Spring has officially sprung and summer is right around the corner, revving riding season into full swing. This time of year, no matter how much you check the weather reports, spring rainstorms can hit out of nowhere. 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.
Note: We don’t recommend riding in rainy weather, but at times, it’s unavoidable. We recommend these tips if you happen to get stuck in a storm. Stay safe out there.
Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
We suggest planning your route in advance so that you already know alternate routes and can avoid high traffic areas if a road is too flooded to pass. No matter what, you want to know where to go if the skies open up and derail your ride.
Have the Right Gear
Invest in some 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, make sure that the seams overlap as opposed to aligning so water doesn’t find its way underneath your clothes. If your helmet doesn’t have a shield, invest in a pair of goggles. While riding in the rain, it’s important to see as clearly as possible. Don’t forget to add an anti-fog treatment to your goggles or face shield, too.
Bring Plastic Bags & Extra Clothes
If you do get stuck in the rain without the proper gear, your clothes are most likely going to be drenched. It’s a good idea to keep an extra set of clothes with you as well as plastic bags that can store wet items.
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’re a slicker surface. When finding that riding sweet spot, adhere to traffic laws and stay aware of cars who may not realize you’ll be adjusting your riding pattern.
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. Roads in these climates become dangerous 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
Sometimes puddles look splash-worthy and exciting. Sorry to be a buzzkill, but we recommend avoiding them. It’s hard to determine how deep a puddle is and puddles can actually be potholes. If for some reason you can’t avoid a puddle, take it slow and steady.
Thunder and Lightning is a No Go
In some cases, we can work with rainy weather, but as soon as you hear thunder or see lightning, 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 there are no other options. But, when lightning is around, find the nearest rest stop, gas station, diner, or coffee shop to take cover in. Remember, your bike is metal…metal attracts lightning…you don’t want to risk it.
We hope your spring and summer 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.
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