Julie Cornelius is a guide for Rim Tours in Moab, Utah, and having grown up in Phoenix, Arizona she is no stranger to hot weather! We asked her to outline tips for riding, coping, and how to do it right when you know it's gonna be warm.
Hydration, hydration, hydration- Let's make on obvious point here- drinking water is very important. Living in the desert where it’s so dry sweat evaporates so quickly that you don’t feel like you are sweating as much as you actually are. No matter if you are riding somewhere humid or dry, it’s important to keep drinking constantly throughout the ride. Also, if the ride is longer than a couple of hours, you will need electrolytes as well. Electrolytes are different minerals that we lose through sweat and need to be replaced. The most important one is sodium, which you can get from a sports drink, electrolyte tablets, or salted foods. If it’s really hot, I like to bring extra water that I can dump on my head to cool off as well.
Sun Protection- I love riding my bike! Whether it’s for work as a guide for Rim Tours in Moab, traveling to a far flung destination with World Ride or an afternoon spin on my own. This means I spend a lot of time outside in the sun. Over the years, I have gotten tired of slathering on sunscreen every day to protect my skin from the sun. In recent years, I have been reaching for long sleeve sun shirts. My favorites are the new Club Ride Sola Sun Shirt and the Ida Long Sleeve. These two are great at wicking away sweat to help me stay cool, while also keeping the sun off my skin. While these shirts are built with UPF protection, make sure to use sun screen on those areas not protected by fabric.
When possible go higher- When the temperatures heat up down in the desert, I love to get into the mountains to ride where it’s cooler. The La Sal Mountains outside of Moab are a 45-minute drive and 30 degrees cooler with peaks over 12,000 feet. I can escape to the pines and aspens to ride some different terrain and beat the heat.
Get out early or later in the evening- During the middle of summer, I have two times of day to ride- first thing in the morning as the sun is coming up or a short evening ride as the sun is setting. The temperatures are much more tolerable during these times of day, and a bonus is the trails are usually empty as well!
Find some water to jump in- On a really hot day I head to the Colorado River or a nearby creek to cool off in the water. These places are also a great spot to soak a bandana or buff to keep your neck cool.
Post-Ride cooler- Last but not least is cold beverages! There is nothing better than dipping your hand into an ice cold cooler and popping your favorite post-ride bevvy!!
This is not the end all be all list of things to do when it is hot. We just want to give you some recommendations. There are lots of ways to keep yourself cool out there! Let us know your go-to moves to keep your temps down while riding!