Cycling and Sun Safety

While it may be the official end of Summer in 2 days, here in Adelaide the sun is hotter than ever and the UV index  is still very high to extreme.

Many people want to keep themselves protected from the sun and will SLAP on a hat under their helmet as they head off for a ride… but this isn’t best practise. My opinion, as a professional cycling teacher is that a hat under your helmet is not the best way to protect yourself while cycling.

1) Helmets are designed with holes to aid air flow and cool the body – putting a hat on your head traps all this heat and makes you hot, bothered and dehydrate sooner,

2) many of the caps people wear under helmets have a little button on top – it’s actually a metal tack with a metal base, if you were to have an impact the helmet would push that metal into your scalp and skull,

3) the hard plastic peak on caps, while providing a bit of shade for your eyes, is a problem as it too is trapped under the helmet and has nowhere to go in an impact except into your scalp.

(FYI The visors on helmets are designed to snap off in an impact, some people attach a legionaires’ style shade off the back of their helmet proving protection as well as allowing airflow. The hats at pro’s (and wanna-be pro’s) wear are made of a very light weight fabric, with a fabric peak and no metal/hard bits that could be squished into the head)

So the safest way to be sun smart while cycling is to SLOP on a suitable sunscreen regularly -remember the back of the neck, ears and back of legs;  WRAP on sunnies, and SLIP ON a long sleeve top if you can. SEEKing the best time to ride is also a key – avoid the harshest sun times if possible.

Enjoy the ride and stay sun smart at all times

Lee-Anne

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