Well, it’s certainly autumn now, isn’t it? The leaves are tumbling from the trees, and the wind is starting to chill. The warm, dry(ish) summer days have been replaced by damp, wet weeks, as everything starts to mulch. It’s not the most appealing conditions to be out on your bike, but you’ve got to make the most of the chill and ride out the storm. So before it gets too wet, here are some of our best tips to help deal with the changing conditions and to stay safe in the saddle.
Keep It Smooth
When the weather’s taken a turn, you’ve got to react and alter your riding style. It’s essential that you set aside time for yourself to react to a slippery situation, and that you change your line. Be careful with your throttle adjustments, keeping them smooth and steady, increasing in small increments. Be sensible with your speed, ease on your lean angle, and when it comes to breaking, make sure to get it done early, so that there’s no skidding at the end. Make sure to get your brakes checked out regularly as the autumn presses into winter, you don’t want to get a nasty surprise on your ride.
Consider The Wet Conditions
As the rain cascades down onto the road, it of course gets wetter, and more slippery. Don’t be tempted to cruise through puddles, you never know how deep it could be, and what could be hidden within that pool of water. Stay on the ball and make sure to target a dry line. It sounds like stating the obvious, but many riders seem to ride in an area of the lane that’s wet, even when there’s an adjacent area that’s dry. With this in mind, follow the tire tracks of the vehicles in front of you, their wheels will temporarily plough the water aside. When there’s nothing out in front, aim to place yourself in the driest part of the lane, utilising the improved traction and manoeuvrability that the dry pavement offers.
Stay Dry And Seen
When it comes to your sartorial selection for wet weather, it should come down to two very important things. Firstly, is it going to keep me dry? Secondly. Can I be seen? The two very much go hand in hand, and you shouldn’t neglect one or the other, investing in reflective and easily-visible wet weather wear. A waterproof rainproof is a must, and this two or one piece will help keep a monsoon out. Alongside this, is your helmet, which really needs to have a breath guard or an anti-fog visor to ensure that your vision is clear, even on the wettest of days. Your feet can be some of the worst body parts when they get wet and cold, so Gore-tex socks are an essential investment for those rainy rides.