The monsoon season has started in Colorado! We get afternoon showers here in Evergreen almost everyday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and ride. Here are a few tips for being prepared for wet weather:
- Brake Early
Your stopping distance is greater while riding in wet weather (unless you have disc brakes). Lightly pulsing your brakes will “squeegee” water off the rims in advance of harder braking.
- Light It Up
Even during the daytime, a flashing tail-light and a front headlight can help other road users see you better. You should also wear brightly colored clothing with plenty of reflectivity to enhance your visibility.
- Watch Puddles, Paint, Plates and Plant Debris
Puddles can be surprisingly deep and can hide potholes, rocks and even roadside curbs. The white fog line and other painted features on the road can be slippery when wet and should be avoided. Use caution when rolling over manhole covers and metal expansion plates on roads and bridges. Leaves and other debris on the side of the road can cause you to lose control, especially when turning or going around curves.
- Dress To Stay Warm & Dry
The wetter you get the colder you are going to be, especially in our high-mountain altitudes. Keep your core warm. A waterproof vest or jacket with a dropped skirt in the back and a hood is critical for heavy conditions. Wear a wicking underliner made from wool or polypropylene and wool socks. Cover your shoes with neoprene booties to insulate them when they are soaked, and use full fingered water- and wind-resistant gloves. Remember, your body sweats rain or shine, so your jacket and garments must breathe (chose Gore-Tex-type fabrics or ventilated outer garments) or you’ll arrive wet from the inside, instead of the outside.
- Be Careful In The Corners
Cornering in the rain can be dangerous. Shift your body weight to the outside pedal as much as possible. Lean your body more than your bike to keep the bike more upright when cornering. By doing this, you will be able to corner with a reasonable amount of speed, as the body will tend to remain balanced over the bike when the tires slide over painted lines and unseen oil patches.