Cycling in the sun beats the rain any day. However experiencing high temperatures and humidity during full days in the saddle or racing can be exhausting and at worst be very dangerous. Having recently completed the Schleck Gran Fondo in Luxembourg the heat played a key factor racing over the 155km hilly course.
Sunburn contributes to fatigue and increases your metabolism which increases fluid needs, which will make hydration more difficult. When your body is devoting energy to keeping you cool, heavy exertion will limit your power output and performance. This can lead to mistakes, reduced concentration and in extreme circumstances collapse.
The Aussie mantra of slip slop slap is built in to their sun exposed culture to protect from the worst of prolonged exposure. Cyclists can follow a similar approach to keep safe and hydrated.
Look for cycle clothing which assists and has built in protection against sun burn. Remember the photos of Chris Froome who burnt badly through his Sky team kit. Don’t forget the head and eyes; a cycle cap can help shield your head from burns and sunglasses with UV protection protect your eyes.
Use a high factor suncream. I’ve been using P20 suncream for the last 6 years which offers up to 10 hours sun resistant as well as being great with resisting water and sweat. Remember to cover thighs and calves and the backs of your hands liberally with suncream as they’re constantly exposed to UV rays.
Drink plenty of fluids the day and morning before. Especially important if you have been travelling on an aeroplane to the event. If you are travelling try to get out their early to acclimatise to the heat.
On the day sip from water bottles preloaded with electrolytes during your ride and swill the water around your mouth. Set a reminder on your Garmin for every 10-15mins to take a sip from your water bottle.
You could even freeze your second water bottle so its cold when you come to drink it. Cold water in your stomach will draw heat from the core of your body and potentially boost your energy.
Pace yourself for the heat and moderate to the lower or middle of your training zone. Listen to the signals and if ever in doubt just ease up a bit. Remember on the climbs there’ll be no cooling benefit of the headwind so moderate carefully.
Post ride keep in the shade and take a protein-based recovery drink which will rehydrate you faster. Eat some watery fruit such as watermelon and grapes and remember to keep hydrated throughout the day.
Big thanks for the four days of spectacular cycling action in the Tour de Yorkshire 2018!
Fabulous scenery, sense of community and cracking weather. Not to mention the incredible and demanding routes. The crowds and effort people went to with decorations adorning buildings, hedgerows and fields was a sight to behold. The shear numbers of spectators was staggering.
I watched the Stage 2finish on the 1.9km climb up to the Cow and Calf pub on Ilkley Moor. Riders were spurred out of their saddles on this steep section by the rapturous applause and banging on the barrier boards.
I also rode the Park Rash climb a few hours before the Tour riders came through in Stage 4; a brutal 2.3km climb with a couple of 25% hairpins. The blistering heat made this a tough feat among the beautiful Dales scenery. Fresh tarmac and a road sweeping truck was taking care of duty as I descended back via Horsehouse to West Whitton. Looping back via Hawes and Askgarth climb I caught the riders at Kettlewell with Stephane Rossetto way out front.
On the on the 4th-8th October 2017 I will be taking part in the Mount to Mont Cycle which is raising much needed funds for Cornwall Hospice Care who recently cared for my friend Mark’s mum, Pat, who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. A charity offering specialist palliative care to people aged 18 and over with life limiting illnesses. Please donate what ever you can to support the awesome care of their patients and their families.
Each year we look for new ideas for fundraising and increasing awareness for the children’s charity, Coram. This year I experimented with the idea of ornaments that could be attached to a bikes handlebars for a bit of fun. It started with a 3D printed prototype of Peppa Pig and in collaboration with Club Peloton quickly moved to ‘Harold the giraffe’, the charity mascot, for Coram. He has been computer modeled and styled from a photograph of the Coram hand puppet, then 3D printed and finally hand painted. A Garmin mount has been incorporated to provide an easy fix to the handlebars.
The Harolds will join the Cycle to MIPIM riders travelling from London to Cannes along the 1500km journey* to raise money and increase awareness for Coram. You can follow their progress and say hi on twitter; #haroldontour #cycletoMIPM.
*one name for a group of giraffes. Others are a tower, a troop, a herd, a kindergarten, a kaleidoscope of giraffes.
An awesomely massive thank you to everyone who supported me and sponsored me for the ride you. It was your help with donations, training, cycle and bike gear, nutrition, motivation and even getting me out of bed to train that really made the difference!
My ride has raised an amazing £3,000! In total all the Cycle to Cannes riders and team sponsors this year raised over £365,000 which is an incredible amount of money! It will really make the difference to the lives of so many children and young people supported by Coram.
The harsh winters training once again paid off with a terrific 6 days of blue sky riding amazing roads through France.
The ride and welcome into Cannes was amazing with super massive support at the finish. Thanks to everyone who turned out there and the help getting me back on walking feet. A special thanks to Geraint who took the time out after Paris-Nice to come down to Cannes to present our medals.
As well as the awesome photographs lots of great video footage has been captured this year see below. It also give you an idea of all the amazing support and logistics that go into keeping a ride of this size churning through the 1500km!