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Survival tips for cycling in the rain

Spokeherd brings to you a few tips to keep in mind while riding in the rain

Survival tips for cycling in the rain
Written by Editorial

Cycling in the rain is rarely a pastime that riders list as a favourite. It isn’t the most pleasant experience but sometimes you have no other option. Maybe you have to commute and your bicycle is your only mode of transportation. Maybe you get caught in an unexpected storm. Whatever the case, if you prepare properly, cycling in the rain doesn’t have to be miserable.

Spokeherd brings to you a few tips to keep in mind while riding in the rain:

Wear a Rain Jacket

Your most important piece of clothing for cycling in the rain is your rain jacket. It keeps you warm by keeping your torso and arms dry. You also get wet from your sweat building up in your clothing during rains. In order to stay dry, you need a waterproof jacket that prevents rain from penetrating through to your insulation layers. Your rain jacket also needs to be breathable so your sweat can vent out.

Choose a rain jacket that is made from waterproof breathable materials.

Find the perfect shoes

There’s no avoiding it, your feet are going to get wet: they’re right in the firing line of spray from the front wheel after all. Invest in a pair of waterproof overshoes and you should be able to keep your feet a lot drier for longer.

Overshoes are available to fit most types of shoe, road and mountain bike soles are catered for. They also double up as extra insulation when the mercury drops, and they’re reasonably affordable.

The best wet weather protection is probably a dedicated winter boot. They’re a more expensive option than overshoes but if you plan to do a lot of cycling through the winter, the investment might be justifiable. If you’re just cycling once or twice a week, overshoes are probably better value for money.

Keep your head dry

A dry head is a happy head. Your head is obviously first in line to get pelted by the rain, and a well-ventilated lightweight helmet doesn’t offer much shelter. Wearing a cap underneath, it, or a cover over the top, will keep your noggin dry. A cotton cycling cap offers some protection, with the peak serving as a useful gutter to direct rain from your eyes.

Another option, and probably one that will appeal more to commuters and city cyclists, is a helmet cover. They’re designed to fit right over the entire helmet with elastic holding it in place. They’re usually covered with reflective details so serve an additional purpose of helping you to stand out on the dark unlit roads.

Check your tyres and reduce the pressure

Rain water washes all sorts of muck on to the roads, and when your tyres are wet, they pick up more of it than usual.

After each ride take a quick look over your tyres checking for flints, glass and other debris. Also check for cuts in the tyre that could weaken the carcass or allow the inner tube to bulge through. It’s a good idea to ride a heavier tyre in the winter with a thick tread.

Use Cycling Lights

When rain clouds cover the sky, they block out the sun and make it darker than normal. Particularly during the early morning and evening. This hinders visibility for both you and the drivers you’re sharing the road with. In addition, humid rainy weather can cause car windows to fog up, further reducing drivers’ visibility. The solution is to use lights to make yourself more visible. Even if you’re riding during the day.

Mount your cycling lights to the front and back of your bike. Set them to the flashing mode increase visibility.

Stay alert, stay safe. Happy cycling!

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