There’s really no way around it, if you want to keep cycling and training, especially if you live in the UK or Europe, you’re going to have to deal with rain, so here are some tips to make the experience safer and more comfortable.
Cycling in wet conditions is far more dangerous than riding in dry conditions for obvious reasons. However, the point of the following tips are to keep yourself safe so that you don’t have to sit out the weather and interrupt your training.
Cycling in the rain starts with an awareness that not only is the road itself slicker, but painted surfaces and metal road obstacles become as slippery as ice when wet. Your tires will have less grip on turns. Wet descents can be especially tricky.
In this environment, it’s easier to slide out, and it will take you longer to stop. That means you need to brake earlier. You also need to remember to make no sudden moves and try to stay in a straight line.
But by being aware of all these factors, you can learn how to navigate them safely. As you become more experienced at riding in wet conditions, you can actually have a lot of fun!
UK Olympic silver medalist and former World Road Race champion Lizzie Deignan, recently offered some tips in an interview with Cycle Plan.
Here were Lizzie Deignan’s 5 top tips…
Lizzie recommends gear that is not only waterproof and repels rain, but also needs to be breathable so that it can release heat from your body. Otherwise, the clothing will do the opposite and trap heat, causing you to sweat more.
Lizzie recommends using a heavier tyre and winter weather with thick tread to provide more grip on both wet and icy surfaces. Preferably, a 25-28c tyre with a slightly lower pressure. Also check your tyre for debris, which can cause damage.
During a downpour, visibility will be decreased. Lizzie recommends attaching lights and reflectors to your bike to make yourself more visible. In addition, where reflective clothing.
Lizzie recommends attaching mud guards to your bike to avoid permanently staining your clothing with spray that comes off the road, such as mind, oil and other substances. Mud guards will greatly decrease the amount of road spray you take on.
One of the biggest hazards to cycling in the rain is standing water. First of all, it’s deceptive. You don’t know how deep it is or what’s underneath. It could be something that could damage your bike or cause you to crash. Lizzie recommends avoiding riding through standing water at all costs.