Summer in the southeast US is a funny thing. The days are longer and there’s typically less rain than the winter/early spring months, but the heat and humidity can be in a word, crushing. So it can be hard to motivate yourself for long rides and it requires a little creativity to make the most of the long summer days and enjoy the season.
The first thing I do is shorten my rides. 90 degree heat (32 C) and 70% humidity is brutal, even to someone who has lived their whole life in the southeast. Typically I’d be up for 3+ hour rides in more moderate temps, but right around 2 hours is way more palatable in peak summer these days. If I know I’m going to be out longer than a couple of hours I’ll go out of my way to bring as much water as possible (or make sure there are plentiful opportunities to refill), bring some salty snacks, and dress accordingly.
Secondly, I find myself opting for a session at the jumps instead of a protracted trail ride. While it’s tempting on my days off to go out for a long solo trail mission while I have the time and primo trail conditions, it can be more satisfying to just do a shorter session at the jumps. You get the benefit of honing your skills, plus there’s something about sessioning the jumps (solo or with friends) that harkens back to my summers as a kid, with no worries at all, flying through the air.
Lastly, I try and seek out some adventure. My adventure bike (a Kona Libre CR) sees most of its use when the trails are too wet to ride or if there’s a long group gravel ride planned. But summer is a great time of year to take it out for a long easy pedal on the road, trails, or anything in between. Even better if you can incorporate a body of water to chuck yourself in!
Those are my tips for making the most of summer and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t already dreaming of fall. Enjoy your summer, wherever you are!