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Riding in the Rain



Wouldn't it be great if there were clear skies and mild, warm weather every time you decided to ride your bike? On some days, this may be the case, but on other days you may be forced to endure harsh rain. The good news is that you can still ride during bad weather such as this. All it takes is the right gear and some basic knowledge.

Avoid Cotton Clothes

It's best to avoid wearing cotton clothes when riding in the rain for a few different reasons. For starters, cotton is highly absorbent, meaning it will absorb your body's moisture instead of wicking it away. Secondly, cotton becomes heavy when saturated with water, making you work extra hard just to cycle. Instead of cotton, try wearing clothes made of a synthetic material like polyester or polyester blends. They'll wick moisture away from your body while keeping you dry and comfortable during your ride.

Wear a Waterproof Outer Layer

This may sound like common sense to most seasoned cyclists, but it's still worth mentioning that you should wear a waterproof outer layer when riding in the rain. Even if it's just a light "morning rain," water can accumulate in clothes, making an otherwise enjoyable bike ride far from pleasant. A waterproof coat or jacket, however, will prevent this from happening, allowing you to ride in all types of weather conditions.

Beware of Braking in the Rain!

Much like cars take longer to stop in the rain, so do bikes. It's important that cyclists give themselves extra time to stop when riding in the rain. Wet roads and tracks allow for less traction with bike tires, meaning it takes longer to stop. The bottom line is that you need to give yourself more time to stop in the rain.

Watch for Puddles

You never really know what's lurking inside of a puddle. It could be nothing more than a half inch of water, or it could be a one-foot deep hole that's filled with nails, glass and other nasty items. Steer clear of puddles when riding in the rain.

Dry Your Bike Off

When you are finished riding in the rain, spend a few minutes drying off your bike. We talked about this in a previous blog post, but moisture is the prime cause of rust on bike chains and frames. When moisture settles on a bike, it causes oxidation to occur, which subsequently leads to corrosion and rust. Keeping your bike dry, however, will protect it from this phenomenon.

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