Why Sun Protection While Cycling? Riding your bike is a fun exercise and can help you to have a more balanced life by having time outdoors, and actually burning calories! The problem is that cycling is addictive. You decide to go out for a little spin.
Something happens! Who knows what. You are hooked. You are definitely planning the next ride.
Bike riding is a world of its own. I do know that there are rules for seasoned bikers and what skin they will allow to tan. You need the right jersey. How the socks and shorts are important.
I am a bicycle rider for fun! No, I am not ready to get competitive. That’s not why the bicycle is fun for me. And for sure I wouldn’t tell you how to dress. Get all the sun you want. Count me as ready to just have fun and get exercise.
Unfortunately, I have seen some of you with sun-damaged skin and know that you will soon be in the dermatologist’s office getting those spots removed. So please start figuring out how to get your skin some sun protection.
Some Easy Ways To Stay Safe
OK, let’s consider what happens to your skin as you are out enjoying your bike ride. As with most outdoor sports, getting sunburned is a major danger that can sideline you for a few days.
A sunburn will make a long-lasting difference in your skin. Yes, even make a lifelong difference.
So let’s think about how to make sure you don’t end up with a bad sunburn to go along with the tired achy muscles from a good bike ride.
Time in the sun can cause problems for bicycle riders. The sun is unrelenting and often the damage is done in such small amounts at a time.
This is true of most sun damage. A little bit too much sun on Friday, and a bit more on Saturday. Sunday was a short day as the weekend is over, you were not in the sun for so long.
However, next weekend you start all over again. The days roll by and it is mid-October. You dig out your fall hoodie and realize that color brown is weirdly near your skin color. How did that happen?
We do love to be out on our bikes on a beautiful day. In all probability, you have used up all your free passes. You know, those free passes that let you ignore taking care of your skin? Allow unlimited sun exposure?
It is time for you to be careful that exposure to the sun doesn’t result in premature aging or even skin cancer! Sorry to put a damper on your fun. The good news is that with awareness, protecting yourself can be fairly straightforward.
Cycling poses several dangerous risks, particularly when it comes to sun exposure.
The top three risks include dehydration, heatstroke, and skin damage.
Prolonged exposure to the sun while cycling can lead to severe dehydration, as the body loses fluids through sweat.
Additionally, the combination of physical exertion and high temperatures can result in heatstroke, a potentially life-threatening condition.
Lastly, unprotected skin is vulnerable to harmful UV radiation, increasing the risk of sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. To stay safe while cycling, it’s crucial to stay hydrated, wear appropriate sun-protective clothing, and apply sunscreen regularly.
Considering Your Options For Health
A few changes in preparing for your ride and you are safer from the sun.
First of all, no one is suggesting that you reduce your time spent cycling.
Cycling is a great way to stay physically active, which can increase your overall health and reduce the risk of breast and bowel cancer. Plus it can help you keep a healthy weight, which also reduces the risk of some kinds of cancer.
Getting good exercise is one of the more beneficial things that can be done to ensure healthy growth in youngsters and maintain better health in oldsters.
So get out there and enjoy yourself, but take measures to reduce the risk of damage to your skin.
3 Suggestions To Keep Your Skin Safe While Enjoying Your Bike Ride
As you are thinking about easy ways to protect your skin from the sun while riding your bicycle? Don’t confuse sun safety with safety issues. Staying safe is important and don’t forget to remind yourself and your family about being cautious.
1. Choose A Helmet With A Peak
Why a peaked helmet? Originally, helmets with a peak were used as an effective sun blocker. Traditionally, this is why the helmet needed a peak. Sun blocking was the first use, but the peak can keep the rain off your face.
While protecting your face and head from the sun is important for riding, safety is also a consideration for accidents. Finding a helment that fits and blocks the sun completely from your head and hair combines safety for your skin and your body. It can be better for your sun protection. As well as a part of your safety gear.
Do you see people with a cap under their helmets.? Check out helments.org for safety in biking. Think twice before your compromise your safety.
The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, a non-profit organization for bicycle helmet safety information, warns that hats and visors may compromise the helmet’s fit and safety. A thin, non-slipping skull cap can work but recheck your helmet fit before getting on your bike!
You can’t depend on your helmet to do all the work of keeping the sun off your skin. It is designed to keep you safe in case of an accident. That is the most important.
You will need to use a neck gaiter and wear sunscreen to protect you from the sun. I have seen the helmets with the brims, and they look like they could be effective. How have they worked for you?
However, you will need to use your awareness of where the sun is hitting your skin to protect yourself.
