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Riding in the Rain

It’s probably fair to say that us bikers in Wales will have lots of personal experience of this!

Nevertheless a few hints and tips will hopefully provide a useful reminder of how to ride safely in wet weather.

  • Traction is greatly reduced in the rain; it’s especially important that tyres are undamaged, inflated to the correct pressure and with good tread depth
  • Ride as smoothly as possible with careful, progressive use of the brakes and throttle
  • Wear proper rain gear, one or two sizes larger than you normally wear, so it fits over your normal PPE
  • Choose your lane position to avoid large amounts of surface water; look for dry tracks made by vehicles in front of you, as these sections allow greater grip for your tyres. Avoid puddles wherever possible - they may even be hiding a pothole
  • Use common sense; slow down in the rain and keep a safe extended following distance - at least double the distance you allow in dry conditions
  • If they really can’t be avoided safely, take slippery spots such painted lines and manhole covers as straight on as possible  
  • A rainbow patch on the road surface could be oil mixed with rainwater so early observations will allow you to avoid this hazard
  • Being tense on a your bike affects control and puts you at greater risk; stay relaxed and if the weather really becomes too bad pull over
  • Bikers are even harder to see in the rain. Make yourself as visible as possible; hi-viz rain gear can be a good option. And remember to use your lights
  • Remember, when visibility is low it becomes even more important to ride so you can stop in the distance you can see to be clear

Rain or shine, each ride should ideally be smooth, relaxed and confident. Look well ahead and try to enjoy the experience, even if you’re soggy around the edges!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018