MTBBritain Home
   Route Guides    Top Tips    Links    Letters    Editor's Page    
   Steep Photos     Features     What's New?    Reviews   Recommended Stuff  Forum
Mend a puncture perfectly    Recommended Stuff     essential mountain bike kit    Trail Fix Bent Wheel     Home
Summer Tips  For Winter and Mud tips click here

more tips

Bites: Don't hang around too long in the car park at Coed-y-Brenin in high Summer. The midges will suck out your entire blood stream.
Cooling: On long climbs, undo your helmet strap and push your helmet back on your head to cool off. On really hot long climbs, consider strapping it to your Camelbak. Don't forget to put it back on at the top. It is possible to stack on a climb so go very carefully and don't blame us if you brain yourself! I had a chat with John T. (that's Thompson not Tomac) about this one and cooling really depends on wet hair and a breeze. This will cool you off due to evaporation. You could consider wetting your hair if you have plenty of water. However 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!
Cool Drinking: 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 camel-bak now that the prices have dropped (Decathlon) and their utility has been proved.  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 or tasty so we came up with the idea of half filling the 'bladder' with ice cubes.  Unfortunately this is a pain (as the cubes only just fit through the hole) and the cubes melt in next to no time. The solution is to 1/4 fill the bladder the night before and wack 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 with him for the rest of the ride. John Thompson, Spain

Take an extra vacuum flask of water to keep in the car, this is great cold at the end of the ride.
Put more water in your Camelbak than you think you'll need. Plan your shop/cafe stops in advance and top up your Camelbak at these, then you can run a bit less water in your back-pack.
Sun Burn: Don't forget the sun cream for that long ride in early Summer, the Minton Batch can be a real scorcher in particular.

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. If a sunny day's guaranteed it makes sense to apply some cream before you start and that way you're protecting against problems before they happen (like not starting a route with almost flat tyres, a rusty chain or/and brake blocks that fall off the rim, or burn into the tyre, if you apply them hard). John Thompson, Spain

Energy: HobNobs are a good non-melting energy fuel for the hottest (and coldest) of days. You do need some water to drink whilst eating them though, and when you stop for a rest look for a bit of shade for your bike too if you're riding on the sunniest days ... I've heard of a rear tyre going pop while its owner was taking a break. John Thompson, Spain We especially like Fig Rolls at MTB Britain. Great out on the ride but we normally polish off a packet in the car after a quick getaway.
Cool box: Nothing beats the luxury of having a cool box full of chocolate rolls and other goodies in the boot at the end of a hot Summer ride. (OK, actually the Dolfrwnog Tea Garden on the Pink Heifer and MBR routes at Coed Y Brenin beats it!)

HOME