Avoid A Bike Crash- Cycling Tips for Rainy Weather
Bike Crash: Cycling Tips for When Your Ride Gets Wet!
If you have ever ridden a road bicycle, ridden with a group or just out on your solo training ride you more than likely have experience the rain. Most people ride scared to avoid a bike crash, especially when they have to lean through a turn. While it certainly pays to be cautious you don’t have to be a chicken about it either.
Here are cycling tips to remember when your ride gets wet and avoid a bike crash:
Remember: water reduces your bicycle brake pad’s friction on the rims.
Anticipate when you will need to apply the brakes. Apply the brakes evenly to both wheels well before you need to slow or stop. This will allow the moisture to be squeezed away from the rims and help you stay in control and the tires planted. It is important to know to lighten your grip because the brakes may suddenly grab and you may lose control or skid.
Don’t ride on painted lane lines or other surfaces.
When wet these become more slippery than the blacktop because the paint fills in the pavement’s traction producing irregularities.
Avoid wet manhole covers, sewer grates and other metal objects.
They will become more slippery than paint. Look ahead and carefully pick your lines. Also avoid metal bridge surfaces and railroad tracks. Sometimes it’s just safer and smarter to get off and walk your bike.
Wet leaves, grass and other plant-life can be very slippery too.
Avoid riding through puddles that you can’t see the bottom. There could be a pothole underneath filled with broken glass and other hazards.
You can’t ride if you can’t see!
Wear eye protection to keep the rain and other grit from road spray out of your eyes. Wear bicycle glasses that have clear or yellow tinted lenses. These colors allow you to effectively see the road details even on the gloomiest of days.
Rain and mist greatly reduce motorists’ vision.
Wear brightly colored bicycle clothing so that passing motorist can see you. Colors like yellow, orange or red is the most visible. Also consider wearing bicycle clothing that has reflective stripes or tape.
In poor traction conditions a death grip on the bicycle handlebars will increase your chances of ending up in a ditch. Consciously let your tension go.
Use extra caution if this is the first rain in a while.
Roads tend to be slicker when the rain first begins. Rainwater brings up asphalt liquids and vehicle fluids that may have spilled and since the last rain.
Remember to dry off your bicycle before putting it away.
It's also a good time to lube your chain, as well as cables, housing and pivot points of the brake and gear systems.
Slightly under inflated bicycle tires.
This can increase your contact with the road surface and give you more control.
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