“… I’m bikin’ in the rain… Just bikin’ in the rain… What a glorious feeling… I’m happy again..” But only if you follow these tips!
With all the rain Louisiana is getting this season, we figured it would be a good time to refresh on some tips on how to deal with the rain; before, during , and after!
- Have rain gear ready: Trying to pedal with soaking wet clothes, especially in this humidity, is no fun. Waterproof and breathable clothes will make your life easier, and having a pack-able rain poncho will make sure you are ready to go after that first rain drop. And it wouldn’t hurt to pack some extra clothes in a dry bag so you can change at your destination.
- Have extra bike lights: Be ready to snap those extra bike lights on. Rain can reduce visibility, even during the day, and you want to make sure other road users can spot you easily. The more lights the better!
- Pack that shower rain cap you never use: Rain caps are great (and portable) additions to your rain kit. You can put them over your helmet so rain doesn’t drip on your eyes, or you can use them to protect your saddle if you have to park your bike in the rain.
- Beware of slick surfaces: (Tar + Oil) x Nola humidity = slick surfaces = minimal traction for bikes + more dangerous road hazards. Just in case math isn’t your strong suit, here’s the gist: be careful after it rains! It’s especially slippery on any metal surfaces (i.e. street car tracks, manhole covers, etc).
- Turn carefully: Go slow when you turn on a curve and make sure to reduce how sharp you turn to avoid your bike from sliding out from under you – unless, of course, you’re trying to impress your friends.
- Avoid puddles: We’ve all seen them. New Orleans has an infinite number of potholes, and when it rains, we have to fight our desire to ride through them like we’re going for the gold medal in an X-Games competition. The truth is that puddles in this city can be very dangerous because it is hard to determine how deep they are, and what might be in them that could damage our tires.
- Take your time stopping: Wet rims will make it impossible to brake quickly. Brake slowly and allow yourself enough distance when coming to a stop.
- Clean, clean, clean: If you went through a lot of debris and mud, you want to make sure to wipe that off before it cakes up. Use a brush to get the bigger chunks off and a sponge and bucket to finish things off.
- Dry as much as possible: The moisture accumulated on your bike can really do a number on your bike by damaging and corroding it. Focus on the metal parts and if needed, take your seat off and flip your bike upside down to drain any water that may have gone in the post.
- Give your chain and derailleur some TLC: These 2 parts of the bike are probably the ones that get the most damage from the rain. Make sure to wipe any dirt or water on the chain and derailleur before applying some chain lubricant to it.
Practicing all these tips will make it easier for you to go “bikin’ in the rain in Nola and… be happy again!”