Cycling when it’s wet
Soggy cycling isn’t many people’s idea of fun, so making sure you have the right gear is a great way to stay dry even when there’s an unexpected downpour.
Dress to stay dry
A waterproof jacket or coat is vital for keeping you dry. They can be a bit sticky however, especially in warmer weather, so if it’s not raining when you leave but you think it might, a thin jacket that can be easily rolled up and stored in your bag is ideal.
Other clothing like a cap or hat will keep your head dry – a helmet can also work well if the rain isn’t too heavy. Waterproof trousers, like jackets, can be rolled up and stored in your bag until you need them.
Prepare your cycle
Mudguards are essential for wet weather riding. Look out for ones that have a soft flap at the bottom of the front mudguard – this will help keep your feet dry, although if you cycle through a deep puddle they won’t save you!
Keep your chain oiled when it’s wet so it doesn’t stick. You can get lubricant specifically for wet weather than won’t be washed off so easily. You can also deflate your tyres a little to spread the surface area out, which will help increase the friction as roads can be slippy when it’s raining.
Remember as well that even in the middle of the day visibility is worse when it rains. Wearing bright colours and turning your lights on can help you be seen and safe.
Cycling when it’s hot
Enjoying a ride in the sunshine is one of the highlights of the summer, but it can quickly become unpleasant if it gets too hot. If it’s really warm, it’s a good idea to cycle a bit slower than you might otherwise, so you don’t get overheated.
Stay safe in the sun
Sunscreen is important to make sure you don’t burn. It can happen quicker than you expect and before you’ve even realised the sun might be super strong. Go for a sunscreen that is waterproof so you won’t sweat it off, and remember to reapply often. Sunglasses will also protect your eyes from the sun and make it easier to see in bright conditions.
The right clothing will help you stay cool. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing is ideal, and avoid really dark colours as they can make you feel hotter. Some clothing made specifically for cycling or active use (like running or going to the gym) is moisture-wicking. This means any moisture, like sweat, is moved away from your body so you feel cooler. The moisture sits on the surface of the material instead so it dries quickly as well.
Drink enough water
Staying hydrated when it’s hot is important. Don’t wait to feel thirsty, instead drink a little bit frequently throughout your ride. Water, squash or diluted fruit juices are good options, and try to avoid super sugary or caffeinated drinks.
Having some snacks with you is helpful. Fruit like apples and bananas are great – bananas can even be frozen before your ride, making them a lovely cooling treat in warm weather. It’s best to avoid anything really sticky or likely to melt – a pocket full of liquid chocolate isn’t as fun as it sounds!
The weather can be changeable, so it’s good to be prepared for anything. Wearing a few thin layers will keep you warm if it’s colder than expected, or you can stash them in your bag if it gets too warm.
While it hopefully won’t be cold for a good few months yet, we also have some great top tips on cycling in cold conditions to make sure you’re ready for anything!