Keep Your Cool in the Heat

Andean in the desert

It's that time of the year when the temperature is all about extremes. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it's all about staying cool in the blistering summer heat. Here are a few tips so you can keep pedaling, even as the mercury soars.

Make sure you are protected

If you are out there for a long time the sun will really take it out of you so cover up while still allowing for airflow. Try long sleeves, a protected neck and a regime of applying sunscreen twice a day.

Planning water availability and carrying capacity

You always need to know where your next supply of water is coming from and have the ability to carry enough to get you through. For touring it can be handy to pack some water bladders as they roll up, don’t take much room and can provide crucial extra water carrying capacity when you are in remote areas.

Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate some more

Hydrate before you leave and when it’s really hot make sure you get yourself into the habit of drinking regularly, with a timer set as a reminder to drink if need be.

Keeping it cool with socks

You miss that refreshing cooling hit when you have to drink water that is the temperature of tea. Put a thick wet sock over the bottle so as you are cycling the evaporative cooling keeps the heat down.

Design your day

Don’t ride through the extreme heat of the day if you can help it, as you may manage it at the time but could pay for it later. Use the cool of the morning and the evenings. Rest in the middle of the day.

Use the shade

Seek shade at all times when you are not on the bike, or use whatever you have on hand to make it if there is none available. If you are touring a piece of shade cloth can come in handy, both for shade and something to sit on.


If you get a chance, take the opportunity to acclimatize to the heat or be prepared to take it easier for a start while your body gets used to the conditions.

Mind over matter

When the going gets tough focus on the beauty of your surroundings, or try and picture yourself somewhere cool. 

Thanks to and Simone Giuliani for the content.