Cycling in the rain is no fun. With Dorset receiving yellow weather warnings today, indicating heavy rain and strong winds, cyclists have to make sure that when they head out on their bikes, they must stay safe. Bournemouth University students as a whole, love to cycle, so here are a few tips on how to survive the slippery weather with the help of Bournemouth-based Primera cyclist, Andrew Syme (pictured above).
1) A waterproof jacket
This will keep you warm and regulate your body temperature. It will keep you dry but if you’re about to embark on a long cycling journey it will also prevent your body overheating. Andrew says “I always carry around a lightweight waterproof rain cape. These are handy if you get caught out in a heavy downpour. A cycling cape made from GoreTex offers the best choice for cycling in the rain.”
2) Check your tyres
Every now and again during your cycle check your tyres for glass, debris or cuts. ‘Cyling Weekly’ suggests a heavier tyre in the winter with a thick tread.
3) Don’t cycle too close to the curb
If there is a pothole, cycling too close to the curb will not give you enough time to swerve out and things could get messy. Give yourself enough space on the road. Andrew suggests: “be careful to avoid manhole covers and leaves. These become very dangerous in the wet rain.”
4) Increase your visibility
Maybe invest in light weight LED lights that click to your bike as the days get darker over the next few months. Make sure you wear bright, vibrant colours so that you stand out on the road, especially at night. Andrew says “Be seen, it’s best to purchase a waterproof top in a brighter colour; this offers high visibility to drivers.”
5) Use a mudguard
Mudguards are essential to keep all the filthy, wet mud from spraying over your legs and back. Try and avoid standing water if possible to refrain from getting wet; you never know if there is a pothole being disguised as a puddle.
6) Wear overshoes
Andrew says: “In the winter when the roads are always wet, I wear neoprene overshoes. They keep my feet warm and dry.” You might also want to wear gloves because if your hands get wet, it could result in feeling very cold and uncomfortable when cycling.
7) Use chain degreaser straight after a cycle
‘Cycling Weekly’ says: “Cover your chain in degreaser -WD40 or GT85 are both widely available although there are bike specific degreasers like Muc Off -then vigorously wipe it down with a rag until it’s dry. A few drops of lube will then protect it for the next ride. Do this and it can double the chain’s lifespan.” Andrew who is currently on a years work placement for Muc-Off recommends many of its cycling products to keep safe on the road.
Cyclists are not impressed with the rain on Twitter.
Personally I’m more pissed off at the prospect of cycling through this torrential rain -_- — Jamie (@TheRoflRaptor) October 6, 2014
cycling in the rain is torture — Shannon Hardcastle (@little_szh) October 6, 2014
Minimal sleep and torrential rain when cycling to work. Monday morning, it’s always a pleasure. — Charlie Smith (@CharlieSmith8) October 6, 2014