Lashing rain and wind can discourage even the most enduring of the cycle-warriors from going out for a ride or commuting by bicycle. But fear not – here are some solid tips on the essential gear and skills you need to safely and comfortably ride in the rain.
Use a front white light, rear red light and reflectors when visibility is poor or when riding at night (this is required by law).
WET WEATHER CLOTHING
Wear waterproof clothing that is breathable with warm layers underneath to keep you comfortable and dry. Bright colors and reflective gear (vests or jackets and reflective bands for ankles) help you stay visible on overcast days or at night. Keep a spare outfit handy in case you become soaked.
HELMETS & GLASSES
A cycling cap or helmet will help keep excess rain out of your eyes. On overcast days, glasses with clear or yellow lenses will aid your vision.
Install front and rear fenders on your bicycle to keep water, mud, and grit on the ground and off of you and your bicycle. Use a plastic bag with you to place over your seat to keep it dry.
CLEAN & LUBE
Check tyre pressure and keep the pressure a little lower for wet rides to give you more grip on slippery surfaces.
ON THE ROAD – CYCLE SKILLS
The golden rule of cycling on wet roads it to slow down, don’t be in a hurry and cycle extra defensively and cautiously to help avoid accidents with cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists. Follow our Street Code for safe, responsible cycling.
STAY ALERT AND AVOID DANGERS
- Steer clear of drains, painted lines, fallen leaves, and manholes. These are extra slippery in the wet and can hide other dangers.
- Avoid puddles that may hide submerged potholes and other hazards.
- Avoid rainbow-tinged oil patches on the ground. During the first few minutes of rain, oil seeps from the roadway making it very slick.
- Be cautious cycling over bridges, metal grates and painted lines and crosswalks as they can be very slick.
FOLLOW THESE BRAKING RULES
- Use rear brake on wet roads
- Water on the rims will make it harder to stop. Apply the brakes lightly to clean off the rims before you need to stop. Give brakes a few quick squeezes to dry before attempting a full stop. Pump” your brakes a few times before reaching a stop street to remove water from the rim before pulling the brakes for stopping
- Brake earlier than usual and allow a greater distance for stopping.
- If you need to brake during a turn, apply the brakes slowly.
- Continue to pedal while braking rear wheel
- Keep your weight centered and slightly back while braking to maintain best control and balance.
Most importantly, have fun. Cycling in the rain makes you feel young again!
Over R5 000’s worth of adventure cycling gear and prizes are up for grabs in this month’s Collective Giveaway! Winners will be drawn on Monday, so it’s not too late to sign up and enter! Find more details here…
Win a First Ascent Nuvea or Luxor bikepacking shirt in our 10th Gear Giveaway. Find out how to enter here…