Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bike To Work Tip #2

Bike to Work month is here. . . and it's all wet!! Oh well. . . might as well put the bike away and get in the car.

This may be your first thought, but before you get the "Wicked Witch of the East" complex and fear that you'll melt at the slightest drop of rain let's consider what you can do to help prepare yourself to ride in the rain and still have an enjoyable commute without showing up to work all wet!

With proper clothing you can ride in just about any weather and still enjoy the ride. If it's raining you'll want to where all-weather clothing. It could be as simple as a parka or a cycling specific rain jacket. You'll want something that is breathable but will keep the rain off. If you don't have a change of clothes with you or at the office you'll also want to wear some rain paints to keep dry. Also, wearing cycling gloves comes in handy in wet weather to help you keep your grip on wet handlebars and the brake hoods.

In addition to clothing you may also want to have fenders attached to your bike. They will help keep the water runoff from spraying your backside and bottom. And don't forget your lights. Rain is usually accompanied by dark clouds so be sure you can be seen if riding in traffic.

Be sure to check your local weather for the hour by hour forecast on a website such as weather.com. It will show you the % chance of rain throughout each hour of the day. Maybe you don't mind riding home in the rain but would prefer not to on the way to work. An hourly forecast will help you with that decision.

Another alternative to riding to work in the rain is to arrange a trip with BARTA which now has bike racks on select routes in Reading. You can put your bike on the rack for the ride to work and then ride it home at the end of the work day. Be sure to check with BARTA on availability.

If BARTA is not an option put the bike on your own rack and take the car to work. Leave the car at work at the end of the day and ride home. The next day ride your bike to work or take public transportation.

Last but not least be sure to pack a small towel in your cycling bag or stash one at the office to help you dry off if you do get wet.

So there you have it. If you're prepared for the weather you may just end up Singing in the Rain instead of Singing the Blues!

Happy commuting!

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