Cycling At High Temperature

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Cycling In Extreme Heat – Beat the Heat!

I live in Jaipur, proudly known as “The Pink City”. This is the place of extreme temperature. In winters the mercury drops to 6 degrees, and in summers it rises up to 48 degrees. It’s summertime right now. Temperature is soaring above 40 degrees. Even early mornings are hot as hell. However, the love of cycling never let us relax in the closed air-conditioning environment.

cycling in heat
PC: Ajay Jain

In this article, I would take you through my journey of beating the heat in warm Jaipur summers while cycling. I take care of few things daily before starting and on my ride which helps me in cycling at this extreme temperature.

Riding In The Heat

Cycling in heat
Cycling in heat – PC: Ajay Jain

Riding in hot conditions is a little trickier to get right than riding in the cold. Mainly because you can only take off so many clothes to regulate your heat. Once your core temperature goes past a certain level, your brain will choose survival over performance. Your output will start to decrease as your body redirects your blood to perform cooling duties. With this in mind, there has been a lot of research on what you can do to minimize the effect.

Heat adaptation

Spending a period of 10 to 14 days in hot environments sees a change in your blood plasma levels, which helps core temperature regulation.

cycling
Saunas are becoming a popular method to acclimatize to hot and humid conditions

In recent years, it’s become common for elite athletes to use a sauna in the training process as they come into the summer races. Stressing the body in this manner is similar to how you might train out on the road. Your body is challenged so it adapts to become stronger and more efficient at handling the heat. I usually hit the sauna twice a week in summers.

“The difference betweena sauna and a steam room can be summed up as simply dry vs. wet. Saunas provide dry heat, whilesteam rooms generate moist heat. Both can open up your pores, loosen up your muscles and help you relax”

Clothing

Cycling jersey
Jersey to wear in heat while cycling!

What you wear plays a part and it’s obvious in this scenario that you want the lightest clothing possible. It’s is a matter of balance between covering up to keep the sun off and keeping your garments light and breathable. Arm and leg sleeves to wonders, however, some prefer to get their arms and legs tanned.

Sunscreen

sun cream while cycling
Use Suns cream

When your skin burns, your core temperature rises and you can overheat. Use sunscreen to stop this from happening.

Hydration

Hydration support while cycling!
Hydration support while cycling!

Keeping your fluids up, and ideally with an electrolyte solution, keeps your motor running cooler. As you become dehydrated, your core temperature will once again go up. On very hot days, it is impossible to ingest enough fluid to maintain hydration when you’re exercising, so it needs to be a 24/7 effort.

“Dont drink to fill your stomach, sip the water just to get your throat wet”

Observe your urine and don’t be afraid of alternating between the electrolyte solution and water. If what you’re drinking is passing straight through you, increase your sports drink intake. It not, keep up both water and the sports drink.

Homemade Lemonade Ice Slurpee

Slurpee is tough to get in India. it’s not like a lot of 7/11 store which exists in India. I make a lemonade mix in the night and keep it in the refrigerator overnight in a bottle. The frozen lemonade is my partner for the ride. Since it is a mix of sugar salt and lemon, which is needed by the body in extreme heat. I keep on sipping it when I am on my ride. Slurpee is basically the life-saving solution with lots of crushed ice.

Summing Up

Heat in summers can be unforgiving. However, that doesn’t mean we would not be riding. I mean even an apocalypse will not stop us from riding. If I was to put up this article in one sentence it would be!

“Enjoy the sauna or steam, drink plenty, wear light, sunscream helps and keep riding”

I hope this article will help you in planning your rides more effectively in summers. Suggestions from pro riders are welcome. Please feel free to add anything that I may have missed.

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