By Nicole Rivas, Manager, Savannah On Wheels/Local Cycling Aficionado
Rainy day got you feeling like the only exercise you have access to is in a gym or in the dry comfort of your home? Think again! With the following tips and tricks, riding a bike in the rain can actually be a fun and safe activity. Before you head out the door on a rainy day, ask yourself the following, and check out my advice below.
How can I stay dry and comfortable while riding in the rain?
Part of the fun of going out in the rain is getting a little wet! (Your skin is pretty waterproof, I swear.) But, of course, most riders don’t want to end up drenched during their ride. Investing in a waterproof poncho or, if you’re in it for the long haul, high-quality waterproof gear from Showers Pass, will keep you relatively dry and comfortable on your trip. Many of the helmets we sell at Savannah on Wheels also come with adjustable visors which help keep the raindrops out of your eyes. If it’s warm out and you don’t want to wear rain boots, you might opt for secure sandals or open-toed shoes on your ride, which take less time to dry out than regular tennis shoes. And it’s never a bad idea to bring an extra set of clothes/shoes in a dry bag (a plastic bag also works) if you’re planning on commuting in the rain.
Can other people see me easily in the rain?
The number one concern for most cyclists in the rain is safety. Rain droplets make visibility a little less certain for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike, so on top of slowing down when it's wet, it’s also important to make yourself as seen as possible. Plan on investing in high-wattage front/tail lights (check out our extensive selection at Savannah on Wheels!) and a high-visibility vest found at most home improvement stores. (Psst, these are wise investments even if you’re riding around on a perfectly dry day.) As an extra precaution, some riders will even buy reflective strips and adhere them to common areas on their bikes/accessories, like their helmet, bike frame, and bike pedals.
Is my bike in good working order?
Just as important as visibility is to safety, so is the condition of your bike. A bike with worn out brakes may have trouble quickly stopping when it's slick out. Similarly, threadbare tires can lead to a rider losing traction and slipping on wet surfaces. Thankfully, in addition to bike sales and bike rentals, Savannah on Wheels offers full tune-ups, brake adjustments, and new tire installations at a reasonable rate, and we’d be happy to get your bike ready to ride for any weather. (Call us for prices!)
Will riding my bike in the rain be any fun?
With a little forethought, riding in the rain can not only be a survivable experience, but an enjoyable one. Some of my funnest rides have been when the weather isn’t ideal. The main idea is that preparation equals success, and that if you’ve prepared enough, even the unexpected hiccups that may occur during a bike ride won’t get in your way.
Cycling in the rain is a surefire way to feel like a kid again, and more likely than not, you’ll have many roads and bike paths all to yourself. So get out there, get a little wet, and have a lot of fun!