Exposing yourself to early morning sunshine provides your body with vitamin D, and it’s always nice to get a good tan. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a breeze as you ride under the sun, cycling to your heart’s content.
Unfortunately, the days grow hotter and hotter, and in turn, radiation emitted from the sun has become more dangerous. If you overdo sun exposure, you increase your risk for skin damage, premature ageing, and even cancer.
Research suggests that too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays is the culprit for up to 80 per cent of visible signs of ageing, such as reduced elasticity, wrinkles, and even pigmentation. UV rays are also closely linked to skin cancer, which could lead to the development of tumours.
To protect your skin from harm and still enjoy cycling, here are the three most essential tips you need to follow:
Tip 1: Apply sunscreen early and often
Sunscreen is your best protection against UV rays, but for it to successfully do its job, you must apply it as early as possible. By doing so, you allow it to soak into your skin, which helps it become a potent sun barrier.
Most products ask you to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you cycle. Experts suggest, however, that 30 minutes beforehand is even better. Cyclists often push the application of sunscreen well after they’re already out in the sun.
To make the most of your sunscreen, rearrange your pre-ride routine. Ensure that you apply the lotion before suiting up. Proceed as necessary—gather your things, fill your bottles, have some breakfast. Before you know it, the sunscreen has already soaked in.
Tip 2: Wear the right gear and clothing
Your choice of clothing also serves as your first line of defence. Sunscreen protects those areas you can’t cover with clothes, but your apparel does most of the covering. If you’re planning to ride for a long period, opt to wear long sleeves for added protection.
Cycling is also a sport that causes you to sweat—you wouldn’t want to risk yourself getting a heat stroke, so wear clothes with a close weave. It’s also important to ensure that the material you use isn’t see-through, as that increases your risk to sun damage.
If you can, choose clothes that offer a high UV rating. Wearing a bike helmet with a sun brim, on the other hand, protects your nose, lips, and ears. Finally, never forget to wear sunglasses, preferably with UV protection too!
Tip 3: Change your cycling routine
Organised cycle events have schedules that you need to follow, so you have no control over your extensive exposure to the sun. However, you have all the liberty to control your training hours.
That said, minimise your exposure to the intense sun hours. Heat usually peaks between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. These hours are where the UV rays are strongest, so plan your training hours accordingly.
Cycling is an incredibly challenging sport, which requires a ton of training and endurance. It can
be rewarding, too, as plenty of cyclists get to connect with nature from all their cycling trails.
Extensive sun exposure is the number one challenge, however, and many cyclists battle the raging heat for hours on end. To ensure that you reduce your risk of contracting skin cancer and other sun-related damages, keep the aforementioned tips in mind.
We offer cyclists the protection they need, with innovative solutions like bike helmets with sun protection and Da Brim helmet brims in Australia. Get your sun-ready gear with us now!