Only the mad keen cyclists know that riding in the rain is some of the best riding you can do! But, as with all fun things, it’s not without its challenges. Riding in the rain means contending with low traction, poor visibility, and different obstacles that you simply won’t find in dry conditions. That means safety is an issue.
Sure, safety is something to consider every time you get on the bike. But when the conditions are wet, there are some extra precautions to take. So let’s have a look at what you need to do to stay safe when riding in the rain.
Make sure your bike is waterproof! Here’s how to keep your bike safe when riding in the rain
First, it’s important that your bike is in good condition. This is a safety tip for wet and dry cycling. If you take your bike into the rain without proper preparation, there may be safety issues down the track. Luckily, it’s not hard to waterproof your bike. Start with some basic chain degreaser, and get your chain nice and clean. Once it’s clean, lubricate it well with chain oil, and ensure that it’s properly coated. When you’ve finished riding in the rain, repeat the process! Keeping your moving parts well-lubricated and free from water will ensure they don’t rust.
Keeping safe when riding in the rain can be as simple as investing in a good waterproof jacket
Now that your bike is waterproof, it’s time for you to think about the same thing! Get yourself a quality waterproof jacket, and ensure that you’re warm enough. If you’re comfortable, your concentration will be improved, and you’ll be better placed to negotiate the challenges of riding in the rain. It will also help you avoid a basic cold – and that’s always a bonus!
Like all riding, riding in the rain is safest when you’re visible – bring out the hi-vis!
We mentioned earlier that visibility is an issue with riding in the rain. And as all cyclist know, visibility is the key to safety. Remember, if you can’t see far ahead, then neither can other road users. That means it’s time to pull out all the stops and get yourself noticed! Our advice is this: get hi-vis and reflective clothing, and don the lights. Treat riding in the rain no differently from riding at night. You simply have to assume that nobody can see you. Remember, there’s no such thing as too much visibility when you’re riding in the rain.
Check your tyres before riding in the rain; traction can be an issue with old or compromised tyres
Another problem we raised was traction. Just like driving in the rain, riding in the rain means less traction and ultimately less control. Luckily, the solution lies in basic bike maintenance. Check your tyres before you go, and make sure they are in good condition. Tyres are designed to find traction wherever they can, and keep you in control. So check over yours before you head out for a ride in the rain.
Avoid mud when riding in the rain; it can clog moving parts, and even affect your brakes
Finally, keep an eye out for mud. Unless you’re a hardcore downhill rider, chances are you’ll be wanting to avoid the mud anyway. But when it’s raining, mud can show up just about anywhere. Mud is more or less the opposite of lubricant. It is packed full of abrasive particles, it’s sticky, and it’s full of water. If mud finds its way into your bike’s moving parts, then you might find them deteriorating very quickly. Worse still, mud can affect your brakes.
So keep an eye out for those muddy patches, and steer clear! If you do get caught out, take your bike in for a professional service to the experts at Hoffy Cycles.