Yep, it's summer and the sun's shining. No doubt you're planning on heading out with the kids on your cargo bike, with the box brimming with beach stuff, a picnic basket and toys. But, before you cycle off to the beach or park, here are 8 handy tips on cycling with kids in the heat:
Tip 1: Slather them well
By liberally applying good quality sun cream on yourself and the kids when you head out on the cargo bike, you're protected from the sun's rays, and it's cooling too. When cycling on a cargo bike you catch the breeze, making it feel cooler than it actually is. This means you're less likely to notice if you're getting sunburnt. As the summer temperature rises, try to avoid the glaring midday sun between 12:00 and 15:00 hrs.
Leave the sun cream to fully absorb before you head out the door. This will help prevent sun cream stains on the cargo bike. Leaving it to fully absorb also means even better protection from the sun's rays.
Tip 2: Make sure you drink plenty when cycling in hot weather
Take plenty to drink when planning fun jaunts on the cargo bike. You'll soon perspire when cycling with the kids in the heat. Try to drink fluids every five kilometres or so, and keep a watchful eye on the kids.
Tip 3: Wear a cap or hat when on your cargo bike in the sun
A cap, hat, bandana ... whatever takes your fancy, as long as it protects your head when you're cycling with the kids in the sunshine. They block the sun's rays, meaning no headache or sunburn on your scalp. Don't go for dark colours as these actually make your head warmer. If you'd rather wear a bike helmet, check it has adequate ventilation.
Tip 4: Pop on your sunnies when cycling in the sun.
Wear good quality sunglasses when out on the bike ... did you know your eyes can get sunburnt too? You'll know they're sunburnt if you get a headache, feel a burning sensation in your eyes, and if they're watery. Sunglasses are a quick and easy fix to prevent this from happening. Sunglasses also help prevent eye fatigue, as you're not squinting into the bright glare all the time.
Another plus is that you and the kids won't be bothered by the wind, or flies getting in your eyes, whilst on the cargo bike.
Tip 5: Wear light clothes
Wear light clothing; in colour and weight. Light colours ensure the sun's rays are reflected rather than absorbed, which is what happens with black. Also, lightweight, breathable clothes wick heat away when cycling with kids in the heat.
Tip 6: Use the sunshade
The sunshade offers plenty of protection from the sun. Kids on the cargo bike love it, and can still see what's going on around them. As it has no windows, the kids will catch the breeze as you cycle.
Using the rain tent in the summer? If so, open the windows for lots of fresh air, and off you go. You see, it can get quite hot in the rain tent, making it dangerous for kids on the cargo bike.
Tip 7: Park your cargo bike in the shade
Try to park your cargo bike in the shade as best you can. Black cargo bikes in particular can get quite hot in the sun. So, make sure you check the benches before the kids sit down.
The electric cargo bike's battery can also get very warm in bright sunlight. Park your electric cargo bike in the shade wherever possible, or remove the battery and put it in a cooler place.
Important: Never charge your cargo bike's battery in direct sunlight!
Tip 8: Be alert to overheating
If you're planning on cycling with the kids in the sun, don't underestimate the temperature and avoid overheating. Get off the cargo bike with your kids, go sit in the shade, and drink plenty of fluids as soon as you notice any discomfort. Don't be in a rush to get back on the cargo bike; take your time to come to.
And, of course, have fun with the kids in the glorious sunshine. The summer will be over before you know it!