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I'm nervous to road bike in the rain, but this summer there hasnít been much option. Any suggestions on how to ride safely and smoothly in wet weather?
Signed, Rained Out
Dear Rained Out,
I was looking at your question last week when we had our heat wave. But things change fast in the mountains.
Here it is, Sunday (July 22), it's pouring rain and I am thinking about a ride. Maybe the best option is to find a nice, warm desert with no rain. Arizona anyone?
If you can't do this, then the first thing is to dress in layers so you stay as warm and dry as possible and ready to shed cloths for the ever-changing conditions. This may sound obvious but it is of utmost importance.
When you become cold and wet your senses are dull and you may not notice that rock on the shoulder or that car turning into your lane.
Wear glasses. The fine grit that comes of the road is nasty in the eyes and can obscure your vision. It is better to have dirty glasses than eyes full of grit.
Try not to take any corners aggressively. The road will be slippery because it is wet and the oily stuff dropped by traffic turns it into a bigger hazard.
Be cautious when you cross any painted lines, especially when turning over the wider, painted areas at crosswalks. The paint becomes very slippery ó almost like black ice in the winter.
Above all, give yourself more time to slow down and anticipate what you want to do before you do it. If you tell yourself it is fun riding in the rain and you stay alert and cautious, it will be great time!
Happy soggy riding,