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

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.

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

  1. I'm in the Bay Area in California, so I usually don't have to cope with anything over 38 C. However, the central valley can often peak in the mid to upper 40's during the summer. I'm not an expert in dealing with very hot conditions, but I do have some experience (although I suppose things tend to be on the drier side). Here are a couple of my observations:
    – At 38 C / 100 F, I typically consume an 800 mL water bottle every 8 km on flat ground. (Your mileage may vary – I would be interested to hear what other people are doing).
    – At 47 C / 117 F, I typically consume an 800 mL water bottle every 5 km on flat ground. (Plus externally applied water).
    – There are 1L water bottles available; they're noticeably bigger and work quite well for those very hot days.
    – At some point, your body just can't keep up with pumping water from your intestines to the surface of your skin. In dry conditions, you'll end up with very little or no sweat accumulation. If / when this happens, it's probably a good idea to start supplementing with external water. This is where wearing arm covers and leg covers really becomes useful; they are much better at holding squirts of water than your skin.
    – Headaches, nausea, and general weakness are classic signs of heat exhaustion, but I generally experience the headache before other issues. Actively dousing my head and shoulders with water every few minutes and removing my sweat bandanna can expand my operating envelope by several deg C.
    – With steep climbs, it's entirely possible for the energy balance to simply not close; you may have to stop every mile or two and sit under a tree or sign while dowsing yourself with water to dump heat. Know your limits.
    – Keep in mind that the temperature of the asphalt that you're riding on can be substantially higher than the ambient temperature reported by weather stations. I have had my Garmin read 47 C / 117 F from ground radiation even though it was sitting in my shadow while being cooled by air that nearby weather stations were measuring at only 42 C / 108 F. You are absorbing that same ground radiation.

  2. If you're talking proper top, or even layers – make sure you have absolute zero skin exposed. Cycle in Australia in 40+ degrees C mid-day sun and you'll know it take only a few minutes to get sunburn.

  3. Hey can you guys do a video testing Chinese imported bike parts? I am thinking of getting some. But I'm hearing mixed reviews. Some people swear that they're excellent and some others have nightmare stories.

  4. Ladies ride bike too, shave my head, or open the zip all the way down, yeah right, otherwise some good tips

  5. I certainly will tell my girlfriend the next time she's hot in a 70 mile run, that she should shave her hair if she's serious about cycling :)) 😛

  6. how anyone can create a video on the topic of hot & humid weather when living in the UK I will never know…oh the shame of it!

  7. Cutting my hair isn't something I have to worry about being follicly challenged as I am. So if you do ride on sunny day without a hat remember to put suncream on your head. Having burnt the top of my nogin I can assure you that it is a most unpleasent experience.

  8. For those of us who struggle with hair levels then whilst a cap might make you hotter, it's essential to prevent vent shaped sun tan on your head and yes, I learnt this the hard way

  9. I have a bald head and if I don't wear a bandanna under my helmet (did I say that publicly) the sweat runs down my face like i am carrying a mobile shower….

  10. Something tells me only Mario can really do a Mario. But at least Si can pretend to be on a Roman holiday. And ride past the fountains like Gregory Peck.

  11. Great tips anyone could use, though growing up in Singapore I've pretty much forget we have hot weather sometimes 😀

  12. I have found living here in Oklahoma where we have 100° days, that if I make sure I take a small drink every 3-4 miles, I don't end up in a deficit. I also alternate between water and electrolyte sports drink each time I drink too

  13. Added pieces of advice: check out your ride with OpenCycleMaps or any hiking/cycling-friendly version of OSM data. At a low enough zoom level, it includes drinking water fountains – not all of them, but it certainly helps to plan refilling in advance. You really don't want to miss the fountain at which you should have been stopping. Be careful not too drink too much while refilling – thirst should guide also here. When refilling, don't just fill the half-empty bottle, but refill both bottles entirely with fresh (i.e. more cold/more refreshing) water. (For that reason, I'm also not the biggest fan of adding mineral tabs at each refill, but if that's what you feel you need, I advise to use one bottle with only fresh water, and one bottle with mineralized water, and to refill that second bottle only when needed.) However, in really hot temperatures, you can use them to cool down your arms and legs as well – but do so only if you're wearing water-resistant sunscreen. Don't pour water over your head – it makes things worse once you dry up again.

  14. I've been riding around the nice area recently and the amount of people wearing caps it ridiculous. It's 30 degrees and when they take their cap off it's like they stuck it under a tap.

  15. I have ridden on the island of Okinawa. Daytime temps in the summer hovered at around 38 C. My answer was to ride in the AM, sit the heat out during midday, preferably in a nice restaurant or beach resort, then ride back in the evening. Even so I was barely able to do 80K per day. Luckily they have drinks at the "Lawson" like Pocari Sweat and Aquarius water. Okinawa has a good system of bike paths and where they are absent, a decent shoulder on their roads. Riding from Motobu to Yomitan presents some nice scenery. In the south don't forget to check out the "Gangala" Cave Cafe. Ishigaki island is also very nice to ride on. Avoid the later summer when typhoons are present. Early summer has hot rain but that is actually better than the baking sun. Best bike to take? A Ritchey Logic breakaway.

  16. Had to comment on this video. Firstly why would anyone wear those racing bibs for a ride, cycling shorts work way better. Not every rider wants to race.

