Rain or Shine TLDR:
- Learn to invest in waterproof gear
- Be seen
- Watch the weather
- Helmets do more than keep your head safe
- Get a bell
1. Learn and Invest in Waterproof Gear.
If you want to stay dry while pedaling in the rain be prepared to become somewhat of a gear nerd. Learn the types of materials to look for and know the difference between weatherproof and waterproof.
The major difference between weatherproof and waterproof bags is due to the taped seams and zippers. These areas are most important as moisture can sneak into your backpack and while in most cases won’t do any damage however in a downpour can chaos havoc on electronics, papers or a change of clothes.
It can be as simple as that, if you want to stay dry invest in waterproof outerwear, if you want your computer to still work when you get to the office, invest a backpack or messenger bag that is waterproof, or has taped seams and zippers to protect your most important everyday carry items. Some of our favorites are the Especial Scope Expandable Backpack, the Especial Shelter Roll Top, and the Especial Stash Messenger.
2. Be Seen.
No matter how dorky it appears, reflective gear and lights will keep you seen among other cyclists and cars. Stock up on rear (red lights) and front (clear) lights, and turn them on even when it’s not dark! The more visible you can make yourself to cars and cyclist around you the better. Most lights now can be charged with a USB which makes it easy to keep them fully charged while at work or home.
Reflective Backpacks and reflective messengers are also extremely helpful to staying seen. As a car approaches their lights will instantly light up your entire backside - no charging needed. (Super tip: Want to know how reflective one of our bags are take a photo with the flash on. Boom! All the reflective parts will be revealed.)
3. Watch the Weather.
Seems like a no brainer but some storms sometimes only last a few minutes and if you can leave 10 minutes later or earlier you can greatly shorten your time pedaling in a downpour. Some of our favorite weather apps that include by the minute updates are XYZ.
4. Helmets Do More than Keep your Head Safe.
Find a helmet that has less vents for those rainy days. Keeping your head dry will greatly impact the overall comfort of pedaling through a storm. Helmets and caps can keep you dry momentarily but pending the length of a storm, could get soggy. Nothing is worse than a wet cotton cap keeping you cold - so prepare wisely!
5. Get a Bell.
Sometime in a downpours, some of our other senses are compromised such as visibility and sound. So on a bluebird day when you could easily get someone's attention yelling “on your left” with the distraction of pounding rain a bell can more easily can get someone’s attention that you are quickly approaching.