Monday, 5 October 2009

How to cycle in the rain - your commute

I had a couple of nasty slips this morning - luckily they probably looked more comic than anything else, but they got me a bit nervous. I was thinking about how you should cycle when it starts getting wet and slippery - which could be about half the year in London. So here are my immediate thoughts - do feel free to add more and I'll come back to this subject:

  1. Ride more slowly. In a way that's all you need to know! But I guess there are a few more ...  
  2. Your brakes will not be as responsive - so allow longer to stop
  3. Be extra cautious when in traffic. Cars have a habit of not seeing as well when there's water on their windscreeens
  4. Wear more reflective gear and put on your lights, front and rear, even if the visibility seems reasonable - chances are it will get darker or if the rain gets harder it will be worth it
  5. Be extra careful when turning - go slowly
  6. Watch out especially for turning on metal or wood - both can be incredibly slippery (tip - the section of decking at Camden Lock where you have to go to get on and off the Regent's Canal is a real killer - slippery as ... anything)
  7. If you're a bit of a swot, give your bike a good clean and dry with a cloth or some rag when you finally get to the dry. It's a pain, but will help your bike stay nice, prevent rust etc
  8. any other thoughts? There's a nice simple guide at the League of American Bicyclists

No comments: