We bring you our top tips for beating the heat and keeping cool while pedalling.
Yes, there’s a heatwave. And yes, this article was born from a heat induced stream of consciousness while we sat around in the office eating emergency ice cream and Gin n Tonic lollies from Lidl.
Our little corner of Yorkshire has become as hot as Moab, and we’re all melting. But the sun is shining, and the trails are in tippy top condition, so we still want to ride. But how? Here’s our top tips for keeping pedalling even when it’s hot as hell.*
1. The Correct Head Angle Will Cool You Down
Obviously you’re going to be wearing a helmet, so the wind in your hair sensation is going to be limited to what you can get through your helmet vents. Consult your helmet manufacturer’s technical pages to obtain details of the optimal angle for delivering maximum airflow. You may find that if your helmet is older than your bike, the angles won’t match well with modern longer/lower/slacker geometry. Consider buying a new one.
2. Consider Short Shorts While You Can
It’s anticipated that European imports of short shorts will be more difficult after Brexit, so grab them while you can. Short shorts provide a two tier system of cooling: at close quarters, the shorter length exposes more flesh to cool breezes; at the same time the intermediate airzone around you remains cooler for up to four metres, as fellow riders keep their distance.
3. Race Plate Spoiler
Contrary to popular opinion that race plates should be removed as soon as you finish the race and that riding with them between times is just attention seeking, you should leave your race plate on. It will act as a spoiler, directing a jet stream of cool air into your face.
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4. Choose The Biggest Tyre Tread Possible
Conditions may be dry, but this is the perfect time for your mud spikes: larger side knobs will create a fan effect, particularly cooling the important torso area. This cooling effect can be enhanced by the addition cooling unguents like Vicks Vaporub or rubbing alcohol. At a push, beer dregs will do.
5. Freeze Your Flats
Got a pair of shoes that are still not quite dry after that ride in April? Result! Pop them in the freezer overnight ready for a cool start to your next ride. If you’re not a flat pedal rider, there’s always SPD sandals.
*The sun may have gone to our heads. Please follow professional advice, stay hydrated, apply sunscreen, that sort of thing. Or, give us your suggestions – sensible or otherwise – below.
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