Summer is here in North Texas which typically means dodging triple-digit heat or suffering through it. Riding during the summer should not mean you have to sacrifice your comfort and safety. We have used our years of helping riders deal with summer heat to assemble a list of the essentials you need to ensure you not only enjoy your ride but feel great after.
The right clothing can make a significant difference during your ride. Make sure to find clothing that has these features and you will appreciate how much more comfortable your rides are.
UV protection – Clothing with UV protection will ensure you are protected from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Moisture-wicking fabric – Move moisture and sweat away from your skin and to the outer surface where it can evaporate and help keep you cool.
Zippers – A jersey with a full-length zipper allows you to unzip and catch a nice breeze to cool off.
Water, water, and more water. Drink water before, during, and after your ride. Always carry plenty of fluids, even if you're only planning for a short ride. It is far better to finish a ride with water leftover than it is to run out during.
Insulated water bottles - An insulated bottle can help keep your water cooler which aids in lowering your core temperature on those long rides.
Hydration packs - A hydration pack is a great choice for all-day off-road excursions where water is not as accessible to the rider.
For rides longer than an hour, drink fluids with an electrolyte replacement in addition to water. Use an electrolyte drink, salty food, or electrolyte chews/gels to help maintain sodium levels. Be sure not to wait for the feeling of extreme thirst; this could be one of the initial signs of heat exhaustion.
Electrolyte mix - Replenish lost electrolytes for complete hydration and cramp prevention
Nutrition & Recovery
Riding in the heat can take a lot out of you. That is why it is critical that you choose foods that replace what you lose during your ride so you feel good instead of drained.
Gels/Chews - Great for a quick energy source during your ride.
Bars - Excellent meal replacement as well as long-lasting energy great for longer ride days.
Recovery - Replenish energy stores as well as assist in muscle recovery after a long or intense training ride.
See & Be Seen
The best way to beat the heat is to ride when the sun is not out. That often means riding early in the morning or late in the evening when visibility is low for both you and anyone else who may be on the road or trail. Make sure you have the proper lights to see and be seen.
Battery-powered lights - A great low-cost option to and enough light output to be seen. Minimum safety requirement.
Rechargeable lights - A higher light output (lumens) as well as longer run times. Great for commuting, off-road riding, and riding in remote areas.
Always plan a route ahead of time. If you are riding with others, then make sure they know where you are going. Choose roads or paths with some shade as well as convenient places to stop for hydration.
The Dallas / Fort Worth area is home to many fantastic bicycle paths and off-road mountain bike trails of varying distances and difficulties. We've put together a list of some of the best places to ride in Dallas / Fort Worth. We spend quite a bit of time on these trails, and we're happy to give you additional recommendations when you visit any Richardson Bike Mart location.