The Useful Tips for Cycling in Rainy Season
Cycling is a fun activity that many people enjoy. This is because; it not only gives cyclists an opportunity to get a feel of the environment but also, is a good form of exercise. However, some of the things that affect cycling, include the weather. Sunshine is one of the best types of weather for riding a bicycle. However, things can change when wet weather comes knocking. When the rainy season comes, you may find that your bike riding experience is different from the dry seasons. Therefore, there is need for you to prepare for wet weather cycling. Below, we will look at the tips that you need when cycling in rainy season.
Useful Tips for Cycling in Rainy Season
Whether it is a simple downpour or a torrential rain, a serious cyclist should be prepared to hit the road and experience the wet roads. Riding a bike during rainy season goes beyond comfort. This is because handling and safety are greatly affected by the wet condition and so, riders should be extra careful and observant on the road. Therefore, being well equipped for cycling in rainy season is an important thing to do no matter your level of expertise. Let’s now focus on the top tips for cycling in the rain:
Find a poncho raincoat
When you step out to ride a bicycle, you may never know when the rain is going to beat. Rain is normally associated with cold and dampness. Therefore, as you prepare for cycling in rainy season, it is important to consider carrying a poncho coat when stepping out to ride your bike. This is because a poncho coat is not only warm but also, is waterproof. This protects your body against the harsh weather on the road. Furthermore, the coat can come handy in protecting your personal items against the wet weather. Items such as your phone, spare money, documents and even your watch can remain safe in the coat. Poncho coats come in many different varieties and it is important to go for the grade that gives you the warmth that you need. Although the poncho coat will add the bulk of your luggage, it will finally pay it benefit when it provides you with a good cover.
Make yourself more visible
One of the problems that both drivers and cyclists face on the road during wet weather is the inability to see things clearly. This becomes a hazard for cyclists as they are not sure whether other drivers are seeing them clearly on the road. Therefore, it is important to make yourself more visible by wearing brighter clothes and a reflective jacket. This is important for it enables other road users to be able to see you. In addition, you can include reflective stripes on your bike so that it can become more visible from a distance. Normal reflectors on the bike have been found to be ineffective especially in low light conditions on the road. This is especially because the reflective stripes are very affordable. You shoud carry it along when cycling in rainy season.
Ride your bicycle carefully
During rainfall, water is all over the road and reduces grip both for the tires and brakes. This makes riding become both risky and dangerous, especially on unpaved roads. If you do not want to fall during cycling, you need to avoid sharp corner turns, plan your stops well ahead and ride the bike in low speeds. In addition, it is advisable to avoid jammed roads as stopping in the middle of the road and showing hand signs can be a big challenge when it’s raining. There are many obstacles on the road that cyclists face while biking. These obstacles come in many forms and when it comes to rainy season, the obstacles bring more risk to the cyclists. Therefore, it is advisable to evaluate the risks that you are facing on the road first. This will help you in making decisions even as you ride your bike in the rain. Furthermore, the right evaluation can prevent crashes and accidents on the wet road.
Look out for the hazards on the road
As we mentioned above, riding a bike during raining can particularly be dangerous. This is especially because you are not able to see the road in front of you. Therefore, it is advisable to observe hazards on the road so that you can be safe even as you ride your bike. Potholes are very dangerous during rainy seasons not only because they grow bigger but also because they are hidden under water. The water lying on top of the potholes makes it extremely hard to see them and estimate how big they are. This can make riding dangerous especially considering that you could crash into one of these potholes on the road. It is therefore advisable to slow down when approaching potholes on the road. Also, you should be very careful when approaching painted surfaces on the road. This is because such surfaces become very slippery when it rains and thus can cause you to fall on the road. When you see such a surface, you should make a point of ether slowing down or avoiding them. This will greatly help in preventing fall when you meet such things.
Another hazard that you need to observe on the road are sign posts. This is because they become less visible during the rainy season and you risk crashing into them. This is especially when you are cycling in a road with oncoming vehicles. The lights from these vehicles can blind you causing you to veer of the road and crash into a sign post. Therefore, it is advisable to slow down as much as you can in instances where you cannot see the area in front of you. This is especially in a new road that you have never been before.
Similarly, you should be aware of pedestrians on the road. A pedestrian can act as an obstacle on the road. This is because some of them wear dark clothes that cannot be seen at night. The situation becomes worse when cycling in rainy season. You therefore have to be absolutely sure that there is nobody in front of you when riding your bike as this will prevent you from getting into a cycling accident.
