Riding in the Rain

To ride in the rain or not to ride in the rain? That is the question that dry clothes-loving cyclists sometimes have to contend with. And it turns out that riding in the rain need not be a washout. Take these points into consideration and then give riding in the rain a shot.

  • Outfit your bike with fenders (front and back) so that your legs, back, and drive train don’t get sprayed by your wet wheels.
  • Keep your tires inflated to their recommended pressure level (as listed on the side of the tire in pounds per square inch, or PSI), since flat-causing debris are more likely to get picked up by wet and underinflated tires.
  • Pack a small, bright waterproof jacket in your bag in case of a sudden shower.
  • Store your gear in a waterproof pack or inside plastic bags on days when rain is likely. Remember to remove your cell phone from any outside pocket before (or as soon as) the rain hits.
  • While cycling, feather your brakes to keep your rims dry, since wet rims greatly reduce your stopping power. Give yourself extra time to stop, too.
  • Slow down when turning as well as when crossing steel plates, train tracks, white street decals, or piles of leaves, all of which can be slippery when wet.
  • When riding in the rain, turn on your front and rear bike lights, even during the day.
  • If you find yourself feeling nervous as the rain comes down, wait out the storm under shelter. No one’s keeping score. In a pinch, you can even hop on the subway with your bike.
  • Keep a positive attitude. It’s just rain. And in our over-sanitized world, sometimes it feels good to get a little messy!
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