An ideal riding world would simulate clear skies and grippy tarmac. However, as dreamy as this sounds, riders must be realistic and prepare for the worst conditions. It’s not pleasant, nor the safest, but sometimes we can’t avoid getting caught out or commuting in the rain. Now that the wet season is officially here, riding safely in the rain requires the correct awareness, technique and gear.
What to avoid on the road?
Roads are extra slippery, not only due to the present moisture, yet because oil is especially slick on rainy days. Stay clear of the “rainbow-glimmer”. Best to avoid riding in the center of the lane, as cars tend to leak oil centrally. Align yourself either right or left, given whichever is the safest road position for you. Be cautious of painted roadway lines and signs. These surfaces do become incredibly slick and don't provide much grip.
Allow adequate space between yourself and other vehicles, giving an even greater stopping distance than usual. Anticipate gear changes, shifting smoothly and swiftly. Shifting gears in corners will place pressure on the rear wheel, making it accessible to slide out.
This also applies to braking, as the back tyre will lose friction if too much stress is involved. Braking needs to be balanced and gentle. Most of the braking power will generally come from the front calipers, yet it is good practice to ensure even pressure on both rear and front brakes.
Keywords to remember with throttle control are “steady and smooth”. Stay calm and gentle both ON and OFF the throttle, especially when cornering. Wild flicks of the wrist will jerk the bike around, leading to a lack of friction between the tyres and tarmac. Most importantly, stay within your own comfort zone, taking corners at your own pace, accelerating smoothly and shifting gears with meaning.
Wearing the correct riding apparel for rainy days won’t just keep you warm and dry, yet can increase your safety. When investing into wet weather gear, there are a few important requirements that need to be present. Rjays Covert Grey Jacket is a great example of what a quality and affordable wet weather jacket should be.
Waterproof and incredibly breathable, Rjays Covert Jacket can easily pass for a normal overcoat when you are not on the bike. Combining style with excellent weather protection and passive safety, this jacket is perfect for that inevitable cold, wet and windy day. With sizing from XS - 4XL, the Rjays Covert Jacket aims to fit all body types and is available in both Men's & Women's. Priced at only $349.95, here are more key features about the Rjays Covert Jacket:
CE Armour in the shoulders & elbows
Waterproof & breathable liner (10,000mm/8,000mm)
Removable thermal liner with knitted collar
Connection zips for pants
Riding in the rain will never be an enjoyable experience for any sane rider, however planning ahead and preparing with the appropriate gear, knowledge and awareness will keep you safe and dry this wet season.
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