As the weather begins to warm up, we cyclists turn our attention toward the mountains for cool relief and the challenge of a good climb.  Summer cycling tips always bear repeating!  Cyclists need to be prepared for all circumstances that might present themselves.  Here are a few helpful tips as you begin to make your summer mountain cycling plans.

Know the Route

This should be a given, but is especially important on mountain rides. Identify locations where you can take breaks, refuel, and take shelter in case of bad weather.

Tell Someone Where You are Going

Especially if you are riding alone, tell someone where you are riding.  Also, make sure your phone is fully charged.  Take advantage of your phone’s ‘Find Friends’ feature so that someone knows how to locate you if needed.

Ride Early

We all hate getting up early. What is worse is getting up even early to get into the mountains for an 8 AM ride.  Riding early reduces the likelihood of encountering afternoon storms which pop up frequently in the mountains.  These mountain storms may produce high winds and hail.  If you get caught in a mountain storm, seek shelter.  Make sure to look at the weather forecast for the area nearest your route before departing on your ride.

Wear Layers

Even in the dead of summer, the mountains can be chilly to cold.  Dress in layers and take a jacket.  Close-finger gloves might also be good to have if you have room to carry them.  Descents will be cold after any grueling climb.  Make sure to wear a jacket on your descent to reduce the risk of chills and hyperthermia.

Feel The Burn

Yes, we’ve said you may get wet and cold on your mountain ride but you may also get burnt. Make sure to apply plenty of sunscreen, especially to areas that may be more exposed to the sun such as your face, nose, back of neck, the top of knees below your shorts, and your sock line.

Bring the Essentials

When you are riding in the mountains, you are sometimes in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone service.  Make sure you have all the basics:  at least two bottles of water; snacks; tubes and pump (or CO2); toolkit; first aid essentials.

Favorite Mountains Rides     

Some of our favorite mountain rides include Bergen Park over Juniper (Squaw) Pass to Echo Lake; Frisco to Vail; Independence Pass; Copper – Leadville – Vail (Copper Triangle).

Enjoy your mountain adventures this summer!