Easing the Pain of Riding in the Rain
Autumn might make for some gorgeous foliage here in Massachusetts, but it tends to be accompanied by some rainy weather as well. For cyclists who aren’t comfortable used to riding on wet roads, these rainy days can be pretty intimidating. With a little preparedness and care, however, you can get back in the saddle and tackle those wet neighborhood streets safely and easily. Today we’ll show you how.
Avoid Cotton at All Costs
Wearing cotton on a bike in the rain is a recipe for misery. Stick to wool under layers and waterproof synthetic jackets and pants instead. This way, the rain won’t penetrate your clothes and sweat won’t stick to your body.
Invest in Fenders
Fenders are an absolute blessing in the rain. Plus they can make your ride look pretty cool. A front fender will keep your legs dry while a rear fender will keep you from getting a big wet dirt stripe splashed on your back. You can pick up a cheap but effective pair for about $20.
Watch for Slick Spots
Right after it starts to rain, streets become especially slippery due to oil slicks left from vehicles. Steer clear of the rainbow-colored spots on pavement that are indicative of these oil slicks. Painted lines on streets can become especially slick in the rain as well. Avoid riding over metal objects like manhole covers and train tracks, but if you must, do so head on and with as little sideways momentum as possible.
Anticipate upcoming turns, and brake gently and early as you approach. Keep your body and bike more upright than you would around corners on dry pavement. Lean your weight towards the outside pedal as you turn to maintain your balance over the bike frame.
A little rain shouldn’t keep us off our bikes! Just dress appropriately, slow down around those turns, and stay mindful of potential hazards on your route. Before you know it, you won’t think twice about take a ride across town in the rain.