If you are lucky enough to live in a place that doesn’t have snow and ice in the winter there is still bad weather to deal with. Whether you let the rain dictate when you ride or not, there are some things you can do to be more comfortable when the weather doesn’t agree with you. Sometimes stormy weather can enhance your rides, I love it!
Featured image is a picture of deep puddles and a rainbow down the trail. Here, we found another rainbow. We saw 5 rainbows that day all on the same ride!
I think you know by now I live in northern California. We have high winds and rain during the winter. I had to find a way to stay dry and warm during storms. Water resistant clothing just isn’t good enough when it starts to pour and you are miles away from home.
I was lucky when it rained last February it was a warm winter so riding home soaked wasn’t bad and we were still having a drought. Not so this year.
Another rainbow across the San Francisco Bay.
I looked at rain suits at bike stores and REI and are they expensive. It costs even more to get the pants. I grabbed my Chromebook and started looking at cheaper alternatives.
A double rainbow greeted me from my living room window before my ride.
I found one on Amazon after looking at a lot of cheap stuff. A full suit with pants for $14 I was thrilled when it got delivered. I was a vision when I tried it on. Lol! Next time it rained I was ready.
Me in the pouring rain having a ball. You can see the raindrops in the photo.
I put on the suit and went riding to see how it performed. It was awesome. It didn’t get in my way biking and I was able to wear the hood under my bike helmet. A little time drying out and it goes back in my bike bag ready for next time.
On this day I lent my pants to my friend I was riding with but you can see them here.
Both the pants and top have snaps on the wrists and ankles that keep them out of the way. The plastic material is thick and reinforced with flaps on the pockets. A hood keeps everything dry with nothing going down your neck. It was important to me that I could roll it up small enough to fit in my bike bag.
I almost got a rain poncho. It sounded good because it would cover the legs but bicycles and ponchos don’t mix they’re too baggy in the wrong places and could get caught in your chain or spokes.
Plastic can get hot while wearing it because it doesn’t breath but I haven’t had that problem yet. I wear my suit at the most, 2 hours. They are coming up with new materials but they can be expensive.
Being warm and dry in the rain gives you the freedom to explore on days when everyone else is inside. It puts you in a certain class of bike rider/nature lover, not everyone will bike in bad weather. There’s a kind of peace to riding in the rain I enjoy very much.
Get a bag for your bike to carry stuff in.
Having a good bag on your bike means you can take your rain suit with you on rides. The bag on the front of my bike was around $65 and as you can see the straps on the sides hold it still when bouncing around the trails. (I like this style but next time would get something more waterproof.)
The bag on the back is very old (nylon) and I use it to carry excess. It doesn’t hold much, right now there’s a knit scarf in it.
There are bags of all sizes and shapes to buy for your bike. Make sure it will attach or fit on your type of bicycle.
Things To Put In Your Bike Bag
- first aid kit
- health bars or fruit/lunch
- knit hat, gloves, and cold weather wear
- rain suit
- money and driver’s license or ID
- aspirins or ibuprofen
- bandana or clean x
- sun block/sunglasses
- binoculars (for nature of course)
- rape whistle (I’ve had one for decades)
All things any good Girl Scout would think of bringing. (Yes I was.) ~giggle~
Water water everywhere. I’m so glad I have full fenders on my bike! All these photos used were taken on the same day.
If it’s not raining here this time of year it can be in the low 30’s during the day. Winds from the San Francisco Bay cut right through normal jackets and coats. Find something windproof with thumb holes (which keep the wind from going up your arms.) Layer.
I found a knit cap that fits under my bike helmet and covers my ears, a big plus. Leather gloves are the way to go and protect that neck with a scarf. Long underwear is my friend.
It’s so important to be comfortable while exercising before and after warming up. Motivation can freeze up in the face of a very cold and windy day but once you get out there it’s all worthwhile. I know how hard it is when faced with a very windy day my biggest riding nightmare! I always feel better for doing it.
You can get some beautiful light on stormy days.
When I get home I always have some great photographs to look over and share, the kind you can’t get on a sunny day. It makes me feel alive.
If you compare this photo with the other photo in this article (above) you’ll see it’s similar but not the same, they’re 2 different rainbows from 2 different days.
This was taken this morning from the same area (my living room window) as the first one. They both were taken half an hour apart, one from last week, one from this morning around 8 AM. I’ve never seen 2 rainbows in the same place before but now I know if conditions are right it can happen.
It was amazing!!
I have never ridden a bike in the winter. In slush yes, but not snow and ice. I do know a few brave souls who do and even ride to work all year. I give them an award of the highest respect for they are the cream of the crop of bikers compared to me! I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!
Hope you enjoyed the photos along with my advice about biking. Since this is a new site I’m still gathering readers and I want to thank you for being a reader. I’m happy to have you!
Consider leaving some comments? I’d like to know about you and your interests. How’s your health? What kind of weather do you bike in?