Tips for a Safe Summer Ride
Summer is here and we’re ready to hit the trail. But before you head out this summer, make sure to play it safe. We’ve been dealing with record-high temperatures, and riding in that kind of weather is no joke. Here are some tips and suggestions for riding in hot weather that can help your summer adventures be the most fun and safest possible.
Bring water – lots of water. This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure a good ride. You need to stay hydrated to stay safe and have fun. This becomes more pronounced in the heat, but it’s a good idea at any temp. It’s always best to be prepared. You never know if you will have to hike out, wait for a while near a disabled vehicle, or top off an overheated radiator.
Share Your Plans
Leave the details of your trip with a trusted friend or family member. Let them know where you are going, how you are going to get there, who will be going with you, and when you plan on being back.
There isn’t a guarantee that you’ll have coverage, but it never hurts to keep a fully charged cell phone with you on any trip you take. Chances are you will be able to find service in case of an emergency. If you travel in extremely remote places, it might be a wise to consider purchasing a satellite phone.
Wear lightweight clothing to keep cool. If possible, avoid dark colors. Covering up while you are out riding in the heat will help keep your body cooler because it keeps direct sunlight off your skin. It also protects you from sunburn and from the wind.
Take a Rest
Make sure you take breaks frequently to keep from getting overly tired and dehydrated. This is important on every ride, especially when conditions are extreme. If it is a possibility, get out of the heat and rest in a shady area out of the sun.
Recognize Signs of Heat Related Problems
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke set on quickly. If you feel too hot and tired to ride, don’t do it. You don’t want to push yourself in extreme temperatures or put yourself at risk. Know what your limits are and don’t push yourself too hard.
Stop riding immediately if you experience signs and symptoms of heat-related problems.
- Heat exhaustion: Signs and symptoms include cool, clammy, and pale skin, heat cramps, a weak pulse, nausea, chills and dizziness, weakness, and disorientation. You may experience increased or heavy sweating.
- Heat stroke: Signs and symptoms include hot, flushed, and dry skin. You may experience lack of sweating. Your body temperature will be elevated. Look for headache and nausea. You may feel confused and even faint.
Wear your Seat Belt
As always, wear a seat belt and a helmet. This is a must for any ride during any season.
A tool kit comes in handy all of the time. It’s always a great idea to keep one tucked under the seat. This is something that won’t take much effort to put together, and can be the difference between a fun trip, and one that is cut short. If possible, carry a spare tire on long trips. If you don’t have enough room to carry a complete spare, we suggest getting a tire inflation kit. Also, having a tow strap on hand is never a bad idea.
We hope you enjoy many great rides this summer. And as always, stay safe out there.