On long climbs, stop for a minute and take your helmet off or loosen the straps. Consider wetting your hair if you have plenty of water. On a really hot, still day (and especially if you are dehydrated) there’ll be little evaporation and you may get a sunburned head and even increase the risk of cooking your noggin and getting sunstroke.
This is a serious and occasionally fatal condition in which the brain and body core overheat resulting in headaches, nausea, coma and even death. One early symptom is hot dry skin. So drink loads, you have been warned!
Drink before you’re thirsty. Make sure you hydrate well the day before and on the morning of a big ride. Most people these days have a Camelbak, however, as anyone who’s been out for a long, hot ride will tell you lukewarm or even hot water flowing from a plastic tube isn’t very refreshing. The solution is to 1/4 fill the bladder the night before and whack it in the freezer. Come the day of the ride, you just fill up the remaining 3/4 with water and off you go. ”DON’T OVERDO IT!! I have a friend who filled his Camelbak 2/3 full knowing that the following day promised to be a scorcher, and all he achieved was to run out of water in next to no time, and still have to lug a kilo of ice around.
Don’t forget the sun cream for that long ride in Summer.
Carry a small tube of Factor 15 sun-cream with you. It won’t weigh much, but it will make all the difference to a ride if you’re half-way ’round and turning an uncomfortable shade of lobster. Seriously, sunburn’s no fun if you’ve still got 20Km left to go. It makes sense to apply some cream before you start and that way you’re protecting against problems before they happen.
After the ride :
Take an extra vacuum flask of water to keep in the car, this is great cold at the end of the ride.