Brisvegas in summer alternates between steaming hot and sheeting down rain. In the subtropics summer can be quite extreme, but largely it’s a beautiful time of year to get outside and amongst it. These are our top tips for cycling in summer to keep yourself safe and to ensure you enjoy the ride!
Cycling in the Sun
The best part about cycling in summer is creating your own cooling breeze to enjoy! So enjoy the breeze in your helmet hair and cycle safely this summer with our top tips for cycling in the sun.
Slip, Slop, Slap……Seek, Slide
We have learnt a lot about sun protection since 1981 when Slip, Slop Slap was introduced and now we also Seek and Slide. The 5 S’s are the fundamentals of being outside in Brisbane in summer and they are the starting point of any cycling trip. For those who aren’t familiar with them they are:
- Slip on a shirt
- Slop on sunscreen
- Slap on a hat
- Seek shade
- Slide on sunglasses.
Whilst this comes under the heading of cycling in the sun, we note that the 5 S’s are just as important on overcast days.
Pro Tip: Invest in a helmet with a brim or use a cloth hat to protect your forehead. Putting sunscreen on your forehead usually results in rather stingy red eyes.
Enjoy the mornings and afternoons.
The UV index peaks around lunchtime, at about the same time the temperature does. To best enjoy our rides we either leave early in the morning (Brisbane City Cycling tours leave at 8am in the summer months) or after 4pm in the afternoon. Avoiding the hottest part of the day makes for a much more enjoyable ride. Of course there are some days in summer which are simply too hot to ride on, we always take the advice from BOM. Brisbane City Cycling’s severe weather policy is available here.
Drink water as you go
Staying hydrated is key and taking small sips frequently is the best way to ensure you keep up your water drinking as you ride. Drink bottle racks are easy to fit to bikes, as are baskets to store your water bottles. If you have trouble keeping your balance whilst riding a camel back is also a great option for keeping your hands on the handlebars.
Cycling in the Rain
Providing severe weather isn’t forecast, cycling in the rain can be great fun! After all, it’s not cold when it rains in summer in Brisbane, just well wet. The other major perk to riding in the rain? Generally the bike paths are fabulously quiet during rain and leaving you free to enjoy any epiphanies that may come your way (we may have indulged in one too many rom coms over the Christmas break).
Check your tire tread
Unsurprisingly rain makes surfaces rather slippery, so the more tire tread you have to work with the better. If you have a choice between bikes, we suggest you choose the fattest tires for riding in the rain. Tires do need to be replaced over time, it’s worth checking if you have enough tread with your local bike mechanic at your next service.
Ensure you have a rear tire guard
If you would like to avoid the line of debris flicked up your back, ensure that you have a back tire guard installed. There are a number of different products you can retrofit to your bike if yours doesn’t have one fitted, our favourite product (purely for its name) is the, “Ass Saver”.
Carry a cover for the seat
Whilst wet handlebars are slightly uncomfortable, a wet bum makes a ride seriously unfun. We recommend carrying a plastic bag or a shower cap to put over your seat whenever you park your bike outside when it’s raining. Believe us when we say it’s something your future self will thank you for.
The major difference to riding in the rain is how your take a corner. Wherever possible go extra wide on a corner and ensure you brake prior to the corner (when you are still going straight), rather than on the corner.
Pro Tip: Painted surfaces are extra slippery, so try to avoid these when you are cornering.
Cycling in summer in Brisvegas is a great opportunity to enjoy our beautiful weather (when it isn’t severe!). We love getting out amongst it on our Brisbane City Cycling tours and hope these tips will help you too as well!
Have any cycling in summer tips? We would love to hear them (read them?) in the comments below.