Whilst I type “How to cure cabin fever?” into Google and negate their suggestions of “make geodes out of eggshells and epsom salts” or “communicate via bananas”… I realise that I am definitely at the end of my tethers with this horrific weather and probably so are you. So before you start googling indoor activities, lets talk about riding in wet weather.
Unfortunately one of the things in life that we can’t control is the weather. And in the past month, rain has drenched most of Queensland. This has not been optimum for cycling adventures, and I am sure that you are also experiencing cabin fever and are itching to get out and ride. Whilst we can’t control the weather, there are a few things that we can control that make it safer for those gritty wet weather riding adventures. So here we go…
Our biggest concern as a cyclist for riding in wet weather is crashing. We know that we lose our traction easier, and that debris on the road can at times make cycling unsafe. So if you are sick of the indoor trainer, here are some things that we can do our best to avoid.
Avoid Busy Roads!
Do your best to avoid riding in busy built up areas or areas that have no shoulder on the road. Your reaction time and handling is impaired in wet weather and so are motorists. So if you can avoid peak hour traffic and avoid being close to cars, it’s best to do so.
Know Your Equipment!
One of the things I always get scared of when it is raining is my ability to stop in time. Like many other cyclists, we love carbon. Carbon this, carbon that. We love how light it is, and how much faster it makes us (feel? Haha I am dubious about whether I am actually faster with all the carbon. I certainly feel faster at times). What we don’t love about our fancy pants carbon wheels and break pads is our stopping time when we are riding in the wet. It can be quite delayed. So lets avoid riding in mountainous regions. And perhaps think twice about riding in big groups.
Avoid Lines and Circles!
Whilst we are avoiding mountainous regions, we should talk about some traffic furniture that we can also avoid. Roundabouts. Just stay away from them. Almost all of the crashes that I hear about and see from riding in the wet weather happen on roundabouts. What else can we avoid on the road? White lines. Its often a photo finish for white lines and roundabouts to which is the winner in the whats-to-avoid-while-riding-in-the-wet-weather competition.
So now that we have figured out the winner on what to avoid… There are a few things that we definitely should not be avoiding. There are a couple of ways that we can increase our visibility when the clouds are laying low blocking out our beloved sun. Throw on your front and rear lights and have them on or ready to go in the likelihood of a heavy downpour.
These days most cycling clothing brands are making some pretty awesome reflective gear in their socks, kits and jackets so that you will be seen by cars whilst they are approaching/passing you.
Aside from what we wear, and what we are avoiding. We need to think about the road conditions, and the added debris that is on the road and how that can cause us some issues. Its important to make sure that you are carrying everything that you need in your spares kit for possible punctures or flats. And keep the PSI of your tyres down at 90 PSI. I know this is blazingly obvious, but do your best to avoid new potholes that appear on the road during wet weather.
It’s time to shut down Google, and put those indoor activities to the side for now. The real solution to cabin fever is getting outside, not making geodes out of eggshells and epsom salts (silly Google!). So cross check all of your weather apps and see if you can take the gamble to get out and satisfy your legs. Always take the safest option, sometimes staying in and waiting out the storm is the best way to go (in this case check out The Wet Weather Cycle for ideas and tips.
Safe riding and stay rubber down girls xx