It seems appropriate to write this blog at this time, considering the shift in the last while from glorious sunshine to slightly gloomier weather. The beginning of the easing of restrictions south of the border was met with an unfortunate change in the weather. But that doesn’t mean you should stop taking your bike out!
The right clothing
When going for a cycle in the rain, it’s important to dress appropriately. While expensive high-end sports gear isn’t essential, a cotton t-shirt and shorts might not cut it. The important thing is that your clothes are fairly waterproof and that you’re skin isn’t exposed to the elements. Unless you’re doing some serious training, you’ll probably be glad of some warm covering. Consider too that the rain will get through the holes in your helmet, so you might want to consider a base-layer hat for under the helmet.
Many of us rediscovered our love for cycling during the early stages of the pandemic lockown. If we were to take a day off cycling every time it rained we would end up going weeks with little cycling. Keeping up a good habit of a daily cycle will allow you to reap the physical and mental health benefits of daily exercise. Keeping that cycle in your daily routine is important, so don’t let it slip when the weather isn’t perfect!
There are a number of precautions that should be taken when cycling in poor weather to alleviate danger. Firstly, you should make sure that your brakes are working as normal and that your tires are well pumped and in good condition. Wet roads can be slippery and caution should be taken to make sure that you maintain your grip on the road. Secondly, you should make sure that you’re visible to other road users as vision can be impaired in dark, wet weather. High visibility jackets are always advised but are even more important in bad weather. Good lights and bike reflectors should also be used.
While cycling in the rain may not be quite as enjoyable as peddling along in the sunshine, inclement weather should be no excuse for leaving the bike indoors. There’s a unique appeal to throwing off your wet clothes and jumping in the shower and coming out for a bowl of hot soup. Wrap up, get your hi-viz on, embrace the elements and keep cycling!
Brian, son of owners Séamus and Nóra, was one of the first team members at Donegal Ebikes, having built our original website. He is a sports fan and lover of Ireland’s outdoors, and has summited many of our highest peaks. Brian now works as a Business Development Officer with An Droiched Irish language organisation