Spring has officially sprung and that means riding season is in full swing. It also means that no matter how much you check the weather reports, spring rainstorms can hit out of nowhere. Ever wonder what you’re supposed to do in that situation? Let’s dive into some rainy weather riding tips to make sure you’re ready for anything when you hit the road this spring and summer.
Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
We suggest planning your route in advance so that you already know alternate routes ahead of time and can avoid high traffic areas if a road is too flooded to ride through. No matter what, you want to know where to go.
Have the Right Gear
As we mentioned earlier, storms can come out of nowhere. For that reason, we recommend investing in some waterproof/all-weather gear so you can be ready when those pelts of rain come down. Waterproof jackets, pants, gloves, and boots are all great staples to have in your riding wardrobe. When looking for waterproof gear, you’ll want to make sure that the seams overlap as opposed to aligning so water doesn’t find its way underneath to your clothes. Investing in a pair of goggles (if your helmet doesn’t have a shield, yellow or orange tinted goggles provide some of the best contract in low visibility) is also important so you see clearly while riding in the rain – don’t forget to add an anti-fog treatment. Lastly, if you have room on your bike, bringing a pair of extra dry clothes is always a good idea. We’re all trying to enjoy the ride after all – and being cold and wet quite frankly…sucks. Always carry a few plastic bags with you to store wet clothes and you’ll be good to go.
Find a Dry Line (if possible)
This might seem like a no brainer, but traction is everything when riding. While riding in the rain, or just after a rainstorm, we recommend finding the dryest line in the road where car’s tire tracks have been, and staying off the painted lines as they present a slicker surface.
Check Your Tires
We hope you’re following the TCLOCS
method before each ride, but this is particularly important when it comes to rainy-weather riding. You’ll want to double check to make sure your tires aren’t worn down and have proper traction so they can easily grip the road during slippery conditions. And for you riders near desert locations, you might want to stay off the road entirely due to roads becoming oil slicks during rainy weather.
Braking Distance is Crucial
Having enough space to brake is important during any ride, but this is especially vital when it comes to rainy weather riding. Traction and visibility are limited when it rains, so it’s crucial to make sure you put some extra distance between your bike and other cars or riders when riding. We know it’s hard to take it slow sometimes, but don’t forget safety is the #1 priority.
Watch Out for Puddles
A lot of us enjoy riding in the rain, especially if you’re in proper gear. And sometimes those puddles look splash-worthy and exciting, but we recommend avoiding them – sorry to be a buzzkill. It’s hard to determine how deep a puddle and it’s important to keep in mind, a puddle could actually be a pothole. If you can’t avoid a puddle we suggest taking it slow and steady.
Thunder and Lightning is a No Go
We can work with rainy weather, but as soon as you see or hear thunder or lighting it’s time to get off the road ASAP. Find a pit stop and take the opportunity to wait it out, dry off, or grab a meal. Taking cover under a bridge or overpass might be a quick fix if absolutely necessary, but when lightning is around, we recommend finding the nearest rest stop, gas station, diner, or coffee shop to take cover in. It’s always best to be inside in those situations. Remember, your bike is metal…you don’t want to risk it.
We hope your spring is full of sunny, perfect riding weather – but if it’s not, now you know what to do. Just remember to take it slow and enjoy the ride.