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 go out for a little spin.
Something happens! Who knows what. You are hooked.
Bike riding is a world of its own. I do know that there are rules for the seasoned bikers and what skin they will allow to tan, and how 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 your sun damaged skin and know that you will soon be in the dermatologist office getting those spots removed. So please give your skin some sun protection.
For Those Who Are Still With Me, Lets Think About 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 difference for life.
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 ageing 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.
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.
4 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 it with safety issues. Staying safe is important and don’t forget to remind yourself and your family about being cautious.
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 also 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 one that fits and blocks the sun completely from your head and hair combines the safety. It can be better for your sun protection. As well as a part of your safety gear.
You see people with a cap under their helmet.? 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. However, you will need to use your awareness of where the sun is hitting your skin to protect yourself.
Importance of Sunglasses
Sunglasses are an important base for all sun protection efforts. First, your helmet to protect your head. That is where the sun hits you first, so it needs protection first.
Your eyes are technically part of your head, but to make sure you are aware, of the importance of protecting your eyes, we are treating them separate here.
If you get too much sun on your head, face and neck you may enter a condition that causes impairment in decisions and judgement. You may find yourself dizzy, unable to stay upright. Cooling down in a shady space is important.
Cataracs are what happens to your eyes, normally. Although there can be skin cancers and melanoma in your eyes as well.
This is what the Mayo Clinic says about this condition we call cataracts:
“Most cataracts develop when ageing or injury changes the tissue that makes up the eye’s lens. Proteins and fibres in the lens begin to break down, causing your vision to become hazy or cloudy. Some inherited genetic disorders that cause other health problems can increase your risk of cataracts.”
One of the more common injuries to your eyes is too much sun. The sun is dangerous. We all are exposed to the sun all the time, and often are overexposed. These times of exposure add up and soon you are doing damage to your eyes just like to your skin.
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 the 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 the protection applied. Read labels. Know what you are buying. And when to replace.
Cover Up To Keep Your Skin Protected
Lets Talk About The Lower Part First
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. Sleeve guards would allow a short while of getting some sun, them protecting your arms from too much sun.
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? Sun Protection While Cycling
You have your helmet, sunglasses as well as your neck gaiter and long sleeves or sleeve guards on, your sun blocking upper torso covering. 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 special attention to your nose. The sun reflects and will give you a nice sunburn if you are not careful! Your nose especially! Get your sun protection complete and use whichever 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 so easy to get. 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 just want to ride on these pretty days. Please, just protect yourself from the sun. 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. Be wise, and watch for your own safety.
Are You Still A Tanning Addict?
The cycling culture loves a tan. While you may not have the archetypal cyclist’s tan, that has 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 realise 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 sun strength. Follow sun safety for your skin.
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 risk of exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation and sunburns.
Other Risks For Cyclist
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 riding 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.