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Your Summer Riding Checklist — Part I
Can you believe that the first day of summer is just around the corner? It seems like just yesterday that we were discussing springtime riding, and now the first day of summer will be here in a matter of weeks. We know that you’ve got plans to ride your bike this summer, and in today’s post, we’ll cover a few tips you can use to prepare yourself for riding in warmer weather.
Summertime Riding Tips
If you’ve had a busy spring and weren’t able to get out on the road, then make sure that you practice riding on empty streets before you hit the highway or venture out into busy traffic. This allows you to get reacquainted with your bike’s controls and handling, and it can also provide you with an opportunity to evaluate whether or not your bike needs repairs. Your brakes could have become less responsive while your bike was in storage, or you may need to have your electrical system inspected if things aren’t working as well as they did last summer.
Take Your Bike to the Shop
Following up on the previous section, it’s always a good idea to take your bike in for a tune-up — even if you didn’t notice anything off when you took it out for a test drive. Your local mechanic will be able to check your fluid levels and make recommendations that improve your bike’s overall performance.
Once you’ve had your bike inspected and you feel confident about your riding skills, it’s time to hit the road! You’ll be wearing all of your normal riding gear and a helmet in the sun, and even lightweight clothing can cause you to sweat as you travel. Plenty of water is essential, and you may even want to pack electrolyte tablets or a sports drink to help you replenish your fluids if it’s particularly hot out.
Watch Out for Heat Exhaustion
Fatigue and heat exhaustion are two common factors in many summertime accidents, so make sure that you find ways to keep yourself cool if you’re riding in high temperatures. Many riders soak bandanas with cool water and wear it around their necks, while others go so far as to soak an entire shirt and wear it underneath a lightweight, breathable jacket.
No matter how many steps you take to avoid heat exhaustion, nothing is more effective than taking a break and getting out of the sun. As you plan your ride, map out places where you can stop to use the restroom, fuel up your bike, and stretch your legs.
We want you to stay as safe as possible while you’re on the road, so keep an eye out for the following symptoms of heat exhaustion:
- Clammy, moist skin
- Heavy sweating
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty standing and walking
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches and cramps
Seek medical treatment if you or your passenger experience any of the signs of heat exhaustion.
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We hope that today’s entry will help you stay safe on the road this summer. We’ll continue to provide you with summertime riding resources as summer approaches, so keep an eye on our blog page and check back regularly for the latest updates.
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