    My tips:

    find locations where you can refill water bottles, mark them on your map.
    put bottles in freezer overnight.
    stop and get a cold drink.
    stop and find shade, perhaps stretch
    stop if you are too hot period.

  17. I live in Virginia, USA. Ride early, ride often. I am typically out shortly after sunrise and back home before most people are at work. I choose wooded routes when possible. When it is particularly hot, I dial back my effort a notch to prevent heat exhaustion.

  18. I go sleeveless. Sure it breaks The Rules, but exposing armpits (axillary artery) to the wind cools me. That reminds me, I forgot the extra swipe of deodorant before the ride today. Oops.

  19. i like the elderly man walking behind you with a coat on while you are sitting on the bench. Gives the English game away rather. I have an ulltra light top, never worn in the UK.

  20. Actually i find wearing a cap reversed during sunny days is quite useful in shielding my neck from the scorching sun.

  21. One comment about losing the hat under the helmet. While a hat or bandana might make you hotter, they provide sun protection and keep sweat from dripping into eyes. For those of us follicularly challenged, something under the helmet is a must.

  22. Come for a ride in Singapore. Average temperature is 90+F everyday and humidity around 80%. Even at 5am its 80F+. A 80Km bike ride I get through 5 litres of water/fluid!!!

  23. Some caution with electrolyte drinks. You mostly lose free water while sweating, so alternating electrolyte bottles with  water only bottles is probably safer than only using the electrolyte drinks.

  24. I wear a light colored du rag on my head under my helmet when it's really hot so my bald head doesn't get burned through the air holes in my helmet. Once my head looked like a grilled hamburger.

  25. For those of us that sweat in the heat, a cap under the helmet is a must. Getting blinded by the sweat in your eyes is never fun, especially on a descent.

  26. Very good show. Living in a southern U.S. state heat is a way of live. 90+ weeks after week and 80-100% humidity is also common.

  27. Wearing a hat: keeps your helmet clean (important) and to reduce heat wet your hair and hat before you head out. Then the vents can do their work. Use a cotton hate retain more liquid and retains less heat than most synthetics

  28. UK hot, that's funny. Come on down to Texas in the July through September, then you can talk heat. Today's 2:50.00 ride resulted in 6.5 20oz of sweat lost.

  29. I wouldn't mind to rub your back with some sun cream… 😉

    For me, the best way to deal with the heat, is wearing a Trisuit – as I cannot do the Mario as a woman. haha

  30. I usually ride my bike at 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit (4-10 degrees Celsius) at when it gets lower or hotter, I use my roller

  31. Great vlog – living in Perth WA we often have to deal with hot days – I'm absolutely no pro but manage an all day ride of 100 km most Sundays – I never expose my skin I keep covered up both arms and legs sun damage is not reversible. Another little tip I use is to freeze my water bottles with only 1/3 of capacity then top it up with cold water just on leaving stays cool for several hours. If you are lucky enough to ride the coastline there are plenty of beach showers and when it hits over 36 deg C jump regularly under them – doesn't do much for the hair but you feel great.

  32. I have a severe lack of natural covering for my scalp, so if I don't wear a hat in hot sunny conditions, my head looks like that of a strange red/white lizard. Sunscreen definitely helps, but the cap is good just to be sure.

  33. Thats hot weather???
    Try cycling in India. Its 115 F today (45 C).
    You blow up/ bonk in less than 3 hrs in our weather.

  34. I live on the nordest part of brazil, it's really hot and the sun is very strong. Usually when i ride long distances, i need to go at 3 AM and finish the trip until 10 AM, because in this time nobody can stand the stong burning sunlight.

  35. All this is good for hot "humid" weather. You do this in hot dry weather and it can kill you. You need clothes to cover as much as your body possible to keep moisture in. Hot dry and windy is the prescription for dehydration and that can kill you.

  36. I'm in Florida in August watching a vid from cold UK about heat survival. I just enjoy GCN. Here you need help to peel off your sweat soaked jersey, that Mario thing might be the answer.

  37. Easy solution: get up at 4am, wheels rolling before 5am. In Japan temps hit 37-38C after 12pm. Best to be done riding by lunchtime on those days.

  38. If you cannot take the heat it may be best to ride in the early AM. Me, on my days off I ride in the AM and then in the afternoon. I like the heat. I just ride faster so there is more wind against my body.

  39. One problem for is that I am bald and therefore use a head cover with a gutter to keep sweat out of my eyes. My ride is at Hotter than Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls, Texas. USA. Since this is in August the normal high temperature is 100 degrees F plus.

  40. Nothing better than watching a video on how to dress when it's warm, while it is freezing outside. Love the video and the channel, thank you for your amazing work!

  41. I just have to suffer, it was 48oc recently, peaks at 50oc!!!….it’s a killer!, tend to cycle on a night now!

  42. Hat under the helmet because it soaks up all that sweat and helps direct it toward the sides of my face instead of dripping into my glasses

  43. Living in Scotland I don't have to worry about this, but found this interesting, must be nice cycling in hot weather ….. Maybe I will go abroad one day and find out what hot weather is like

  44. What about women?? What can we do to ride comfortably in the heat? 🤷🏽‍♀️Sport bras and bibs down? Seriously; I want to know.

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