I recently witnessed a disturbing bicycle accident where a group of cyclists were hit by a car. The road they were driving was smooth and dry. It was a sunny day with bright light and the cyclists were riding in groups. Despite the perfect riding conditions, the cyclists were hit from behind by an over-speeding car that may have lost control of it. This was only one incident, but I’ve seen many similar incidents when cyclists were as seriously injured as a person driving unless they were wearing a mountain bike helmet and pads.
Darkness is one of the main contributors to cycling risks, and if it’s raining, it can exacerbate the problems. Since the weather these days is unpredictable and most cyclists prefer to ride year-round, in this article we will discuss some tips for riding in snow and rain.
While riding in the rain or snow, it is very important that you wear clothes to stay dry. The more moisture it gets, the cooler it will be. It can make you feel sick and weak as a passenger. So it is very important to keep your heart warm. Include a waterproof jacket, waterproof pants/dropped skirt, water proof knee pads and a cover-up in your outfit. Also cover your shoes with neoprene socks to keep them dry. It’s important to cover yourself well, especially when you’re wearing protective accessories such as elbow pads or mountain bike pads.
Clear vision is very important for safe driving. If the light is dim, you can use yellow lenses to protect your eyes. Sunglasses are also very important on a sunny day as bright light can obscure your vision. If you still have difficulties seeing, you can use a bicycle cover under your helmet to avoid rainwater from hitting the lenses.
Road surfaces become dangerous during rain. Not only do roads become slippery, but road gravel and water can erode the rubber brake pads. Also due to the slippery surface during rain, most wheel rims need a full revolution before the cycle starts to stop. Therefore, while driving in the rain, it is very important to plan ahead.
Turning in the rain is difficult. While cornering in the rain, try to shift the maximum weight possible on the outside pedal. Leaning your body more than the bike will allow you to complete turns without slowing down so you tend to stay more balanced on slippery roads and invisible oil slicks.
If you are a tradesman or work abroad, you will soon realize that your workplace is not a nice office, and a suit will not be appropriate work attire.
So what should you wear and what do you need?
- A polo shirt is a smart choice, as it gives a more professional look than a t-shirt. Why not brand your polo shorts in corporate work attire so that all of your team looks smart and cool?
- Pants should be both smart and practical, and if you want to make the right impression, they probably shouldn’t be jeans. Why not treat yourself to some well-fitting work pants, or work pants with knee pads if you need them?
- If you work outside, you will know the importance of wearing a hat when it is cold. You may need to wear a safety helmet as well, but you’ll want to keep yourself warm and secure.
- Gloves are also important in cold weather, as you can’t work if you can’t feel your hands. Depending on the industry you work in, you may need a glove liner, or want quick-drying gloves.
- Don’t forget your feet in cold weather. Socks should be given as much consideration as the other clothes you wear. You may need the socks for extremely hot or cold conditions, or you may need your socks to be flame retardant. How about buying your socks in bulk?
- Waterproof work clothing is vital for those who work outside, and who can’t stop working just because it’s raining. You’ll need to make sure you can still work, and that if you get wet, you won’t catch a cold.
- Base layers are ideal for both hot and cold days, make sure you are the right temperature so you can function properly. Active and effective base layers wick moisture from the skin to regulate body temperature.
- Fleece layers are perfect to wear over a polo shirt when you need some warmth. They are lightweight and can be very warm. It is also not very restrictive when you need to work.
- Work jackets can be worn over fleece, and will provide extra warmth and protection from the wind when the weather turns for the worst.
- Knee pads, harnesses and tool holders can make your work much easier, if you need to kneel, or have a lot of tools and accessories on the job. You don’t want to go down a ladder or go back to the truck to get a pencil, paintbrush, or screwdriver.