Cars are another obstacle that you should be weary of on a rainy night. Observe around and mark parked cars. This will help in avoiding them and making the right decisions. And also, it is wise to be cautious when approaching junctions on the road. During rain, you may not be able to see far and thus you should approach junctions from the edges. This will prevent you from crashing into an oncoming car.
When cycling in rainy season on a dirt road, be careful with rocks and tree roots on the ground. These two types of obstacles become extremely slippery on the road and can trigger a fall. Just being cautious and observing the road ahead of you will help in maintaining balance and avoiding bad obstacles.
Protect your eyes
Another mistake that people make when cycling in rainy season is the lack of eye protection. You need to protect your eyes from water, leaves falling from the trees and even insects. Therefore, you need to wear glasses that will shield them from the dangers mentioned. When cycling in low light conditions, you should consider wearing yellow lenses as these will increase visibility. The yellow lenses have the ability to shield you from bright light that comes from headlights. This is important for it will enable you to ride your bike with a lot of comfort.
Check your brake pads
One of the most important maintenance procedures that you need to do on your bike is replacing brake pads more often. This is because brake pads wear out more often during the rainy season when compared to the other seasons. Therefore, you need to test out your brake pads more often during the wet season. Brake pads are very important for they help stop your bike and by ensuring that they are working in their optimum condition, you will be able to stay safe during cycling. Brake pads can sometimes mean the difference between life and death when it comes to cycling and thus, they are one part that you should take care very seriously, especially when cycling in rainy season.
Install fenders on your wheels
Many cyclists like riding in groups. If you left your wheels uncovered during the rainy season, you could become a bother to other riders as you will throw mud onto them. Therefore, installing fenders on top of your wheels makes a big difference because such fenders are going to protect the other people from mud. The fenders can also keep you clean as well as the wheels can throw mud to yourself. The good thing is that, wheel fenders are very affordable.
Put the lights on
When riding in the rain, you face the same challenges that exist when riding your bike at night. You must ensure that the light in front of your bike and the one on the seat post are bright. This is to increase your visibility on the road. When riding in the rain, you should ensure that both of these lights are on. This will make people see you with much ease. Also, to enhance visibility, you should consider putting light on your helmet as well as the backpack. This is important for it will enable people to see you from a distance. The light is very important for cycling in rainy season.
Apply more chain lube
During rainy season, water gets into some parts of your bike that are not naturally designed for contact with rain water. This can cause a lot of damage especially since the bicycle is made up of different metal parts. Therefore, it is advisable to apply an increased amount of lubrication on the chain so as to protect it from damage and rust. A dried chain can cause a lot of stress on the system and therefore, lead to premature damage. Adding extra amount of lubrication can help solve this problem as it will keep water off the system.
Avoid oily residues on the road
Vehicles normally drop pints of oil on the road. When these oils combine with dust, a slippery paste is formed and this can be very dangerous for cyclists. This is because the paste is very slippery and can cause riders to fall as they are moving around. This can be dangerous especially considering that they are riding on hard road surfaces. In addition, a falling cyclist can be exposed to oncoming cars.
Buy a rain bike
Rain bikes are designed for riding in the wet conditions as the materials used and the design are all aimed for the wet weather. The bikes come with much larger fenders that guard against mud. In addition, they have ties with better grip so that it can become easier for you to ride on the road. The wheels can help you as you move along muddy tracks with your bike. This is important for it will make you stay stable on the road. In addition, getting a rain bike will help preserve your road bike as it will not get exposed to the elements. As a result, you will get more value from it.
Clean your bike after a ride
It is also important to clean your bike after riding in the rain. This will not only remove dirt but also, dilute salt and oils that the bike could have accumulated from the road. In so doing, you will make the bike last longer. Dry the bike to prevent rust from forming.
Although cycling in the rain can be particularly challenging, you can follow some basic tips to ensure that the experience is worthwhile. Cycling in rainy season require a stronger sense of observation, control caution and safety. During rain, hazards on the road such as potholes, bumps and rocks can become more dangerous. In fact, it has been reported that cyclists have more accidents during the wet season when compared to the dry seasons. If you follow the tips that we have provided above, you are sure to have an enjoyable and fulfilling cycling experience.
If you see that the rain is more than you can handle, you can stop for a while and wait for it to subside first. This will prevent you from facing risks on the road.
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