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Utility terrain vehicles, also called UTVs, are the ideal all-season vehicle. They can handle any type of weather because they’re built to handle difficult road conditions. You probably shouldn’t ride them during a serious winter or spring storm, but one type of severe weather you might find yourself riding in is heat.
Summers, particularly here in Texas, get outrageously hot, with the sun beating down constantly. While riding your utility terrain vehicle is a great summertime activity, you’ll have to take some precautions in order to stay safe and avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion. Family Powersports Odessa of West Texas has therefore provided this guide to UTV riding in the summer to help you prepare adequately for those hot, hot days.
While you may want to wear as little as possible on a day where the temperatures climb towards the triple digits, this isn’t always the best policy. Riding a UTV means wearing the appropriate safety gear as well as protective clothing to keep you safe from scrapes and bruises. Wearing clothing that covers your skin has the added benefit of shielding you from sunburn, which means you won’t have to worry about constantly reapplying sunscreen. It may seem counterintuitive to wear long sleeves and pants in the heat, but it can serve to keep you cooler on a hot day, too.
Wearing a helmet should be your most important priority. Make sure it’s got a high crash-test rating and that you have sufficient eye protection in the form of goggles or a full face mask. Debris from the road as well as dust in the wind or even a light rain can get in your eyes and temporarily blind you, causing you to swerve off the path and hit an obstacle. Wear a pair of goggles with tinted lenses to shield your eyes from harmful UV radiation or wear sunglasses under your face mask. Sturdy ankle boots with good tread and riding gloves with good grip will complete your ensemble.
If at all possible, avoid riding directly under the sun at its zenith. Ride shady paths where you can find them. Trees are somewhat scarce here in the Lone Star State, so a better strategy may be to ride early in the morning or later in the afternoon when temperatures aren’t at their height and the sun is lower on the horizon.
Even if you feel like you could ride forever, it’s best to take frequent breaks to rest in the shade and allow yourself (and your UTV!) a chance to cool down. Take off your helmet, wipe the sweat off your brow, stretch your legs and have a snack. If you can go indoors to rest, even better! You’ll feel so much more refreshed when you resume riding if you make sure to build breaks into your day.
Dehydration sets in much faster than you realize when it’s hot outside. Whether you wear a hydration backpack to sip from as you ride or guzzle water whenever you take a break, make sure you’re replenishing your fluids as you sweat them out. A sports drink or a snack will help you to replace valuable electrolytes as well, like sodium and potassium, which your body also loses with sweat. Recognize the signs of dehydration: dizziness, nausea, a cessation of sweat and fatigue.
If you take the time to prepare, you’ll be able to have a good riding experience even on the hottest of summer days. Still don’t have a UTV? Visit our dealership in Odessa, Texas, to check out our current inventory of new and used UTVs and other powersports vehicles for sale. Family Powersports Odessa serves the West Texas cities of Midland and Andrews.
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