Just a few weeks ago, our head designer, Wayne, participated in the Three Peaks cycling competition, a 90 kilometer ride over three mountains 2200 meters up. It was all he could talk for weeks leading up to the ride, inviting several friends (including myself) to go with him. I happened to already have plans, but he did manage to round up four people to sign up with him. They trained for weeks and Wayne seemed ready.
Then, the day of the race, the skies opened up and started pouring. Of the original 2,400 people signed up for the ride, only 800 showed up. But, Wayne and his diehard riding buddies were all there, rain jackets, waterproof pants and all (he admitted to me after the race that if his friends hadn't signed up he wouldn't have gone at all). It was only 15 degrees that morning and the rain had saturated every inch, seeping in his jacket and shoes within the first 20 minutes of the ride.
Just one hour in, another cyclist slid across the road in front of him and was nearly hit by an oncoming car. Luckily, no one was seriously injured. Wayne rode on steadily but carefully. He said the only thing pushing him through the downpour was the thought of passing the next person in front of him. And so, soaked to the bone and half-frozen, he crossed the finish line five hours later, finishing 6th. A little under half an hour later, all of his friends had crossed the line and they all went for a drink to warm up.
Maybe you aren't signed up for a 5 hour race in the rain, but there are times we all get caught in a downpour. So here's a few tips to keep dry, warm and safe if you're ever caught out in bad weather.
- Jacket - light, breathable, waterproof, tapered seams
- Pants - long, lightweight, mesh lining, pockets
- Overshoes - stretch, non-zip, neoprene
- Socks - long, breathable, waterproof
- Waterproof bag - top rolls down for added protection
- Clear glasses to protect your eyes
Prepping your Bike:
- Decrease tire pressure to boost traction
- Make sure to apply lots of chain lube
- Watch your brake pads
- Get some fenders
- Put lights in the front and more importantly, back
Be careful if you are caught in the rain. Avoid metal surfaces and puddles if possible. Make sure you have reflective gear and lights. If you can, ride with a friend.