It’s been raining here for over a week now. The water tank overflowing and the stream that’s formed along the border of my property is flooding the driveway. I’ve had enough of the rain! Sometimes you’ve just got to get out and ride your bike though. Sure, there’s plenty of indoor cycling options, but there’s nothing that compares to the fresh air and euphoria of a proper outdoor road ride.
Next time it’s raining, don’t be a Watopian Wimp. Get outdoors instead!
I’ve got plenty of quality kit from my time in the UK (where poor weather was a given) so instead of hunkering over the turbo trainer in the garage, I’ve been saddling up and getting out on the open road.
Riding in the rain – and on wet roads – makes you a better all round bike rider. Fact. Learning to handle your bike on slippery surfaces, negotiate washed out corners and smoothly modulate the brakes in less-than-ideal conditions are all skills that can only be honed through time in the saddle. As they say, power is nothing without control.
With the right equipment and kit, riding in the rain isn’t all that bad. Of course the Canyon Aeroad and Trek 5200 both stay tucked up in the garage. I’m not super precious about them, but I’m lucky enough to have a “rain bike” option to use instead. A bomb-proof alloy frame, alloy wheels shod with “all-weather” tyres. Good lights are a must also. When it’s dark or raining I always go with two rear lights and a front flashing light.
I’ve got a Sportful Hot Pack jacket that’s at least six years old now and still does a top job. Add to that a pair of waterproof shoe covers from Castelli, good quality gloves and a lightweight gilet and I’m kept warm, relatively dry and comfortable no matter what the weather. Once I’m out there in the rain, I actually don’t mind it at all.
The hardest part is convincing yourself to get out the door in the first place.
* Yes, I know my “winter/rain bike” doesn’t have full length mudguards, but that’s one sacrifice I make here in Tasmania as I don’t tend to ride in groups when it’s raining (the AssSaver does a commendable job of protecting my back).