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Tips For Cycling in Inclement Weather

Cycling is one of the healthiest and greenest ways to travel, but unfortunately Mother Nature doesn’t always take our commute into consideration. Cycling can be a great way to travel regardless of the weather, but only if you plan ahead. Here are some top tips for cycling in bad weather.

In the Rain

Lighten up: it’s much harder for pedestrians, other cyclists, or motorists to see you when it’s raining, so you should always consider adding extra reflectors to your bicycle or helmet (which you should always wear!). You can also wear a reflective vest to ensure you’re seen.

Dress for the temperature: a common mistake to avoid is layering when it’s raining out. The thought process here is that if you have more layers, you won’t get wet. What usually happens is all your layers get wet, leaving you with three times as much soggy clothing to lug around. Wear what you’d typically have for the temperature outside and pull on a thin waterproof poncho if none of your clothing is waterproof. 

Avoid brick and metal: these surfaces become extremely slippery when it’s raining outside. If you have to travel across either one of these surfaces, be sure to do so while holding your handlebars straight. This will reduce your chances of skidding.

In the Heat

Give yourself time: It’s unreasonable to expect to maintain your pace on a 15-mile ride if temperatures have suddenly jumped to 105. When summer hits and the heat is unbearable, give yourself a few days to adjust to the temperature. Heat exhaustion can come on quickly, so it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Stay hydrated: it’s important to drink water before and during your ride. You should drink one 16-ounce bottle of water 30 minutes before leaving, and bring at least one additional bottle of water for every hour you’ll be cycling. Larger riders or anyone going on a particularly challenging route may need to bring up to four bottles of water.

Leave early: the sun is brightest at noon, but temperatures continue to ride till 2 or 3 PM. if you’re really not a fan of riding in high temperatures, try to leave in the early morning, especially before daybreak. You could ride in temperatures up to 30 degrees cooler than later in the afternoon. Just keep in mind that it’s usually more humid in the morning.

This article was provided by, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local cycling ordinances to ensure you ride safe and legally.