7 tips for safe cycling in the rain
Riding in the wet is totally doable if you're prepared
When rain showers make their appearance, the conditions can become challenging and potentially hazardous. While it may be tempting to avoid cycling altogether during rainy weather, with the right precautions and knowledge, you can continue to enjoy your two-wheeled adventures safely.
Before embarking on a rainy cycling trip, it is essential to make sure you and your bike are well-prepared. Fenders will make the ride far more enjoyable. Additionally, wear weather-appropriate clothing, including a waterproof jacket, pants, and shoe covers, to keep yourself dry and comfortable.
2. Slow down
When riding in the rain, it is crucial to adjust your speed and approach. Reduce your speed and increase your braking distance to accommodate for the decreased traction on wet surfaces. Sudden braking or sharp turns can lead to skidding or loss of control. Be cautious when navigating corners, painted road markings, or metal surfaces, as they tend to become slippery in the rain.
3. Be visible
Visibility is a key aspect of safe cycling, especially in adverse weather conditions. In rainy weather, it’s essential to enhance your visibility to motorists and pedestrians. Wear bright, reflective clothing and consider attaching reflective accessories or lights to your bike and helmet. By making yourself more visible, you increase the chances of others seeing you and reducing the risk of accidents.
4. Avoid puddles
While it may seem tempting to ride through puddles, it’s best to avoid them altogether. Puddles can conceal potholes, debris, or uneven surfaces, which can cause you to lose control or damage your bike. Additionally, they can also result in splashing water, obstructing your vision or the vision of nearby motorists.
5. Mind the road surface
Different road surfaces react differently to rain, affecting your bike’s handling. Painted road markings, metal surfaces (such as manhole covers), and wooden bridges tend to be particularly slippery when wet.
6. Maintain visibility
Just as you need to be visible to others, you must also ensure you have a clear view of the road ahead. If your glasses fog up, find a safe spot to stop and wipe them dry. Good visibility is crucial for making informed decisions while cycling in the rain.
7. Stay alert
Cycling in the rain requires heightened awareness and anticipation. Reduce distractions, such as listening to music or using headphones, which can impede your ability to hear approaching vehicles or other environmental cues.