Sunday, 22 April 2012

Declaring War on RaW (Rain and Wind)

Looking out the window this morning, conditions were awful. Heavy rain, coming in around forty degrees and a strong wind.  In time gone by, this would have sent me scurrying back inside to bed.  With London to Paris only eight weeks away, I wanted to bank some good "in saddle" miles today to top up the aerobic engine.

Kitting Up

Riding in the rain is just about getting your kit right.  You're never going to come home bone dry, regardless of what you buy, it;s just about trying to ensure you minimise how much of the rain penetrates your clothing.  Here's what I went out in: -
  • Long bib tights
  • Overshoes
  • Base Layer
  • Long sleeve top
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Beanie Hat
  • Helmet
  • Full finger gloves
Five Tips for Riding in the Rain
  1. Puddles hide a multitude of potholes, so you have to be much more aware than normal.  Slow down and ride more cautiously to avoid having to swerve unnecessarily at speed.
  2. Always wear a base layer in rain as you end up sweating quite a bit when you wear a rain jacket and it can feel as wet inside as it does outside.
  3. If the rain stops, get your rain jacket off and in your back pocket as soon as you can, this will help you dry out more quickly.
  4. Beware of drains and road markings as they can become slippery quickly and cause you to fall.
  5. Keep a spare pair of dry gloves in your back pocket.  When you get to your cafe stop, it's nice to go back out again with dry gloves on.
Fairweather Cycling

We'd all love to spend our days out on the bike on bright, warm days.  If you're aiming for an annual mileage target or training for a specific event, then you're going to have to ride in wind and rain.  Wind can be good for training as you have to put out more watts to maintain your normal speeds, I previously blogged some tips about riding in the wind here.

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