Tips for Cycling in the Rain

We know it never rains in Dunedin :), but here are some tips for cycling in the rain anyway from Peter Walker of The Guardian’s Bike Blog.

• Don’t over-dress

Much worse than getting soaked on a bike is getting steamed alive in too many layers. It’s easy to forget how quickly you warm up riding a bike. Even a temperature of about 10C will give you that boil-in-a-bag feeling if you don the winter rainwear.

• Invest in a lightweight rain jacket

If you can face the extra cost it’s worth having different bike jackets for the different seasons. In summer I use an absurdly flimsy version which packs down to nothing in my bag. OK, the rain will leak through in a heavy downpour, but it keeps any chill at bay. If you’ve got the money then go for a breathable fabric like Gore-Tex.

• Man (or woman) up and leave the rainwear at home altogether

This is one of my favourite options if I’m on my way home, or else another location where the drowned rat look will not cause alarm. Wear less, not more. Embrace soddenness. Laugh when a bus drives through a puddle, soaking you further. On warmer days this can be one of the few times when riding in the rain can actually be a pleasure.

• Don’t forget the feet

One of the few exceptions to the above rules, for me at least, comes with the feet. I hate cycling in sodden shoes and socks. So sometimes I still use my winter neoprene overshoes, slightly S&M-looking as they are. Worn with shorts, as I did this morning, it delivers a look roughly 50%Torture Garden and 50% Don Estelle in It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. But your feet are dry.

• Get some mudguards – that means all of you

Commuting in the rain without mudguards is just silly. That black stripe of road grime layered onto your bum and back is not a good look, especially – and I see this more often than you’d expect – when people are cycling in work clothes. It’s also antisocial. I had to put in more effort than I’d have liked riding in this morning to stay ahead of a man on a mudguard-less hybrid. It wasn’t pride – he was a good 15 years younger; I know my limits – I just didn’t want the mucky spray to the face as he passed. If you’re worried about the slick lines of your road bike get some clip-on/clip-off Raceblade-type mudguards. Or indulge yourself, as I did, and have separate wet and dry weather commuting bikes.

• Don’t worry about it too much

Rain in low temperature can be genuinely horrible, especially on long trips. But in the summer, especially if you have the luxury of getting changed at the end of the ride, it’s rarely that bad. Very often, by far the worst moment is opening the curtains and seeing the rain.

Another set of tips can be found here

This entry was posted in Education, Safety. Bookmark the permalink.

What do you think? Comment below

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s