Hi Pedalist, what do I need to keep in mind when cycling in the rain?
– Raincoat Rider
Dear Raincoat Rider,
There are a 2 things to keep in mind when riding in the rain – getting caught in a surprise downpour, and consciously going for a ride in the rain.
For the first, this is what I do which comes in handy during a surprise rain – I put electronics, emergency cash, and ride snacks in a plastic Ziploc bag in my jersey pocket. My clothes and bike can afford to get wet since my bike and clothes get washed, so there is no fear of water affecting it, unlike my phone or other electronics.
If you are venturing out to ride in rain, I suggest this – make sure you wear a rain jacket, a waterproof hat, and waterproof pans. You will come to realize that water tend to pool around the hip areas when pedaling, so you need to get rid of the water that accumulates there. A water-proof shoes or booties (that goes over shoes) are also recommended to prevent water accumulation around your feet from water spashes from the tires and from the water dripping down your pants. Wearing gloves is recommended, but depends on the weather. Also, put all your electronics and valuable in water-proof cases.
The main thing to keep in mind is your bike staying on the road during a rain. A couple of things to keep in mind in this department –
– If you are riding on the road/ pavement, try to avoid road markings and oily surfaces. Cycles in general, with thin tires, have very low contact with the road. So slippery surfaces would reduce friction even more making you lose control of your bike. Also watch your speed as cycle brakes, being exposed to the water, will take time to engage and stop the bike. Also makes sure to slow down before a turn as the road surface might be slippery.
– If you are riding in the trails or gravel, be extra careful as gravel and rocks can become loose, affecting your tire’s traction.
The most important part of riding in the rain is cleaning your bike after the ride. Dirt, sand, and other debris might have gotten into your components exposed to the elements. So a good wash with soap and hand drying at the earliest is recommended.
Wishing you safe rides!