10 Tips Before Going to Enjoy a Rainy Bike Ride

For many, training bikes at the gym does nothing to scratch the edge off, at least not as much as riding an actual bike does. There’s a sense of freedom and comfort that comes with riding your bike up and down the streets, through the mountains, to work or wherever it is you are going. If you have made it a habit to ride your bike at a particular time of day, not even the weather should stop you. 



 While some choose to store their bikes away and wait until the rainy season is over, true cycling enthusiasts would rather get rained on than sacrifice their biking experience. But how do you make sure you can still enjoy riding your road bike during the rainy season? Here are ten tips that can help you enjoy your bike ride in the rain.

1. Dress appropriately for the wet weather

A raincoat or a waterproof jacket and tights are splendid ways to keep yourself dry. The waterproof jacket should be designed with a hood and woolen lining to keep you warm. It is advisable to wear neoprene covers/shoes on top of your cycling shoes. These do a great job of keeping the warmth inside. Find gloves that are wind and water resistant to keep your fingers warm and dry as well. Not wearing such attire keeps you at risk of developing a cold.

2. Wear clear lens glasses

Even when cycling in the rain, it is important to keep your helmet on to ensure your safety in case of an accident in addition to protecting your eyes from getting hit by rainwater. Wearing clear lens glasses allows you to easily maneuver through the rainy conditions. If your helmet is not as helpful in keeping the rain off of your eyes, attach a cycling cap right under your helmet. This will significantly improve your vision when riding on a rainy day. This way, you are able to identify obstacles in time to avoid them safely.

3.Be careful with those corners

Even for experienced cyclists, corners can be quite tricky to maneuver when riding on a wet road. The road tends to be very slippery especially on oil patches and painted road marks. When taking corners, speed and distribution of your body weight are key. Always reduce your speed, stay as far away as possible from the road markings and use your own body weight to keep the bike upright. Use this technique through all corners and you will be sure to find your way home safe and sound.

4. Be vigilant

It is quite fun to splash through puddles on the road when it is raining. However, there’s no sure way of predicting whether this is really a puddle, a construction pit, an uncovered manhole, or a large pothole. It is advisable to ride away from puddles to keep you and your bike safe. Traffic markings, leaves, and rainbow-like colored oil patches are some of the most hazardous places to break. These areas tend to get very slippery when wet which may culminate into twisted wheels which may lead to an accident.

5. Press your brakes early

Have you noticed that your brakes get eroded quickly during wet seasons but last longer during drier seasons? Well, when you ride in the rain, your bike wheels come into contact with grit mixed with water, these are perfect ingredients to quickly eat away on your rubber brake pads. A sure way of lengthening the life of your brake pads is by breaking early, right before you hit the puddles of water and grit. It may take a lot of observation on your part but your bike and pockets will thank you later. 

6. Generously lubricate your chains

But won’t it be hard to wash all the accumulated dirt off my chains once the rainy weather is gone? This is a question that pops up in many a people’s minds when it comes to lubricating your bike chains. Well, it is true that it will take some effort to clean off the chains once the weather gets dry but, wouldn’t you rather have to deal with a dirty chain than a rusty, frozen chain? It is advisable to ditch the lighter lubricants and go for the heavier chain lubes as they offer more service and protection.

7. Never ride without fenders

It is a general rule of thumb that you must use fenders when riding in the rain. Fenders serve the all-important purpose of keeping you safe from getting dirt, grit and grimy water splashed all over you when riding your bike. This is especially important when riding as a group, you not only keep yourself clean but your riding buddies can focus on the ride as opposed to enduring mud, wet particles and dirty water getting thrown at them the entire way.

8. Use appropriate lighting

Whether you are riding during the day or during the night, keep your lights on. Lights serve two purposes, they enable you to see the road properly and enable other road users to see you. Place one or two LED lights on your handlebars and another light behind your seat post. Some lights are adjustable, such that they can be attached to your helmet or backpack to enhance visibility when riding on a dark rainy day. Most bike lights are very affordable and come with their own self-charging system.

9. Avoiding punctures

No one wants to be stuck on their own at the side of the road changing their punctured tires. It is advisable to replace your lighter racing tires with heavier, tougher and more durable bike tires. It is easier for wet tires to get punctured or cut by sharp objects or broken glass. Tougher tires tend to be more resistant to such external factors and rarely will you have to deal with a puncture.

10. Have two bikes

When you do your math, you will find that it is cheaper and better to have two bikes, one to ride during dry seasons and another to ride during the wet seasons. A rain bike, for instance, is installed with appropriate lighting, fenders, and tires that are conducive for riding on wet roads. Besides saving you money, having a well-equipped rain bike saves you from the hustle of having to buy these accessories one by one only to remove them once it is dry season again. 

To avoid being one among the thousands of reported bike accidents which skyrocket during rainy weather, following the aforementioned tips is a sure way of staying safe and enable you to focus on enjoying a rainy bike ride.
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