Tips to Stay Cool While Riding on Hot Summer Days
There's no better weather for a motorcycle ride than a beautiful sunny day. We're all excited for trips across the coast and over state lines, and we also want to be prepared. If you're expecting some serious heat this summer, or plan on riding through neighboring cities, taking extra precautions will help you stay cool so you can truly enjoy your time in the great outdoors.
Make hydration your priority
Proper hydration starts before the ride. Drinking water throughout the day, each day, is important to your overall health, on and off the bike. You'll be happy to know that drinks like coffee, sodas, milk, and teas all count as hydrating fluids. However, alcohol does dehydrate the body. It'd be wise to avoid alcoholic drinks the night before long excursions.
To wake up more hydrated, try drinking a cup of water right before you fall asleep. Drinking another glass when you wake up can help you get ahead of the days events. Of course, when you pack for your ride, it's essential to include a hefty water bottle. However, consuming sufficient electrolytes is just as important. In addition to your bottle, bring dry electrolyte packets or tablets that can be added to your drink.
Ride before 11:00 am and after 2:00 pm
If you can, avoid riding from 11 in the morning to 2 pm on days when the sky is bright and clear. At these times, the sun shines directly at us, and tends to be the hottest, driest hours of the day. Planning your ride with this in mind can help to prevent unnecessary exhaustion or sun exposure. Of course, when you do hit the road, make sure you apply ample sunscreen. On hot summer days, you'll also want to make sure you park your bike in the shade.
Shade your eyes
It's likely that you don a tinted visor, which is great for the sun, but remember to pack sunglasses or a shading hat for when you're off the bike and moseying around. While sunglasses might be less comfortable during hikes or campouts, it's worth it to protect your eyes. (Especially since great vision is essential to a great ride!) Even if you don't plan to be off the bike very long, it's a good idea to come prepared. Opt for hats and shades that are well fitting and fashionable. You'll want this safety measure to become second nature, so it's worth finding items you love.
Always wear full coverage gear
What's worse than being overheated? Being overheated and injured. While it can feel oppressively hot some summer days, if the heat prevents you from wearing all of your proper gear, then it's likely too hot out to be riding. A vented helmet will help you stay comfortable while on your bike, allowing cool air to pass through and keep the temperature inside your helmet down. You can also shop for clothes that are moisture wicking to keep your skin cool and prevent excess sweating.
The body gives warning signs of exhaustion before it becomes an emergency, so remember to rest often, and before you're tired. When riding in an unfamiliar area or for a long distance, you'll want to plan stops ahead of time. Label places where you can refill water, use the restroom, and grab some grub on a map or in your phone's notes app. Extra precautions like adequate sleep, shaded naps, and extra breaks along the way will help you avoid burnout, and get back home as planned.
If you find yourself fatigued, consider running your hands and wrists under ice cold water (or as cold as you can get it). You can also splash water on the back of your neck, behind the knees, and on the inner arm. It's good rule of thumb to not rush movement if you're exhausted. It's more important that you get home safely, then according to schedule.