CYCLING IN THE RAIN? ENJOY THE RIDE IN ALL WEATHERS!
That cycling is a sport only for good weather? No way! If you prepare well for your ride, you can go in almost any weather. How to enjoy riding in the rain? Here's some advice.
1. Dress well
They say there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. And on a bike, that's doubly true. Because if you wear good clothes, neither the wind nor the rain will be a problem. The most important item in a cyclist's wardrobe is clearly a jacket, which must not blow or get wet, must regulate body temperature and should be breathable to prevent overheating and steaming. If you don't want to invest in an expensive jacket, you can also use a thin raincoat, but it's very important how you layer your clothes underneath - don't forget a functional T-shirt and a sweatshirt.
Hands get cold very quickly in the rain, so gloves are a good idea, and you'll appreciate a pair of cycling goggles to keep water out of your eyes. A waterproof cap that can be worn under your helmet is also a great feature. Not only will you keep your head dry, but the visor keeps the rain out of your eyes.
2. Pull up the mudguards
Most bikes don't take the mudguards off. But if you're going to ride out in the rain, you'll definitely appreciate their help. Without mudguards, you'll have water and mud everywhere, from your feet to your back.
3. Be visible
Visibility is quite reduced in the rain, so dress in bright, ideally phosphorescent colours with reflective elements, for example reflective cycling vests. Don't forget your lights and blinkers. The more you can see, the better.
4. Adapt your ride
Riding in the rain or wet is always different. So make sure you always adapt your riding to the conditions and guide your child to do the same. Be especially careful on unpaved side roads where there are pebbles or sand, fallen leaves are also very slippery, and smooth asphalt roads with painted traffic signs (e.g. crosswalk, children beware sign, etc.) can also be dangerous and become extremely slippery in the rain. However, puddles can also cause major problems. Children in particular are magically attracted to driving through them. But a puddle on the road means a pothole, a canal or a hole. You never know how deep a puddle really is and what it contains. A simple puddle can cause a nasty crash or puncture on your bike.
Avoid busy roads if you can. Go slower so that you have maximum control over your bike. Forget hard braking and cornering. Prepare for each change of direction gradually, apply the brakes before the turn and don't lean the bike in corners. Start pedalling after the corner when the bike is almost straight. If you don't want to skid or even get a taste of wet roads, never brake hard. Neither you nor the children should stand in the pedals of the bike, but ideally sit on the saddle all the time.
5. Reduce tyre pressure
Physics is a powerful sorceress who cannot be fooled. And this also applies to cycling, where it can help or hurt you a lot. If you're riding in the rain, try lowering your tyre pressure slightly. This will give you better grip and reduce the risk of skidding. In wet conditions, it's ideal to reduce the pressure by 20% compared to what you use in normal conditions.
6. Be prepared
In the rain, you don't have as much visibility of the surface you're driving on. You may miss sharp stones, glass or other debris that can cause a puncture. So always carry a glue and bike repair kit with you, and of course a first aid kit to treat any scrapes in the event of a fall.
7. Dry yourself and the bike after the ride
Your bike deserves special care after riding in the wet. Ideally, you should apply a lubricant suitable for wet weather conditions to the chain before you ride and let your bike dry off properly afterwards. If it's muddy, wash off any dirt build-up and dry it thoroughly. It's best to blow out any loose parts with a compressor, but hand on heart - only a minimum of cyclists have this option. Once the bike is dry, re-lubricate the chain to get the bike ready for the next adventure. Caution, never lube a dirty and wet chain!