Recently, all of my rides have been on rainy mornings and some of them in torrential downpours. A few years ago these rides, for me, would have been extremely uncomfortable. Cold, wet, tired, dreary and I am sure I would have given up half way but now I have the knowledge and the equipment to keep going so I thought I would share my top 5 needs for a ride in the rain.
Take Note – Before I start lets be clear
You are riding in the rain so you are going to get wet! This is not about staying dry because that’s not possible. It’s about staying comfortable in the wet.
1 – Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
I used to have this old thick winter jacket for riding in London years ago. This worked for short rides but I always had a problem on any ride over 10km. Overheating! The trick is to dress in layers. This means I have a light base layer that wicks moisture away from my skin, cycling jersey on top that provides a little warmth to the core (wind proofing in front panel for cold mornings) then top it all off with lightweight waterproof jacket. Something that folds small is preferable as you may need to remove if the sun comes out.
2 – Shoe covers
Booties or shoe covers are normally a waterproof covering that stops wind and water penetrating the shoe. Again, your feet are going to get wet as water does run down your leg into your socks but at least they will be warm. You may also want to put sock covers inside your shoes to provide extra warmth. Sock covers are also a good idea for putting your feet into wet shoes.
3 – Lights
When its raining vision on the road is impaired so you need to have some good lights on the bike for drivers to take note of you. Slippy conditions also mead drivers need to spot you early because if they need to slam on their brakes its normally too late in the wet.
The Brighter the Better!!
4 – Cash for coffee
We only ride for the coffee afterwards anyway but sometimes the rain can be intense half way through your ride and you may want a little break. Cash to pay for that warming, energizing goodness is a must.
5 – Rule number 5 to enforce rule number 9
Rule number 9 on the Velominati Rules of Cycling states.
If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
This is true and you feel like a badass when the ride is done but sometimes the mind tells us that we don’t need to be a badass. This is just a trick being played on us by our soft psyche, this is when we need to apply rule number 5.