There was a freak hail storm and a flash flood warning all before I left work yesterday, so I figured it was a good time to write about rain gear.
First of all, the most important thing is to cover your seat if they are calling for rain. They sell a thing, but really, just grab a plastic bag. I keep a few in my desk drawer and if the skies darken, I dash down and tie one on. I have a gel seat, so if it gets wet, it’s bad news.
Secondly, get rain gear. Then, keep it with you, just in case. I really like the Marmot Precip, which you can fit in a small stuff sack. The PreCip has pit zips and is very lightweight, I also love it for running. Several other companies make similar jackets, so just look for something with pit zips, zipper pockets, and that compresses really small. You also want to make sure you get a jacket in a bright color – now is not the time to go for basic black or a nice neutral – you want to be seen, especially in the rain.
I do not own rain pants, but my husband does. I usually opt to walk if it’s raining when I leave my house, so I only get stuck in freak rainstorms going home and arrive drenched at my house, rather than my office. I do own a pair of Mistral Pants which are great for drizzling weather, and I found on sale, but they’re not super-office-appropriate, so I don’t wear them that often.
You also need fenders. Fenders will keep the rain from splashing onto your pants. They are super-important even if you aren’t riding in the rain.
Thirdly, set up rain alerts on your cell phone so that you know when it is going to rain.
Fourthly, be prepared for your body temperature to drop. On a day when I might not normally need gloves, if it rains, my hands will freeze. Keep a spare pair of gloves in your raincoat pocket.
Fifthly, ride smart. Go slowly, make sure people can see you, and signal everything, and for longer than usual. Take an entire lane even if you normally wouldn’t, especially in a downtown situation where traffic is moving slower than usual anyway.
Anyone else have any tips or gear suggestions for riding in the rain?