How To Prepare For Your First Wet Weather RidePublished 13/08/2018This summer we have been truly blessed with the sunshine and hot weather, but things have started to change, and for many of our newly passed students. They are just now experiencing riding in wet weather. We’re here to tell you that there is no need to worry – with a little bit of prior preparation you’ll feel just as confident riding in the rain as you do in the sun.
In wet weather you are likely to experience a loss of traction. Our immediate and essential advice is to slow down. In wet weather your braking distance is dramatically increased, so by slowing down you increase your reaction times and ability to come to a halt or slow down safer.
If you are navigating bendy corners, by reducing your speed in wet weather, you are reducing the amount of lean you need to get around the corner. This will also increase the surface area of the tyre in contact with the ground helping you maintain your balance.
As your riding, try to avoid slippery parts of the road such as white lines, manhole covers and cat eyes whilst leaning or braking.
The difference in temperature between outside and inside your helmet will cause your visor to fog up, you can apply anti-fog or simply leave your visor open slightly to help balance the temperature and maintain your visibility.
During periods of bad weather where the sky is dark, consider how you will look to other riders and drivers. Wearing dark clothing is not advised. Get yourself some fluorescent colours and reflective clothing to ensure you are well seen.
Wear rain gear when riding; not wearing waterproof clothing is a sure fire way to catch hypothermia. If your clothes are wet and you are riding in the wind, you will get very cold, very quickly. Being cold will slow your senses and reduce your reaction times causing you to make errors that you wouldn’t have made before.
You control your bike with your hands, so protect them! When cold they will quickly go numb and you will lose your ability to effectively control the machine. Invest in a pair of good quality riding gloves with a waterproof and thermal lining.
If you are about to undertake an unfamiliar journey in the rain, plan your route before you leave. You’ll feel more confident knowing what is coming up around the blind corner and be able to ride a lot safer.