How to Ride Safe in the rain

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Its rainy season again in my lovely country the Philippines.  We can opt to stay indoors and not use our bikes but if you do have to ride out, here are some tips for a safer trip.

1.  Ride slower than usual

As the rains pour down, visibility is diminished and droplets will cover your lenses, and trickles of rain water will flow upon your eyes.  Its better that you slow down so that you can adjust your reaction time should there be a need for you to stop or veer away from untoward incidents.

2.  Brake gradually

Instead of clamping down on your brakes hard, brake it gradually.  Let the brake pads do the work by slowly gripping your brake line or rotors (in case of discs).  Streets are wet and braking hard will just let your wheels slide over these wet surfaces.

3.  Buy a good waterproof jacket

Nothing beats dry so buy one.  Do I need to explain?

4.  Be wary of floods and water puddles

Water logged patches and streets hide whatever whats underneath.  Better stay clear of these but if you have that option to steer away, try to avoid biking through them.

5.  Don't ride over painted road markings

Such samples are people crossings on sidewalks and other markings that they paint on the road itself.  They may be rubberized and they are effective only when dry.  When wet they increase the risk of you sliding over them.  Keep your bike and body straight when you can't avoid them and when you ride over them.

6.  Slow down when you see rainbow on water patches

Rainbow can mean there are oil present on the wet road.  Water already is slippery, having oil on them can lead to disaster.  Just stay away from these.

7.  Don't lean when cornering

We all love to tilt our bikes when we corner but do so during sunny days.  When we corner, we reduce road contact, and with the wet roads, this will easily cause hydro planing.  You will lose that grip on the road sending you off to kingdom come.

8.  Use mudguards

Ugly buggers if you ask me, add the weight to these bad boys and no one will surely use them.  But during rainy days, they are a must.  I hate washing jerseys with mud on my back and socks as well.  The mudguards keep off that mud and murky muck off your body and things.

9.  Use plastic bags over your socks

Even if I am for the environment, I still have plastic bags lying around the house.  Re use them by putting them over your socks before you insert them on your shoes.  These will keep your feet and socks dry making for a comfortable ride.

10.  Another tip is to reduce tire pressure

Deflating your tires from your normal pressure increase road contact lessening your chances of slipping.  

11.  Bike lights.  Use them.

If you experience diminished visibility, so does cars and other motor vehicles.  Use these bike lights even during daytime as long as its raining.  This will increase the chances of other drivers seeing you on the road and not hit you in the process.

12.  Don't use your bike

As much as possible, leave your bike at home.  If you have a choice, then follow the tips mentioned herein and have a safe ride.  Hope to catch you soon on the roads.