A strange thing happened this morning. At 7:30, a bright glowing orb appeared on the horizon in the eastern sky. I am quite happy about that. I am in retail and I can tell you that after about two weeks of dreary December weather, people get their knickers in a snit over just about anything. The denizens of Whoville were smiling this morning.
The weather really does keep people indoors instead of breathing fresh air that opens the senses and spirits. Wet weather is not the most inviting time to ride, but it is doable with a little preparation. To me, the benefits are far better than walking around acting like the Grinch.
Everyone that I know that is a rain rider, has their own survival tips. Mine may not be the best, but these tips work for me. Most importantly, my feet need to be warm. I have tons of what I call “Snivel gear.” First, I use a thin base layer Under Armour shirt under my jersey top and Under Armour pants over my bike shorts.
Next, I put on adhesive toe warmers on top of my socks. For my shoes, I put duct tape over the vent holes on the shoe bottoms before putting on my shoe covers. Finally, for my last trick, I spray the shoe covers and the lower part of my leggings with silicone spray. Don’t use the overpriced R.E.I. silicone spray. The same spray can be bought in any auto parts section for half the price. This really works at keeping your shoes and legs dry.
Rain riding is not a time to attack every hill and set a record time. Ride at 80-90 percent effort. The roads are slicker, cattle guards are even more treacherous, and potholes appear out of nowhere.
After my ride, I hit the local car wash a half mile from my house and spray off my bike, carefully avoiding any of the bearings. As soon as I get home, I reverse my shop vacuum, drying off my bike. As a final touch, I spray down the chain, cassette, derailleur, and any hinge point with WD-40. I wipe off the excess and put the bike away.
A warm shower later, you will be a smiling Grinch. Whoville will thank you for it.