Winter is here … The rain and cold are back. For some they are obstacles to cycling. The Abicyclette Voyages team gives you advice on how to keep cycling even when it rains.
I gathered tips for cycling when it rains from the Abicyclette Voyages team. Everyone practices cycling differently: bicycle trips, road bike outings, bike rides or even commuting to work. Some of the tips you will find here apply to all cycling practices, others are more specific.
First of all, whatever your practice, equip yourself (well, fit your bike) with mudguards. These prevent spatter caused by the wheel rotation when riding. You will stay dry longer and you and your bike will be protected from mud splashes. For road bikers, the essential accessory is the Ass Savers ®, it will allow you, as the name suggests, to keep your butt dry!
Lorsque le temps se gâte, il faut penser à rester visible. Valentin nous rappelle d’allumer ses lumières pour être vu des automobilistes. Vous pouvez aussi porter des vêtements ou accessoires réfléchissants. Ces accessoires, peuvent parfois vous sauvez la vie quand le temps est vraiment trop mauvais.
“It never rains in the South”. This is what David, who lives in Provence, said to me when I asked him for advice on riding in the rain. Not that I don’t want to believe it … But I doubt the veracity of this information. He ended up telling me that he sometimes puts plastic gloves (or even plastic bags) under his gloves. When it is cold, he also puts on overshoes. It is important to keep your hands and feet warm and dry. These parts of the body have poor circulation, so they quickly get cold and generate a cold feeling that spreads to the whole body.
The three layer rule is very simple. A first layer to wick away perspiration, a second layer to preserve heat and a last layer to protect from wind and rain. It is important to have quality clothing, because with certain gear, you may not get wet because of the rain but perspiration … And it is just as unpleasant.
Fabien’s advice is to have bottom layers of merino wool, they will keep you warm even when wet. Also choose a cycling rain jacket. These rain jackets are generally more breathable than conventional rain jackets and often have a specific finish that protects the top of the shorts.
For Fabien, you must first of all accept that you will be wet during your bike ride. You also have to learn to love it. There are obviously ways to make your bike ride more comfortable.
To limit the water in the eyes, you can bring glasses and a cycling cap to put under your helmet. The visor protects the glasses and allows you to maintain a field of vision while having your head covered and therefore warm!
Sébastien, a regular bike commuter, gave me advice for those who commute to work by bicycle:
Have you decided to travel by bike but unfortunately the weather is not on your side? No problem, here are some tips.
First of all, know that (normally) the rain does not last forever. Stop. Take a break under cover. Then, when the downpour has passed, take to the road again. Sébastien recommends using the Rain Today app. This app tries to estimate how long the rain will last. Depending on the duration of the rain, you may decide to stop or continue on your way anyway. If you choose to take a break, you may have to leave your bike outside. In this case, a simple saddle cover may be useful. This will keep your butt from getting wet when you hit the road again.
Before going on an adventure, pack waterproof dry bags or zipper plastic bags for your personal belongings. Your tickets and documents, as well as your mobile phone, will stay dry!
Also remember to bring sweet and/or savory snacks. When you are cold, your body uses up more energy to warm up. Also, if the temperatures are really low, you can fill your water bottles with hot water. A hot drink is always welcome when it is cold.
Before you leave, if you plan your route, you can make a list of cafes, restaurants or bistros that are on your way. You can stop there to warm up in bad weather.
Finally, for Valentin, it is essential to do some maintenance to your bike after a ride in the rain to avoid premature wear problems.