Jul 22 , 2021
It has been undeniably hotter over the last few weeks. Despite the fact that the English summer tends to be unpredictable, we can predict that at some point, you and your kids will get hot and bothered on a bike ride! These 5 tips should help you all to keep your cool on warm weather rides…
1. Lotion, lotion, lotion!
Even on cloudy days, at this time of year the sun can be stronger than you expect, especially for younger, more sensitive skin. Sun lotion is best applied before dressing to ensure you don’t miss any spots and NHS recommend giving it 30 minutes to bind properly to your skin, before venturing out and topping up again as you leave.
There are brands designed for children that come in bright colours and don’t irritate the eyes.
It should go without saying that you must stay hydrated in warm weather by drinking more than usual, and that’s even more important during physical activity. Children may not recognise dehydration until they become thirsty, so try to work in regular ‘drink stops’ to prevent this from happening.
Strap on a backpack and stuff it with re-sealable drinks and juicy fresh fruit such as oranges and grapes. Avoid chocolate!
3. Lightweight layers
Shorts and tee-shirts are brilliant on hot days and even better when the cool breeze is flowing from a downhill free wheel! However, check that the material is of natural origin such as cotton and contains a lower proportion of synthetics. Viscose is also breathable and absorbs moisture well so does not trap body heat. Even better, get a cool cycling jersey containing UV protection!
4. Choose your destination carefully
If you can get to a nice route under cover of the trees it will provide natural sun protection on top of your lotion and clothing. The woods are always a fascinating place for a family adventure with plenty of opportunities for rest stops and picnics.
Maybe you have water babies? A local ford, stream or shallow river can certainly be a wonderful way of cooling hot feet! Look out biting insects though, we always take a bite/sting relief spray with us… and never leave your children unattended by water.
5. Picnic for tea
Lunch by the river or in the woods might seem like an idyllic day well spent, but that is the time of day when the sun is at its strongest and most damaging. Mid-day outdoor exercise and prolonged exposure to the sun is best avoided in the height of summer. How about a tea-time picnic instead?
Or beer garden for a lemonade..?