Well despite record temperatures through the regions we were cycling in this year, wildfire risks and general drought, there were still a few days where the skies opened up and blessed us with litres of water over us and our bikes.. I guess after 6 weeks of no rain most of us were not so prepared for rainy days
Luckily there was someone from Britain – island of rain and changable weather – to coach us about cycling in the rain. Maybe it’s helpful for other people, meanwhile we didn’t see rain since a few days again..
Cycling and rain
– before the tour, think about how wide your tyres are (wider are better for rainy cycling) and what type of brake-pads you have (there are one more suitable for rain/offer better braking in wet conditions)
– when carrying more weight or pulling a trailer, be extra careful
– Don’t turn and brake at the same time!
– Don’t ride on the road mark
– Clean the brakes and rim regularly
– use both brakes when braking
clothing/equipment/packing and rain
– buy thick trashbags and put your stuff inside and then put them in your pannierbags – use strong bags for durability!
– Tent-waterproofing-spray can also be used for your bags and rain-jacket (but not on normal clothes because then they can’t breathe!)
– Have a set of wet-clothes that you always wear in rain so that you always have dry clothes to sleep in. Cycling barefoot or in sandles is good for the rain.Thin fabric in the rain is also better
– cycling in a rain poncho in the wind is awful!
– you can dry your clothes under hand dryers in public toilets
– If your phone or other electronic device gets wet then put them in rice to draw out the moisture
– If it’s cold as well as rainy, many thin layers are better than one thick. Don’t stop too much because muscle movement keeps you warm
– To avoid packing too much water if your stuff, shake tent and clothes before packing, or dry things with body warmth
Tent and rain
– if the bottom of your tent is not completly waterproof, build it on a slop or hill, not in a hole!
– extra plastic foil under the tent can be useful
– or build your tent under the communal tarp, then move it to your sleeping spot
– dig a ditch around your tent to drain away the water
– When packing – wrap inner tent layer in outer tent layer
– When its really wet – find an abandoned building, find a greenhouse, under bridges, in bus stops
cooking and rain
– when collecting wood – sometimes only the bark is wet, it can be peeled off to get to the dry inside
– carry some dry wood from dry days to start the fire. Birch bark is also good.
– Use oil or alcohol for starting a fire, or candles
– once fire is started you can dry wood next to it
– on some days it’s just not possible to cook. cold food like oats, couscous or bulghar is good to have with you.
– a little gas stove always works still in the rain
– consider building a little shelter for the rocket stove (a tarp hung high enough)
… sooo.. happy cycling in the rain!!