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Monday, November 24, 2014

How to Ride in the Rain

Photo by Jamie McCaffrey
Rain, whether a mist or a downpour, is a game changer. But, while it’s not top on the list for premiere riding conditions, with a few tricks up your sleeve, it’s easy to turn a ride in the rain from a soggy nightmare into a pleasure cruise.

Time It Right

The first thing to remember when riding in the rain is to take your time. Leave your house a few minutes earlier than usual, slow down, and ride consistently.

Use Your Brain

The road will be slick during those first 15 minutes of rain (remember those oils on the roadway that you learned about back in your high school driver’s ed class?), and your brakes will be less responsive. Watch out for surfaces that are usually fine in dry conditions. That includes metal plates, bridge decks, painted street surfaces and leaf piles.

Mind the Corner

Slow down before making a turn, and minimize breaking while you round a corner.

Be Seen

In order to stay safe in the rain, it’s imperative that you’re visible. Remember, the rain isn’t just reducing your visibility. It’s also reducing the visibility for drivers with whom you share the road. Make sure everyone can see you! Reflective clothing is a great idea. Also, make sure to have a bright white light on the front of your bike and a red light on the back.

Be Cool

I don’t care what anyone else tells you; fenders are cool. They keep that awful “skunk tail” of a mud streak off of your back and save your face and eyes from grit and water. Fenders are a relatively low cost investment with a huge payoff: your comfort!
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