10 Tips for Pedaling on Rainy Days
The rainy season doesn’t have to become the time to put your bike away. If you have the right equipment and the necessary measures are taken, you will be able to continue cycling all year long.
1. Wear appropriate clothing
In rainy weather, it is recommended to always carry a light raincoat. There are sets of jacket, pants and shoe protectors or if you prefer you can opt for the classic poncho.
Ponchos can be an inexpensive alternative and they work very well, since if you place them on the handlebars you can achieve very good coverage. However, in very windy conditions they can be a bit cumbersome and in waterlogged situations they don’t offer good leg protection. This is the most practical solution in light rain.
The set of pants, jacket and shoe protector will offer greater protection in more extreme rain conditions. As it is more specialized equipment, the investment required is likely to be higher.
2. Dry yourself well when you arrive at your destination
If you don’t want to get sick make sure you are dry and warm once you arrive at your destination. On short trips there is not much problem, since you can wait for the rain to stop or decrease in intensity. However, when the journey is long, no matter how light the rain is, one always gets a little wet.
When your journeys are long and there is no way to escape the rain and arrive at your destination on time, the recommendation is to bring a change of clothes. Although your waterproof gear is effective, you have to consider that it will make you sweat more. In addition to the humidity, you should also consider the bad smell if you do not dry off and put on dry clothes.
3. Watch your braking distance
On rainy days the wheels, and even the discs, accumulate excess water and more dirt from the road, affecting the effectiveness of braking.
In these cases it is recommended to brake lightly, just touching the rings or discs, so that the shoes remove some of the excess water from the braking surface.
After this you can apply more pressure to be able to brake without problems. Always keep in mind that you will need a greater distance to reach a complete stop.
4. Lower the tire pressure
It is enough to reduce about 10 PSI so that your tires have a better grip on a wet surface. At lower pressure, they will have a greater deformation on their rolling surface, increasing contact area and grip with the ground.
Be careful not to lower the pressure too much, as rolling a tire with too little pressure will damage it and make it easier for objects to embed in it, increasing the probability of suffering a puncture .
5. Avoid puddles
For many people, speeding through puddles can be fun. The downside is that you never know what is under the water mirror.
More than just a puddle, it can be a pothole that is completely covered by water. Hopefully you will only end up soaked, but in more serious cases you could seriously injure yourself, plus you could damage your wheel.
6. Stay away from oil stains
Especially with the first rains the oil from cars impregnated on the pavement tends to rise to the surface, forming multicolored traps.
These stains are quite slippery and you should do your best to avoid them. In some cases they are unavoidable, if you go over one of these oil stains do not brake or make sudden direction changes. Follow your path in a straight line.
7. Use fenders
The fenders, fenders or splash guards are a super important accessory in rainy season. Its function is to prevent the tire from splashing the water that adheres to its surface, keeping your legs and back clean.
There are different types of fenders, for different types of bike and needs. There are fixed or temporary. Find one that works with your bike and avoid arriving to work or school with a black spot on your back.
8. Keep the chain clean
The bike chain collects debris from the ground at all times, however this problem intensifies in the rainy season. With normal chain movement, these particles increase wear on both the chain and the entire powertrain in general.
For this reason, in the rainy season it is important to keep the chain clean and well lubricated at all times. There are some special lubricants for wet conditions . These types of lubricants, although they offer better protection to the chain, trap more dirt, so you will need to be very careful when cleaning the chain.
9. Use a good set of lights
Keeping yourself visible through lights and brightly colored clothing is a recommendation for all occasions.
In rainy conditions the visibility and braking time of other vehicles is reduced. For this reason, a good set of lights will help us to be seen from a greater distance.
10. Protective glasses
It is recommended to use glasses in order to avoid that some garbage, or in this case, the drops enter our eyes and affect our vision. Due to the reduced visibility on cloudy days, the ideal is for the lenses to be clear or yellow.
Taking these tips into consideration, you can continue to enjoy your bike even in the rainy season. Remember to exercise extreme caution and circulate responsibly at all times.
And if it is a storm, do not risk it. Wait for it to fade or stop. If you are in a flood zone, wait for the water level to drop.