Ice in a drink glassBeing a dedicated rider in the summertime can be a difficult endeavor. If we look at the upcoming forecasts for the Salt Lake area we can see just how uncomfortably hot  it is going to be. When the mercury is consistently hitting triple digits however, it is easy for heat to go from an inconvenience to a threat on our health. If  you plan on maintaining your routine, it is important to take some simple steps and gear to increase your performance and to keep you on the road.

Reduce the Heat

Varying with how hot it gets outside, your body uses a lot of energy (up to 75% of your body’s capacity) in trying to release heat. If it is unable to do adequately, your exercise will be extremely limited and dangerous. Your body has amazing abilities to regulate its own temperature, but some factors can hinder it, such as extremely high temperatures, humid or stagnant air, and failing to hydrate effectively. When these conditions exist it is especially vital to take precautions.


Sweating is your body’s best defense in keeping you cool, but it comes at a price. If you aren’t replacing the fluids your body is pouring out, dehydration can happen frighteningly fast. Find out how much fluid you are losing by weighing yourself immediately before  and after an hour long ride. Weight loss of anywhere more than one or two percent means that you are not hydrating enough and you need to adjust accordingly. Try to drink 20 oz two or so hours before your ride, and sip consistently throughout. Gulping could lead to stomach discomfort.

Acclimate Yourself

In Utah this can be difficult, because we can be almost freezing one week and pushing 90’s the next, but it is very important. Your body will adjust to extreme temps, but you have to give it some time. When the first heat wave of the summer sets on, don’t expect to be doing your max distance those days. If you have been training in the morning, be wary of mid day races. Gradually working your way into the heat will keep you healthy and usually only takes about a week for you body to fully acclimate.

Gear up

There is a great tool on, and you can set the conditions in which you will be riding and it will recommend proper gear. In the Goldilocks temperature zones, you can usually get away with whatever you have, but when they reach extreme highs the right gear makes the difference between enjoyable and miserable.

  • Helmet: While there are plenty of versions great for summer riding that are lightweight and vented, it is more important just to wear one. Even if you can’ t afford a new one, wear what you have. 
  • Short sleeved or sleeveless jersey: Giving your body the maximum amount of surface area to dissipate sweat will keep you cooler. Make sure the jersey is also made of a technical fabric with high wicking properties such as Lycra or merino wool. This will keep you cool and dry.
  • Shorts: Similar to the jersey, the fabric is the important factor here. Keeping your core and legs dry and comfortable will maximize your performance.
  • Sunscreen: With all that exposed skin, making sure you aren’t turning lobster is key. Get a water based sweat resistant sunscreen, because oil based will impede sweating and actually make you hotter.
  • Socks and Shoes: Lightweight and ventilated foot wear will make your strokes more powerful.
  • Sunglasses: Road glare and bright sunlight can do permanent damage to your eyes if exposed regularly. Glasses will also protect your eyes from debris and wind.

We understand that the only thing more important than your biking regimen is your safety. Taking these steps and precautions will allow both  to remain unscathed. Stay cool and enjoy the ride. If you questions about cycling laws in Utah or have been involved in a cycling accident. Please call us at 801-506-0800 for a free consultation.