calories trying to stay cool than
you do when it’s cold and you’re trying to stay warm. So you definitely need
to keep on top of it in order to avoid blowing. I don’t know about you, though, but when it’s hot and I’m riding hard, I just don’t feel like solid food. So I rely much more heavily
on carb drinks and also gels. And if I can do another quick plug, for my mates at Science in Sport, these gels have got
electrolytes in, as well, so you can keep on top of your salt intake and maintain that
all-important sodium balance. (upbeat techno music) Now, if you’re doing an event or a race, you might not have much control over this, but if you’re just
riding for the fun of it, or for training, then you
should definitely think about the time of day that you ride, so you’re trying to make
the most of the times when it’s cooler. So people who regularly
contend with extreme heat will often be on the bike by 5 a.m., meaning they can be done and dusted when the temperature starts to climb. (upbeat techno music) Have a think about
where you ride, as well, so if you’ve got the
luxury, try and plan routes where you can be sheltered from the sun as much as possible. And also avoid long slow
climbs where you can, the kind of climb where
there’s no cooling effect because you’re going so slowly and so you just sit there and bake. (upbeat techno music) If you live in a cold climate, but you are gonna be going
somewhere for an event or a race, then it is possible to actually
start to heat acclimatise before you’ve even left home. What you need to do is
supplement your normal training with five consecutive days of
riding on the indoor trainer just before you go. Now, when you’re on there, you don’t need to absolutely smash it. What we’re looking for
is to start sweating. So if you turn the heat up in the room, and then ride a moderate intensity, that should get you sweating,
and sweating profusely, and then, all you’ve gotta do is make sure that you drink loads and
loads of fluid, as well. And those five sessions
really, really will make a difference. (upbeat techno music) Now there is one last
thing we haven’t covered. It’s called doing a Mario,
after the legendary Cipollini. You see, he has, quite
frankly, the body of an Adonis, and so, rightly, he’s
concerned about tan lines, which means that when he
rides in hot conditions now, he do so without a jersey on, and his bib shorts rolled down. Now, you can probably imagine
that, given our physiques, Mario and mine, are quite similar, and I haven’t really got
any tan lines to speak of, I actually do this quite a lot. You’ve just got to bear in
mind the whole sun cream issue. And Mario probably has a queue of people wanting to rub sun cream
into his amazing body. I, on the other hand, am
just gonna do it myself. Now, on that note, do make
sure you subscribe to GCN. To do so, just click on the globe, and if you want to view
more content, randomly, we caught up with Mario, in 2013. You can get through to
that video just down there. Or for another classic, how about what not to wear when cycling. That’s just down there. Can you see my pecs rippling? Can you? I’m tensing pretty hard.

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