Bicycle touring, it's so hot right now!

July 10, 2015

When you're bicycle touring in July, pretty much everywhere, it's gonna be hot. How can you beat the heat this summer, and have a successful ride? By following some or all of these tips, that's how!



There's no way around it, you've got to stay hydrated in the heat. Carry plenty of water, and try and drink regularly. I generally aim to drink a water bottle per hour in the summer.



It's cooler in the mountains, assuming they aren't on fire. When summer rolls around, think about planning some trips in the high country, especially if you can hit some cold alpine lakes along the way.


Ice Cream:

Don't pass up a perfectly good ice cream stop. It has the calories you need for a big day of riding, and can help drop your core temperature down in a hurry. Oh yeah, and all touring cyclists that visit our headquarters in Missoula, Montana get free ice cream!


Camp in the Shade:

You spent all day battling the heat on the bike, don't let up your guard off the bike. Setup camp in the shade so you can relax and recover comfortably.


Ride Early:

I'm not a morning person by nature, but when touring in the summer, I will absolutely wake up at the crack of dawn to get an early start on the road. Not only are the temperatures cooler, but often the wind is less intense as well.

Sun Protection:

Whether this means lathering up in sunscreen, or covering up in lightweight apparel, you don't want to get burnt out there. Aside from being painful, sun burns will dehydrate you in a hurry and zap your energy.

Those are some of my methods. What do you do to stay cool in the summer?

Photos by Josh Tack

TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling’s member services department. It appears once each month, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and offering advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh’s “Fine Tuned” column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.


Steve Osborne April 14, 2016, 4:16 PM

On hot sunny days I'll soak a bandana and drape it over my head under my helmet. As ride the evaporative action will cool my head down. On REALLY HOT days, if I pass a fast food place, I'll bundle up a couple hand-fulls of ice, taco style, in my bandana and tie it around my neck.

Rovo Johnson August 20, 2015, 4:30 PM

Joshua - Nice suggestions!

I would add to the hydration section. I tend to drink a ton of water myself, but sometimes find my sodium levels dropping to low.

I believe it's important to keep the sodium levels up. My favorite snack while riding (especially in the heat) is beef jerky.

Keep up the great work!



Steve Cox July 10, 2015, 3:54 PM

This is great advice for bicycle touring in hot weather. I live in Houston and the hot/humid summers seem to last forever. I have to convince myself to get out there for my daily ride, and I often lose that argument when it's still 91 degrees in the evening. When I tough it out, I'm glad I did. It's hard for me not to enjoy a ride, no matter the weather, especially when I'm close to home.

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