Top ways to Beat the heat on your bike – How to cycle in Spain’s summer weather.
How to enjoy your Cycle tour when it's Hot outside
Even if it is, it is crucial you know what your limits are and to stop very much before you get to them. Heat can debilitate quickly and easy and is a dangerous thing to play with.
In Southern Spain, we do see the thermometer rise in July and August, though we still do love to ride or run during those hotter months.
So how do you take care while cycling in heat?
Drink, drink, Drink and then keep drinking
If you do enjoy exercising in heat like we do, make sure you have water on you. Always. I like to throw electrolytes in it just to replenish those lost minerals that will be lost. Even start hydrating the day before if you know you are going riding the next day.
There are many cafes on our cycling routes in Southern Spain so take every chance to fill up and keep drinking. One of the handy things I had in the Danakil was an insulated water bottle, so it doesn’t always seem like you are drinking tea so hot the water. I also carried a Camelback hydration pack and if you are seriously cycling in Spain in the summer, I would recommend one. Then there is no excuse of becoming dehydrated.
You may not be able to plan your trip to other months, so plan your ride.
Something very useful is a cooling towel / necklace such as Ergodyne makes make in order to wear around the neck or have for afterwards to keep your body temperature down.
Keep drinking! We know how popular Sangria, Cerveza and Tinto de Verano is but if you are still cycling, stick to water.
Plan your day around your ride time
If you are cycle touring, get a good early start on the cycling and get those miles done before at least 13:00. In the South here, the day only gets warmer and warmer, unlike in the Northern hemisphere, where 12:00 high noon can be the hottest part of the day. Our warmest hours often are in the late afternoon when the mercury hits its heights.
We suggest to our cyclists that although the sun only rises down here at 7:00am, if you want to leave at that time, let the hotel know the night before and they might leave a few things out for you to eat before leaving. There are many cafes along our routes though, so you will soon be able to get your coffee at some point!
Embrace that Spanish Siesta on your cycle travels!
Ease up on your Ride Expectations mileage or gain
Don’t push yourself to your limits getting up that hill. It doesn't matter what terrain you are cycling, just remember to take it slowly. The heat is already adding to your load and elevating your heart rate. Monitor yourself and cycling buddies.
We suggest that if booking during June, July or August, perhaps pick a tour in the moderate or Easy range rather than Challenging. We also offer shorter options on some of our more challenging rides such as on the Alhama Fixed Base, which is at a higher altitude (1000m) than other spots but still don’t overexert yourself if you know it is going to be a very hot month.
Don’t underestimate Mental preparation,
it goes a long way
Know how to recognise heat stroke and what to do about it.
Some symptoms of heat stroke to watch out for
· Throbbing headache
· Lack of sweating
· Irrationality to belligerence – mood swings
· Sick to Stomach or nausea
· Muscle cramps
· Rapid heart beat
If near home, a cool bath will help. Pure Ice should be used with caution and isn't recommended on extreme cases or with elderly / young children.
Here is the link to Saint John’s Ambulance Help Link to Heat Stroke for more information.
Cycling in hot weather may not be for everyone!
If heat is not your friend, we do offer options of guided and self guided tours in the cooler Northern Provinces of Spain of the Basque country, etc.. in those months such as our Coastal Camino, Green Spain or Famous Vuelta Climbs of the North or France`s Loire Valley or even Canada, all of which are lovely places to visit when it gets a bit toasty in Spain!