Yes, it is that time of year. There is a reason for the old saying “April showers bring May flowers”, so it is always good during these cool spring days to prepare in case of rain during our rides. I normally choose to not ride in the rain, but we all know sometimes we don’t have a choice. You leave on a nice, sunny spring morning, and BOOM – you are 20 miles from home and those first rain drops start falling.
The most important part of rainy day gear is tostay warm by wearing wicking layers under a waterproof or water-resistant rain jacket or poncho. I love the Moxie Merino Wool Jersey for my base layer the and matching Moxie Merino Wool Bolero. Merino wool will keep you warm and will continue to insulate even if it gets wet. Over the top of this I wear a rain poncho that folds up small when not being used that I can throw in my bike bag. I like the poncho more than a jacket because I can pull it around my seat and also cover part of my legs and I can put the hood up underneath my helmet to keep my head dry. Visibility is key – be sure your outer layer is a bright color that will be easily seen. Merino wool socks are also a very important part of my spring gear for the insulation properties. If my feet get cold, I am done. Neoprene toe covers can also be worn over your shoes to help keep your feet warm and dry. In a pinch, if you get caught out without a jacket or poncho, you can make arm and neck holes in a large trash bag for a DIY rain cover.
Other things that can help on a rainy day:
- Carry a small Ziploc bag so you can toss your wallet and phone in to keep them dry in your pocket.
- We often think about wearing bright visible colors to be seen, but in rainy situations we also want to make sure WE can see. Riding glasses with replaceable lenses allow us to quickly switch from our dark lenses to clear or lightly tinted lenses when it starts to get cloudy. Coating them with Rain-X or other defogger can help as a rain repellent as well as keep them from fogging up.
- A riding cap can be worn under your helmet to add insulation and to help keep the rain off your head, as well as a visor to keep the rain out of your eyes. Those convenient shower caps we find in hotel rooms can be carried in your bike bag to provide a quick and easy rain seat cover.
Donna is a Moxie Cycling Ambassador and blog contributor. Check out her bio here!