Summer is the perfect time of the year to get out and challenge yourself on the bike. Whether that be tackling the mountainous Marmotte in France or the rapid Ride London round the Surrey hills, you need to make sure you are wearing the right kit for the conditions.
We are heading to the Hotchillee London to Paris next week, a multiple stage event, amassing over 500 kilometres and finishing on the iconic Champs Elysee in Paris.
The long, hard hours on the bike have been racked up, the pounds have been shed and now it is time to make sure we are dressed both to impress and to tackle the event in comfort.
Northern Europe can often be unpredictable when it comes to weather. Mother Nature always likes to throw a spanner in the works and even though the event is in late June it is important to be prepared for every eventuality.
When the pace heats up you don't want to become a sweaty mess. A base layer is a fine undergarment, wicking away sweat quickly and keeping you dry. We will be packing a number of different weights of base layer, so whether it is a chilly spin down to Folkestone or a hot and humid run in to Paris, we will be cool and comfortable.
Short Sleeve Jersey
Another neat addition is a gilet. These vests are perfect for keeping the windchill off and adding that extra layer of warmth. The advantage with a gilet is they are also easy to fold down into a pocket when the temperature begins to rise.
Now we would like to think we are going to have 3 glorious days in the sunshine, but we are realistic that rain is always a possibility. Carrying a rain cape can be the difference between arriving at the finish on form or a shivering, wet mess. Yes, you might find yourself carrying it for the whole event and not need it, but then again it is better to be safe than sorry, or should that be soggy!
Knee & Leg Warmers
A padded pair of mitts or gloves reduces numbness in the hands and protects them should you crash. They may not be great for the tan lines but they add an extra layer of protection and grip.
Summer can be a nightmare for flying critters and they seem to have a liking for your eyes and mouth! While preventing swallowing flies is a little difficult, you can keep them out of your vision with a pair of sunglasses. There are a huge range available, offering all round protection and different levels of tint.
Feet can often suffer in the heat or the cold, so a well fitting pair of shoes is very important. There are many different styles on the market, with a range of soles, closure systems and designs available. Comfort is crucial, as however snazzy the shoes look, if you are suffering with pressure points and rubbing after an hour, you are in for a tough event.
If the weather does turn a set of overshoes can be your saviour. No overshoe is completely waterproof but many get pretty close. It is also worth considering a pair made out of windproof material.
So we are now packed and prepared for whatever weather comes our way, all that remains is to rest up before the start!
Let us know below If you're taking part in any sportives this summer and if so what's the vital piece of clothing you wouldn't leave home without?
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