2. Importance of Sunglasses for Bike riding, regardless of age
When it comes to bike riding, wearing sunglasses is essential for people of all ages. Not only do sunglasses enhance visual clarity and comfort, but they also play a vital role in protecting our eyes from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.
We are going to be thinking about the safety and comfort of riding, and the part sunglasses play.
Wearing sunglasses while cycling enhances visual clarity by reducing glare from the road and other reflective surfaces.
Sunglasses help cyclists see more clearly, especially on bright, sunny days or when riding in areas with high levels of light exposure. Think is areas without many trees or bushes.
Additionally, sunglasses with appropriate tinting and polarization can improve visual contrast. This makes it easier to identify potential hazards on the road.
By reducing eye strain, sunglasses contribute to overall comfort and enjoyment during bike rides.
Protection against harmful UV rays is one of the primary reasons for wearing sunglasses while cycling. Protecting your eyes from prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Exposure to UV radiation can, over time lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea).
Sunglasses equipped with 100% UV protection lenses shield the eyes from both UVA and UVB rays, minimizing the risk of these long-term eye disorders.
Eye Fatigue and Dryness
Long bike rides can strain your eyes, causing fatigue and dryness.
Wind, dust, and debris can irritate your eyes, leading to discomfort and distraction. Wearing sunglasses acts as a barrier against these elements, preventing eye dryness and helping to reduce the risk of irritation.
By keeping the eyes moist and shielded, sunglasses allow riders to focus better on the road, leading to improved safety and overall biking experience.
Sun safety for your eyes is crucial for people of all ages, especially children and older adults.
Children’s eyes are more sensitive to UV radiation, and protecting their eyes from an early age helps reduce their risk of future eye problems.
Likewise, older adults may have a higher susceptibility to eye conditions, making sunglasses an essential part of their sun protection routine. By remembering sun safety, cyclists of all ages can enjoy biking while minimizing the harmful effects of UV exposure.
Wearing sunglasses while riding a bike is important for all ages. Enhanced visual clarity, comfort, and most importantly, protection against harmful UV rays.
Good UPF sunglasses to protect your eyes are very important to your eye safety and health.
Find an oversized lens or wraparound style to protect more of your eyes and the delicate skin around them.
Read labels to see if sun protection is applied to the lens or if it was included in the making of the sunglasses. If it is applied after the lens is complete, replace it every 2 to 3 years as the protection will wear off. This happens with most sunglasses that are very inexpensive.
However, some expensive sunglasses have protection applied. Read labels. Know what you are buying. And when to replace it.
3. Cover Up To Keep Your Skin Protected
Your body will stay healthier when you protect your skin from the sun. We are accustomed to seeing cyclists in short shorts for freedom of movement.
This is understandable from the freedom of movement idea, but for skin protection, short shorts will do little to keep you protected. Everyone soon has their favorites for which pants to wear while cycling. Taking a bit of time to find a pair that allows good movement while still covering your legs is important.
With the rapid growth of SPF clothing, there are styles and fabrics to make your riding easy and comfortable, but keep you protected. If you want to avoid skin cancer and melanoma, cover your skin from the sun.
Your existing jeans and leggings and warm-ups are better than nothing and will protect you some until your order of sun blocking clothing gets in. However, don’t push your luck too long. Repeated exposure is what causes these kinds of skin cancer.
Prevention is the cure for skin cancer. You can get the protection you need by becoming aware. Learn how you can protect your skin. Being healthy and happy with yourself means doing what you can to block the sun.
Protecting Your Torso While Biking
Now, let’s talk about the upper part of your body, and how to protect yourself from the sun. The different styles of shirts, jerseys, and jackets are important. The different kinds of cycling call for different fitting and wearing garments.
As you are choosing your “kit” be sure you chose with sun protection in mind. The hours the sun is shining on your back or your shoulders add up quickly. Protecting your skin with garments made of protective fabrics is especially important.
Besides needing fabrics that help your body stay cool and allow sweat to evaporate, you need to block the sun.
Then you need to protect your torso from road rash in a fall.
That is all quite a challenge and why the new UPF fabrics can be such a good thing for you and your effort to keep your skin healthy. The colors and styles are designed with specific activities in mind. You can protect yourself as well as stay safe while looking good!
Sleeve guards for your arms are a good investment. Choose a sun blocking fabric and color that allows air through.
Neck gaiters and sleeve guards are good for those who only ride during the cooler times of the day when the sun isn’t so high. Even though you have sunscreen, you will need extra protection. For me, they mean less sunscreen application. I appreciate that.
