Virtual riding is on the decline, so more cyclists are back on the road, which means taking precautions against sun damage and dehydration, especially during the summer months.
Chris van Rooyen of Team Bestmed gives some practical advice on how to protect yourself from the summer sun while cycling.
Less is more. It is easy to overheat if you are over-dressed on a hot summer’s day. UV sleeves are great to protect your arms from burning. Arm warmers and thick jerseys are a no-no.
Always use a good sunscreen and make sure it has been endorsed by CANSA.
The higher the factor the better and the longer it will last. In other words, the lower the factor, the more frequent you need to apply.
I apply the following before I ride: A SPF40 sun protection stick for my nose and lips, and a
SPF40 water resistant non-greasy clear spray on my neck, ears, arms and legs.
I recommended 500ml of water per hour, but I try not to drink just plain water. Get into a habit of drinking a 500ml bottle of energy drink before your ride. A good rule of thumb is to drink a 500ml bottle of energy drink per hour.
I use a 4:1 ratio of protein to carbs energy drink for endurance riding. I also add half an electrolyte tablet to each of my bottles. I will then have a 500ml recovery drink or smoothy after my ride.
As soon as your mouth feels dry, the chances are that you are already dehydrated. The biggest issue with dehydration is cramping.
Triathletes and endurance riders like to drink a mix of half Coke and Water. This has helped me numerous times. I drink this mix in my last hour or two in a stage race like the Cape Epic.