Cycling in the rain for beginners

Here’s a post with some advice for all you beginner cyclists out there on cycling in the rain – nothing to do with technique I’m afraid as I still haven’t got a clue (cycle home took a full five minutes than normal today due to going verrrrrrrry slowly on the soaking wet roads). If anyone has any advice for cycling better / braver in the rain then please let me know!

No, this is more on the side of being as comfortable as possible. I have discovered the magic ingredient…. but you’ll have to wait for the end of the post for that!

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1) Mudguards, yay or nay? 

I don’t have mudguards because I’m lazy, I can’t be bothered to take them on and off for triathlons, I can’t be bothered with the cost, the buying them, the fitting them. If I’m cycling in the rain, I’m going to throw all my clothes in the wash when I get home anyway so I don’t care about a bit of mud on my bum. As far as the people behind me go, I’ve cycled on my commute behind many people with mudguards and many without – I swear they both send up a similar amount of spray! If anyone has any pressing reasons why they’re fantastic then make your case 🙂

2) Cycling overshoes

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These are great at keeping your feet dry and more importantly warm – I wear them all the way through the winter whether or not rain is forecast. Mine are these Castelli ones although I must say that after one winter they have become a bit tattered and less waterproof so there are probably better ones out there. Also … they are not that useful if you cycle into work on a sunny August day and then the heavens open at home time….. (like today – yay)

3) A jacket

Wear this over sleeves because if you have bare arms the rain will press the jacket into your arms and you’ll still feel wet (okay, maybe obvious but it took me a while to work this out!) I have one fantastic jacket from Gore (although admittedly not cheap) – it is perfectly waterproof, warm, and folds up into its own little bag so you can attach it around your waist when it stops raining and the sun comes out. I always take it with me on long rides where the forecast is wobbly, especially as I can zip off the sleeves to turn it into a gilet. Ridiculously versatile.

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My second jacket is this one from Sugoi. It is really lightweight so wouldn’t work if you were wearing it for a long cycle in torrential rain. HOWEVER, it is perfectly waterproof for a 40 minute cycle home and my jersey was bone-dry this evening. If you commute I recommend everyone keeps a jacket bound up really small and tucked into a pocket in their rucksack or the back of their jersey. It means that if it ever starts to rain on a sunny day when I’m on my way home, I’m well prepared! sugoi-ladies-shift-jacket-hrs-2013

4) The most important …… SUNGLASSES!!

What? Sunglasses? I hear you say…. well often cycling sunglasses come with different lenses. A sunglasses lens for those beautiful days when the sun is out, an orange lens that I have no idea when you would use, and a clear lens. They clip in and out easily and you can carry the spare lens in a jersey pocket or rucksack. The clear lenses are INCREDIBLE in the rain. I didn’t believe this at first, worried that the rain drops would get in my vision and they’d just be generally really annoying. NOT THE CASE! A quick wipe and they are clear again, and in any event, I’ll take drops on the lenses any day over rain drops pouring into my eyes and blocking my vision. I bought this pair from wiggle. They cost about £20 and make the most amount of difference for cycling in the rain for pounds spent.

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Go forth and cycle in the rain 😀

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