Hi folks. Today’s post is by Emma Orton, who lives in Australia and works for Yakima. Hence the UK style spelling of the word “Tire”, as well as the link to Yakima’s website in the text. It’s the least we could do. I’ve added a few photos of my own bike trips in an attempt to illustrate the story.-Ed.
It’s never easy to go biking in the rain, but there’s no denying that there is a thrill to it. Pushing the pedals while the rain hits the ground, braving the cold and foggy weather and splashing waters sound like a whole lot of adventure for those who love the outdoors and those who can tolerate the cold.
However, as exciting as biking in wet weather may sound to some, it is crucial to take the necessary safety measures to ensure that your cycling adventure does not land you in the hospital. After all, the risks are much higher as the thrill increases.
Below are some of the most useful tips one can follow to stay safe when biking in wet weather and avoid any unwanted consequences:
Invest in waterproof clothing
One of the most important ways to keep yourselves dry and avoid getting sick is to invest in high-quality waterproof clothing, especially a jacket. Sure, it’s not possible to stay completely dry when out in the rain, but it is possible to reduce how much water gets on you, and the best way is to invest in breathable, waterproof jackets that control body temperature.
Never forget overshoes and gloves
Hands and feet are the first victims of the rain and cold weather when biking, which can affect control on the handles, brakes and pedals. However, with overshoes and gloves, it is possible to keep the water and cold away while maintaining dexterity on the limbs. It is important that the material used for these are thick enough to keep out cold and water, but flexible enough to not hamper control.
Always carry spare clothes
As mentioned before, it’s never really possible to stay completely dry when biking in wet weather. Even if it’s not raining, there is a high chance of getting wet from puddles and splashes from other riders. This is why always carrying a change of clothes, including spare socks, is a great idea.
Keep the dirt away with mudguards
Mudguards may make an annoying rattling noise, and they may not look appealing, but they do a wonderful job in protecting the biker from dirty water splashes, helping in keeping not only dry but also clean. A mudguard at the back and front will keep dirty water away from the feet and legs, the most common victims of dirty splashes.
Reduce your tyre pressure
Tyre pressure must always match the terrain – a basic knowledge among bikers. Mountain biking requires less tyre pressure, while road biking requires higher tyre pressure. However, while biking in cold, wet weather, the pressure must be lower than the usual tyre pressure in normal, dry weather conditions. This is because more grip is required when biking on slippery grounds, and this is achieved by deflating the tyres to increase footprint.
Make sure you are visible to drivers
Wet weather tends to increase the risk of driving. Not only are the roads slippery and wet, but the visibility also greatly reduces due to the fog. As such, it is crucial for bikers to make sure they are visible to other drivers by wearing high visibility rain jackets and other attire, or keeping the front and rear lights on and flashing at all times.
Avoid puddles and standing water
Standing water must be avoided at all costs. Even if it looks like a harmless puddle that will only create a small splash, there is a high chance that underneath the water is a deep pothole, and this could lead to disastrous consequences.
Don’t use the brakes and change direction suddenly
It is important to be careful when using the brakes while biking in wet weather and slippery roads. It is also advisable not to change direction suddenly without first inspecting the trajectory and what risks could be lying right in front. A biker should never lose control of the bike while biking in wet weather.
Use the right gear
It is recommended that you use the right gear when riding in tough conditions. You can check out bike gear including racks here, it’s important to stay safe and keep your bikes safe while traveling in the rain. If you are driving to a location to cycle then there are plenty of great gear options to choose from.
Always degrease chains
After biking in the rain, degreasing chains is a must as this can significantly increase the lifespan of the chain and prevent future complications. Make sure to cover the chain in a degreaser and thoroughly wipe it off using a rag until it is completely dry.
Choose less risky paths
It may seem obvious, nevertheless an important reminder. Safety should be a priority; even it means losing speed. Always stick to paths that pose the least risks and hazards.