Summertime means warmer weather for fun, and outdoor activities like going to the beach, taking a hike, or going on a long new trail on your new e-bike. When the sun is out people feel refreshed, have more energy, and want to try new activities or extend some of their lifetime favorites. Or maybe you’re taking your friends with you for the first time to your favorite trail. This is what summer is made for, but to maximize your fun throughout the summer you might want to learn what heat stroke is, how to recognize it, and ultimately, how to prevent it.
Heat stroke is when your body temperature rises rapidly, and the sweating mechanism fails to cool it down. When this occurs, a person may feel confused and have slurred speech or start to feel weak, nauseous, or even start vomiting. They may also have hot, but dry skin or start sweating profusely. Some people may have seizures or slip into a state of consciousness and faint or enter a coma. All of which we want to avoid. Below are some e-bike tips on preventing heatstroke, so you can continue having a really fun summer.
Hydration is Key
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things a person can do while riding their e-bike. However, that doesn’t just mean you need to drink more water. During activities, especially outside, you want to up your water intake before you start feeling thirsty, but the human body is all about balance.
This means you need to drink lots of water from a water bottle holder on your bike or hydrating fluids while also drinking something to replace your salt and minerals, such as little salt packs, a performance drink, or some other type of quick salt or electrolytes. Pay attention to the Facts Panels though, a lot of sports drinks have a ton of sugar, which is best to avoid as it causes you to lose more body fluid.
Avoiding heatstroke means you also want to stay hydrated before the activity of a 20-mile e-bike ride on your new Himiway Zebra, so be sure to drink lots of fluids before your ride, so you don’t get to the point of feeling thirsty. The feeling of thirst means you’re already dehydrated.
Add a Wet Towel
Since you’re already packing water, make sure to pack an extra bottle and a lightweight towel. Before your body temperature rises too high, you can soak the towel with the water and put it on your head. The human body releases a lot of heat through the head and feet, so adding a soaked towel helps to cool the body down more quickly. Once again, this is a preventive measure, so make sure you’re doing this when you’re still feeling good, but you notice you're feeling hot or sweating a lot. The goal is to prevent heatstroke instead of treating it. Heatstroke can easily be fatal.
Wearing lightweight, light-colored, or loose-fitting clothing may also help. There are plenty of biking shirts and shorts specifically made for the summer months to help keep you cool and safe. It's a good idea to invest in those since they’ll also likely help with comfort on those long rides.
Ride in the Shade
When possible, plan your trips outside of peak heat times (afternoon) and ride in the shade. Trees have a great way of providing shade that can help keep cool or cool down your body. This is because sunlight and solar radiation can make the air feel 10 to 15 degrees warmer than it is, causing your body temperature to heat up more quickly. Add the rise in temperature from physical activity, and you can understand why heat-related illnesses can occur more easily if you don’t take precautions.
If your ride lacks natural shade, you can find a building, car, big rocks, hills, or anything else to take some cover and let your body cool down. If you think you might be developing heat stroke, duck into a building with air-conditioning or a clean body of water for a few minutes and hydrate. Let your body temperature come down and start regulating your systems before getting back on the road.
Sunscreen is not only to help keep you from getting a sunburn, but it affects the body’s ability to cool itself down and stay hydrated. Since you’re wearing a helmet and not a wide-brimmed hat while riding, make sure to add sunglasses and sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
Your sunscreen should be broad spectrum and be applied about 30 minutes before going out. This allows it to soak into your skin, maximizing protection. Don’t forget those sneaky spots like the back of the neck, ears, and tops of the arms which are the most exposed while riding your e-bike. Then make sure to reapply according to the package directions.
Preventing your skin from burning allows it to focus its energies on other functions like sweating to help keep you cool or processing the electrolytes you ingested. You can also wear loose-fitting long sleeves that have SPF built into the clothing to up your protection. When you get these types of clothes wet, it will help cool off the body, and they dry pretty quickly.
So, this summer make sure to have a blast trying new activities, and taking a long ride on your new e-bike, but make sure to beat the heatstroke and stay safe.
To help prevent heatstroke you can do several small things that will make a huge difference like staying hydrated by drinking water and sports drinks to replenish your vitamins and minerals, adding a wet towel, riding in the shade, and always wearing your sunscreen. You can wear sunglasses and light-color, loose clothes with built-in SPF for added protection. If you’re just getting started or looking for e-bike tips, check out this comparison blog to help you choose the right way to ride, so you can enjoy your time in the sun!