You are cycling whilst enjoying the breeze, and suddenly… the heavens opened up and the rain poured down.
What if you are caught in the rain midway through your ride? How do you make sure you get home safely? Here are some tips to help you.
Anticipate stops and brake early. Unfortunately, unlike their disc brake counterparts, rim brakes work poorly in the rain.
When the traffic light turns red, try to start braking from a distance away. I usually start braking slowly at least 10m before stopping at the traffic light.
Always brake before the corner, not on the corner. You put yourself at a greater risk of skidding and crashing if you brake while cornering in the wet. So, grab your brakes and slow down before turning into a corner.
3. Road hazards
Here are some things to watch out for when it is raining:
- Slippery road surface markings
- Potholes that are masked by the rainwater
- Fallen branches from trees.
4. Reduce your tyre pressure by 5-10psi
Lowering your tyre pressure will help to increase the contact surface between the road and the wheel, giving you more traction especially when cornering.
5. Wet weather gear
If you are a “gung-ho” (term for being extremely enthusiastic) and the rain would not stop you from heading out for a ride, here are a few extra tips that you can pick up to prepare for a soaking wet but still equally satisfying ride:
a) Luminous clothing: make yourself visible. Wear a luminous jersey or jacket so you can be seen on the roads. Regarding jackets, some cyclists prefer softshell jackets compared to hardshell waterproof jackets as they are more breathable; sweat that builds up when wearing a less breathable jacket can cause you to lose body heat rapidly.
b) Cycling cap. also known as a casquette, wearing one underneath your helmet helps to keep the rain away from your eyes insulates your head.
c) Gloves. They are essential and would provide you with a firm grip on the slippery handlebars and shifters.
Click here to read on the importance of wearing gloves.
d) Protective Eye Wear. You wouldn’t want to be squinching your eyes when riding in the rain. You need to make sure that you are fully alert when riding in such conditions.