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Velominati Rule #9//
If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
Fair-weather riding is a luxury reserved for Sunday afternoons and wide boulevards. Those who ride in foul weather – be it cold, wet, or inordinately hot – are members of a special club of riders who, on the morning of a big ride, pull back the curtain to check the weather and, upon seeing rain falling from the skies, allow a wry smile to spread across their face. This is a rider who loves the work.
Cycling in shitty weather means you are not just a pleasure rider. No way, you are a lean mean cycling machine who doesn’t care about a bit of rain, wind and cold. Cycling in weather is a fight against the elements, and it’s a solo fight, because no one in their right mind is cycling in these conditions. But trust me, the satisfaction upon arriving home is huge.
Of course, there are things about foul weather riding to consider before you hop onto your bike. There is the necessary gear, technique and precaution to incorporate into your ride. Let’s start off with a simple instruction video from GCN with tips to make cycling in the rain less risky.
In short, these are GCN’s tips taken from this video:
1. Increase grip by reducing tire pressure
2. Take plenty of braking space
3. Avoid white lines, metal bars and wet leaves
4. Wear reflective gear and mount lights front and back
Here’s another video from GCN with some insights on useful gear for wet conditions.
So now that you are well informed on what kind of gear you need for foul weather riding, here are my picks to fill the newfound gaps in your cycling wardrobe.
POC AVIP WO Spring Jacket
POC’s AVIP Spring Jacket is made from tightly bonded stretch fabric, that won’t obstruct necessary movement and will keep you dry in light to moderate rain. The fabric is breathable, but not windproof, which goes for most soft shells. The best feature is the fit. Where most soft shells will be baggy and flap around your torso while riding, this model will sit tight and give you a more feminine look.
Cafe du Cycliste Women’s Madeleine in Grey Glen Check
The Madeleine is another soft shell with a good fit, but this one is also quite light and packable. I love the Grey Glen Check print, original but nothing too crazy. You can always count on Cafe du Cycliste to come up with an understated design that goes with just about anything. The Madeleine is an affordable, water repellent, breathable and windproof jacket for when you need a little more protection than just a gilet.
Rapha Women’s Rain jacket
Rapha’s rain jacket is a little more heavy duty when it comes to being water and windproof and as you might expect, price wise as well. But you’ll agree nothing compares to the super cool reflective polka dot design on the back of the jacket, keeping you hip and safe at all times. And who is Rapha’s colour designer? He or she sure knows what shade looks best.
Machine for Freedom Galaxy wind vest
Having a smart cycling gilet makes things so much easier. Whenever you are not sure about what to wear, just stuff a gilet into your jersey pocket and you’re good to go. A gilet will keep your core warm and dry when the wind picks up a chill, or the sun disappears. This glossy black, super light gilet by Machines for Freedom is fully wind resistant and water repellent, and made from premium European fabric.
Isadore climbers cap etna
Everyone needs a few of these multifunctional cycling accessories, which have hardly evolved in the history of cycling. Like most caps, this model by Slovakian brand Isadore is made from pure 100% cotton with classic Italian cycling cap construction. It keeps sweat and rain from your eyes and protects your sight from the sun. This stylish one also features antibacterial inner tape for greater comfort.
Rapha Pro Team Rain Overshoes
These very close-fitting, water-resistant soft-shell overshoes by Rapha are especially designed to keep your feet dry, not just warm. Extra attention has gone into making the sole fabric, the part that tends to tear first, more durable. Finished with high-visibility details and magnificent pink colouring.
MAAP Base winter gloves
Tried and tested by their own race team, these MAAP gloves will not disappoint. For those riders who always have cold hands, you must try this waterproof pair designed for deep winter conditions. Cut longer on the wrist they’re made to sit over a long sleeve jersey or jacket sleeve to keep rain and wind out.
If you want to feel super safe while riding in the dark, check out this collection with the rather obvious brand name Proviz. For example, the REFLECT360+ gilet, with an all over reflective effect that will make sure are visible for miles around, or the subtly reflecting one, that will also do the trick.