How to handle the weather while traveling
03 November 2022
Let’s roll! Your bike trip is planned, the departure is scheduled in a few days. The luggage is being prepared but one question persists: what should I take? Some prefer to take only the essentials while others plan a lot of “just in case”. In both cases, finding out about the weather while traveling is always a plus. Here are some tips to make your trip as smooth as possible.
Find out about weather conditions while traveling
Going on vacation or a weekend is often synonymous with the unknown. Depending on the destination, the weather varies and, despite many more or less true clichés, getting information remains the best solution to leave at the most favorable time and avoid surprises. We advise you to find out about the meteorological features of the region where you want to go:
1. Maximum and minimum temperatures: the ideal conditions for cycling are during a nice summer ride at 25°C, and with little wind. It is also the type of outing that requires the minimum of equipment. On the contrary, you risk hypothermia when you cycle between 0 and 3 degrees. Hence the need to remember to bring a hot drink that will help the body maintain its core temperature at the right temperature, i.e. 37°C.
2. Hours of sunshine: some of the best weather conditions for cycling are when there is moderate sunlight, which creates excellent visibility for cyclists. If the days are shorter in the winter season and uncertain about the dark days, plan a good lamp and reflective equipment to pedal both day and night.
3. The number of days of precipitation: before your departure analyze the quantity of precipitation that is expected during your stay and equip yourself according to this data. You should also know that there is no bad weather, only bad equipment.
4. The humidity of the air: at moderate temperature, the evaporation of sweat on the surface of the body is enough to cool our body. But the more the warm air is loaded with humidity, the more there is a risk of dehydration. Hence the importance of taking into account the humidity level in the air. The dew point must be close to 0 degrees to breathe “dry” air conducive to good sporting conditions.
5. Wind: can be considered one of the most difficult weather factors in cycling, since cycling in strong winds can lead to greater energy expenditure. In addition, it is an agent for heat loss. Exposure to the wind plus the speed of the bike will cool us down. The body will therefore have a hard time fighting against this loss of heat. The windbreaker is the ideal solution to protect yourself during bike rides.
Get help and advice before your trip
By word of mouth
Your trip will be a secret to no one in your close circle because we often like to share our projects. This is an opportunity to ask if anyone has visited your destination before. If this is the case, you will already have a first feedback. / Ask the question to those around you and you may have a first feedback [shorter version].
On forums or blogs
The connected world we live in can sometimes be very useful. A multitude of forums or blogs devoted to travel exist. A real chance to exchange and learn about the climatic conditions.
Thanks to websites specializing in travel
Just like blogs or forums, many websites give you information about the climate and some even give you forecasts for several days. This is the case of Weather Pro. Our website also advises you, on each stay sheet, of the ideal time to go to the selected destination.
Ask the professionals
If it is not in our habits to call the tourist offices or the bike rental companies of the desired region, these are nevertheless reliable sources. These professionals know their territory like the back of their hand and will be able to advise you on the most pleasant period and on the equipment to forsee.
Find out about the path to ride
Once there, you have no choice: you have to bend to Mother Nature. Between May and September, the beautiful days are often there but it can happen that everything does not go as planned. Before you start your day and get on your bike, remember to check the weather forecast. Cyclists Welcome accommodation sometimes displays the daily weather forecast on a display panel: remember to take a look. Looking out the window sometimes isn’t such a bad idea. If it rains or if the wind is too violent, do not hesitate to postpone your departure. A downpour never lasts long. Likewise, if you are surprised during the day by bad weather, take a break in the shelter.
Facing the Elements
If by chance the sun and the good weather travel with you, some may have some less pleasant periods. Often, on a bike, our worst enemy is the wind. When it’s on our back, we don’t complain, it pushes us. But conversely, it slows us down and makes the effort more difficult. Unfortunately, we can’t do anything against the wind… If we had to choose between wind and rain, neither is pleasant. Against the rain, equipment is essential: having good equipment and suitable clothing.
Useful weather apps while traveling
Finally, use the tools at your disposal. Mobile applications or website, some are quite reliable and used by some people of our Abicyclette Voyages team:
Ventusky and Weatherspark: The app interestingly combines accurate weather forecasts for any city on the planet with a map showing the changing weather in the surrounding area. Thus, it is possible to clearly see from which region the precipitation is coming or from where the wind is blowing.
Raintoday: offers real-time rain alerts (up to 60 minutes in advance) and a high-resolution radar based on the latest technical innovations from MeteoGroup, the largest private weather service in Europe.
No clouds on the horizon and the sun is shining in the sky: a good day ahead. A light outfit and hop in the saddle. Riding in hot weather still requires some attention. Wear light clothing made of breathable materials to reflect light, wick away perspiration and be comfortable. Don’t forget your sunglasses and hydrate yourself regularly before, during and after exercise. On the contrary, if it is colder, dress properly with warm (but breathable) clothes, bring a pair of gloves, protect your throat and add a hat under the helmet. You will warm up on the road but watch out for breaks and on arrival: cover up, a cold snap can happen quickly.
You are ready for the adventure. Safe journey !