You as a more active cyclist will know what parts of you are getting too much sun. Protect yourself and check out the availability of well-designed and attractive sun blocking clothing.
Your skin will be healthier and you will look better with healthy skin.
Sunscreen or Sunblock While Cycling
You have your helmet, sunglasses as well as your neck gaiter, and long sleeves or sleeve guards on, your upper torso is covered. Then there’s your sun blocking pants. Your gloves. What is left that needs sunscreen or sunblock?
You need to protect your face and ears with particular attention to your nose. The sun reflects and will give you a nice sunburn if you are not careful! Your nose especially! Make your sun protection complete and use whichever product you prefer. I like sunblock because it is less oily on my skin.
Staying protected with clothing will work wonders for keeping your skin safe. Sunburn is real, dangerous, and happens so quickly. Don’t let sunburn spoil your cycling fun.
What Will You Do?
I realize that you are tired of delaying your rides because the heat made it less enjoyable. It is getting to be such nice fall weather here in the hill country. It could be snowing next week! Stranger things have happened!
You want to ride on these pretty days. Please, just protect yourself from the sun. The fall sun is just as dangerous as the summer sun. Now you may get by with normal clothes and a good application of sunscreen.
The dangerous hours have changed to 11 AM to 3 PM. Plan to ride before 11 AM and after 3 PM for the fall and winter.
However, unprotected skin can be damaged at any time.
Are You Still A Tanning Addict?
The cycling culture loves a tan. While you may not have the typal cyclist’s tan, the one with creosote-colored legs, you notice those who do.
That is a lot like the dog chasing cars. “What are you gonna do with it when you catch it?” It is not normal looking, and if you are not careful, there will be pre-cancerous places where the seams rub the skin that has had this much sun.
Melanoma can hide in this deep tan and you not be aware. We all have a bit of a tan addiction in us. It will nearly always catch our eye.
For just a second I think I would like to be that… Then I remember the visits to the dermatologists to get the spots taken off before they become actual cancers.
My sunburn risk is very high. Is yours?
Did you realize that a tan is actually a sign that the skin has been damaged? It merely trying to protect itself by turning tan.
Stay Aware Of Your Sun Danger
When you find yourself a cyclist, you’re outside for extended periods of time regularly.
If it is the time of year that you have cool air blowing over your skin as you ride you might not realize the intensity of the sun. Then you have to watch for sweat which will wash away any sunscreen you’ve put on.
People often make the mistake of thinking that the sun in the fall and winter is not strong enough to cause the skin to sunburn. Don’t underestimate the sun’s strength. Follow sun safety for your skin.
There is one thing that caught my attention as I considered what was best for my skin to protect me while cycling. The calves of bicycle riders show up with skin cancers. Makes sense after following others on a bike. You see where the sun hits on their body.
Remember, those of you who have fair complexions or skin that burns more easily must be more aware of your sun. Then, some have red or fair hair or lots of moles or freckles, you are at a higher risk of skin cancer than others and need to be particularly careful.
Rising Skin Cancer Cases
Unfortunately, skin cancer cases are on the rise.
The reason is simple. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, more than 2 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year.
Then, in addition, about 68,000 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, are diagnosed yearly.
While more people are detecting cancer earlier, which is increasing their chances of survival, the actual cancer rates are rising. Young people who use tanning booths and those who do not use sunblock when working and playing outside are pushing the numbers up.
Cycling is a sport that is all about spending time outdoors.
And more often than not, most cyclists enjoy riding their bikes when the weather is nice and sunny.
This puts many of America’s 57 million cyclists at a higher risk for skin cancer. The more time you spend outdoors cycling, the greater your risk of exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation and sunburns.
Other Risks For Cyclists
When you ride your bicycle a lot, you have several strikes against you. Because many cyclists ride streets and roads near their homes, they think they’re not at risk. So they don’t put on sunblock.
The problem is that cycle riders tend to expose more skin than other athletes because of the clothes they wear (shorts and short-sleeve shirts).
So many riders don think about the water, sand, and asphalt streets that reflect dangerous UV rays. Protect your skin.
Sami’s Take On “Why Sun Protection While Cycling.
Cyclists have such a fun sport to enjoy. Learning to protect your skin while enjoying this great outdoor exercise can make you safer from skin cancer.
Awareness is one way to help yourself stay safe and make a few changes to assure that you are staying safe. If your family is a cycling family, helping your kids practice safety for their skin will pay lifelong dividends.
Making better choices to keep you all safe can help everyone with their skin health.
Remember to drink water while you are riding. Enjoy your ride. Obey road safety rules and keep your skin safe from the sun.