Five foolproof ways to navigate in the wet weather
By Ea Francisco
We’re nearing that time of the year when afternoons are cooler and heatstrokes are less common. While the pleasant weather is great, it also comes with higher chances of rain. Some people eschew riding in the rain. It’s unavoidable but there are good reasons why you should go out anyway—you become better at handling your bike under wet conditions. Here are some things to keep in mind when expecting a downpour.
Dress for the Cold
It’s better to dress to keep warm rather than stay dry. In an actual race, keeping dry is the least of your concerns, but if you can’t handle the temperature then that’s going to be a problem. It’ll affect both your performance and concentration, so bring a rain jacket and extra layers if you can.
Bring Non-tinted Eyewear
It’s raining, so it’s probably dark enough as it is. In these conditions, it’s best to use goggles and shades that are clear or yellow tinted, so you can see better. Remember that goggles are prone to fogging. If you don’t have an anti-fog spray, just spit on the lens.
Be Aware of the Road
The biggest concerns of biking in the rain are slippery spots and road obstructions. Metal and paint are slicker in the rain, so avoid manholes and road paint as much as possible. If you have to bike through road markings, make sure you have good control. And no sudden swerves and moves.
Another thing to look out for are rainbow spots and puddles. These rainbow spots are slippery patches of oil that become more visible with water. With puddles, it’s hard to tell how deep they are. If you’re unfamiliar with the road, puddles can send you flying off your handlebars.
No matter how good your brakes are, rain still affects them. Remember that hard braking won’t work as well when the road is wet. Give yourself some leeway to stop and gradually decelerate. You should try not to stop in slippery places to avoid skidding. But the good thing about training in the rain is you can test how well you utilize your breaks on wet roads.
Be as Visible as Possible
Rain messes up vision, both yours and other motorists. It might be due to overcast skies or foggy windows and lenses, so ride with the idea that you can’t be seen. Use flashy and reflective lights or wear bright clothes to make you more visible.