Top 10 Summer Road Cycling Tips

The popularity of cycling has steadily increased over the last decade, fueled in part by an increase in awareness of the importance in living a healthy lifestyle. Many of us grew up riding bikes as kids and have rediscovered the joy of being on 2 wheels for both exercise and as a social activity. Summer is the most popular time of year for riding so we’ve rounded up our top 10 tips for staying safe and enjoying your time in the saddle for the rest of the season.

Photo: Breakaway Training

1. Be An Early Bird

Getting out early has multiple benefits, including beating the heat. There is also typically less traffic on the roads in the very early morning hours, making your ride more safe and enjoyable.

2. Protect Yourself From The Sun

While some wear their tan lines like a badge of honor, the dangers of too much sun exposure is well studied and documented. Sunscreen and protective clothing like arm-sleeves are must-have’s for those looking to limit their UV exposure.

3. Hydrate

As your sweat rate increases, so does your hydration needs. There’s nothing wrong with drinking plain old water for short rides under an hour. For rides lasting 60+ minutes, you’ll want to include electrolytes by using a sports drink like GLUKOS Energy Drink Mix. Invest in an insulated water bottle to keep your drink cool.

4. Energize

Bonking in the summer heat is the worst. Make sure to keep your energy levels topped off by keeping your GLUKOS Energy gels, gummies, chewable tabs or bars handy so that you’re not forced into a Circle K stop for junk food.

5. Be Prepared

Foul weather can pop up quickly during the summer. Check the forecast before leaving the house and if there is a chance of rain, consider bringing along your bike lights so that you stay visible in low light or rainy conditions.

GLUKOS cyclists lead the pack at Seattle To Portland 2016.

6. Check Your Rubber

Summer storms and winds can leave increased debris on the roads. This means your chances of flatting are also increased. Make sure your tires are up to par, haven’t worn too thin, and have enough tread on them to ride safely in the rain.

7. Wear Gloves

Cycling gloves come in handy during the summer to help you keep your grip when your palms get sweaty. Gloves with terrycloth on the tops are also great for wiping away brow sweat. 

8. Get Technical

You might be able to get away with wearing your favorite concert tee and gym shorts to take a spin the rest of the year, but during the summer you’re going to appreciate the moisture wicking ability of cycling-specific apparel. You don’t have to buy high-end to reap the benefits. Embrace the spandex.

9. Know When To Stay Indoors

There are some days when it’s just not smart to ride outside. These include days that reach above 100 degrees, when the threat of damaging storms are imminent or after times of flooding when the roadways are covered with debris. If you don’t have an indoor trainer, you can always catch a spin class and still get in a great workout.

10. Ride On Vacation

Riding is one of the best ways to explore a new area. You don’t have to sign up for a cycling tour in France to enjoy a vacation on 2 wheels. Many bike shops have day rentals and suggested routes for getting in a training ride or sightseeing ride while on vacation. Remember to bring your own shoes, pedals and helmet for the best experience.