I have been fortunate this week. It has rained every day. Heavily at times. But I have not missed a ride. It has been my good fortune to be on the roads when there was little or no rain. This is often the case in Vancouver.
I have pulled out my wet weather gear and have been wearing it all week – waterproof helmet cover, rain jacket, gloves, tights, pants and booties. Today, I needed it. It poured on the way to the office. I mean poured. The wettest weather I have ever ridden in. But, as usual, it didn’t last long. Just long enough to get to the office.
I don’t mind the rain. Cycling in it is an invigorating start to the day. I wonder why more don’t do it. You need a wet weather bike. A bike outfitted with fenders. And, lights. A bike you don’t care as much for. I never ride the good roads bikes in the rain. At least not intentionally. Wet weather plays havoc with the drive train. And, you need wet weather gear. Waterproof gear.
It took me several years to make the necessary investment in wet weather cycling gear. It came about gradually as I began to ride more in the rain. I have just purchased a new pair off waterproof booties. The old ones are worn and not so waterproof any longer. That happens. Even GoreTex wears out in time.
I have a Louis Garneau rain jacket that I really like. It has a long collar that keeps the water and wind out. It also has extra long sleeves so that even when I am reaching onto the drops, my arms remain covered. And, it is long in the back keeping my bottom dry.
I also have a Louis Garneau helmet cover that I wear frequently, even when it is not raining. It fits snuggly over the helmet keeping the rain and wind at bay.
I have waterproof pants but prefer wearing cycling tights. They are not completely waterproof but are certainly more comfortable to cycle in. They are warm, stretch, stop the wind and, repel most of the water. I layer them over a pair of bibs so i can peel them off if, no when, the weather improves.
So, if you put your bike away in the wet weather season, I encourage you to equip yourself with the right clothing and get out and enjoy yourself. Wet weather is not an excuse. The wind is not a excuse. And, neither is the cold. There are outdoor clothing solutions available today that simply did not exist a decade ago.