Maybe you forgot to check the weather. Or maybe this was the only time you had in your schedule to go. Or maybe it was what you had planned all along, because isn’t there something freeing and childlike about being outside in the rain? One way or another, though, you are outside in the rain on a bike. Is that a problem? Is the water bad for a bike ride? Do you need to find shelter right away or can you ride it out? (Literally) The quick answer is that it depends. The long answer is that you have a few options in such a scenario.
Stop Immediately and Find Shelter
Giving up is not always the motto of the die-hard, but sometimes there isn’t anything else you can do. A little rain is one thing, but some storms are truly dangerous. If lighting strikes or strong wind gusts pick up, your best bet may just be to pack it in and try another day. Also, the first big rain after a dry stretch can lead to dangerous, slick conditions that might be a little too dangerous to handle on the road.
Find a Temporary Shelter and Wait for the Rain to Stop
If turning around and packing it in isn’t on your agenda, you may still want to stop and make a few upgrades before moving on. Hopefully, you have come prepared for anything and have a few tricks up your sleeve to pull out and make a more comfortable ride. Bringing along a few plastic bags can waterproof your ride for the most delicate equipment you have. Toss one over your cycling computer, your seat, or even your socks to improve your wet ride.
Be prepared by having appropriate rain gear. It’s also important to consider others around you, so do your best to stay out of mainstream traffic, lest you slip and head into a direction you didn’t intend. Having lights on your bike also make sure you are visible, helping protect yourself and others. When finished, be sure to rinse the mud off your bike and lube the chain to prevent damage to your bike.
Yes, each of the above options means you will get at least a little wet during your bike ride. But isn’t part of the joy of life being out in the rain? Embrace your inner child and splash those puddles a bit!