Biking in the Rain : Beginner’s Guide

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biking in the rain

Biking in the rain isn’t exactly fun to most people, and we can understand that. Your vision can be reduced, it is wet and more dangerous than cycling in the dry conditions.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

With some preparation, and by using common sense, you can ride your bicycle comfortably when it’s raining. For true bikers, there is no such thing as a bad weather.

And let us be honest with you:

When you embrace the rough conditions, you will see how biking in the rain can be extremely fun. Just accept the fact that some days are going to be rainy and wet, but you need to get out of your home. So, why bother going to bus, when you can protect yourself with the additional gear and ride your bike safely.

Don’t let the bad weather stop you! Follow this guide to learn how to stay dry and safe while biking. And, of course, to enjoy your ride.

Keep reading to know more:

1. Clothing

You need to pay attention on what you’ll be wearing when it’s raining because if you get wet you will surely be cold. And, it is the easiest way to get sick. So, make sure to keep yourself warm.

Use a waterproof jacket or vest with a hood and a dropped skirt for the roughest conditions. Choose the one that is also breathable. Wool socks and a wicking under liner made from polypropylene or wool are always a good choice. (source)

Choose neoprene booties to cover shoes, because it is a good insulation when they are soaked. Don’t forget to protect your hands with the gloves. Consider to pack a change of clothes in a waterproof bag.

This way, if you get wet on the way to work, you can change into the dry one.

2. Glasses

To protect your eyes, from road grit, mud and flying water use glasses with a yellow or clear lens. It will help you to see better in the rough conditions, so you can easily avoid some bumps and lumps on the road. This is very important to stay safe, so it is crucial to choose the proper one.

3. Watch Out Of Puddles and Potholes

“Potholes are holes in the roadway that vary in size and shape. They are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water after the water has entered into the ground under the pavement. When water freezes, it expands. As the weight of cars and trucks pass over the weak spot in the road, pieces of the roadway material weaken, which will cause the material to be displaced or broken down from the weight, creating the pothole.” according to Summit County Engineer’s Office.

Be sure to avoid potholes, because it can damage your wheels or cause you to go off the course. Especially when it is raining. You will not be able to see the difference between the pothole or a shallow puddle.

4. Bright Lights

Visibility can be affected in some rough conditions, so make sure to add a blinking rear red light and white front to your bike. It is important to let everyone know you are on the road. If you have it use a reflective clothing.

On dark rainy days, put a foldable hi-vis vest over your jacket. This way you will be highly visible.

Magicshine lights

5. Avoid Hard Braking and Control The Speed

When it’s raining you need to be extra careful on how you control the speed and ride on a slippery terrain. Pay attention to the road, look ahead, and easily slow down the speed.  Apply your brakes in advance.

Don’t ever do it suddenly. This way your wheel can lock up and slide out. Brake frequently to check their power and remove the water. It is also better to lower your saddle, so if the brakes are not enough you can put your legs to the ground to stop the bike.

6. Waterproof Backpack

Use a waterproof backpack to protect your most important stuff.  This way your valuables will stay dry even when it’s raining.

If you don’t own one, use a plastic bag, that is water and air tight and put your small items in it and then in the bag.

This way you will protect your iPad, cell phone, keys or other important stuff. Even if your pack might get wet, your gear will stay dry.

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7. Mudguards

The mudguards are used to protect you from water, preventing it from splashing into your face or your back. Without it, you can easily get soaked. They are also great for a biker that is riding behind you because this will prevent him being splashed.

mountain bike fenders

8. Be Careful when Cornering

You need to be extra careful with these obstacles. Start slowing down in advance, to avoid hard braking. Pay extra attention to the corner and slow down the speed, if there are more people on the road. It would be wise to put foot to the lowest point in case you will need to stop.

Avoid leaning the bike. Instead stay centered over the back wheel, carry your speed wisely and keep your head up.

9. Drop the Tire Pressure

To get more grip on the road, consider to drop down the tire pressure for about 15 psi from usual level. This maybe means that you will be slower on the road, but the most important thing is to stay safe. Getting wider tires can also be a good option.

Conclusion

If you follow this guide, you will surely enjoy your ride even when it’s raining. A positive mind is always the key to avoid this kind of obstacles. Having your bike with you is much more convenient than going to work with a bus.

Preparation, some additional gear, and change of attitude is the best way to enjoy biking in the rain. It is crucial to stay dry, so make sure to follow these easy steps.


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