THE INSIDE LANE - Riding Tips - Water Hazards and Cycling...

The weather in Southern California has been wet and rainy the past few days. Rain here is as rare as snow in Florida. Not really. But the way people seem to loose their minds and stay indoors you'd think that was the case. It just means that if you don't mind getting wet, it's a cyclists paradise - just think of it as cycling but with constant external hydration. :D ---------------------------------- Some safety tips for cycling in the rain - 1) Know your path - Regardless if you are riding a trail or on the street, knowing the terrain and therefore being able to anticipate issues BEFORE you approach them is key. In trail riding you should be aware of any areas that may wash out or be dangerously unstable. In SoCal there are mudslides and washouts with each storm. So don't take risks. Stick to places you know. 2) Watch your speed. Sure you can take a certain downhill run at 40mph and have plenty of room to brake when you hit 300ft from the bottom - but in the rain everything changes. Your bike - if using rim brakes - you'll need a much greater distance to stop due to water on your rims and brake pads. A good rule of thumb is 2/3 - remember to go 2/3 the speed you'd normally go and you need 2/3 longer distance to stop safely. 3) Leave your carbon rims at home. Carbon rims with any type of rim brake in wet weather can be extremely dangerous. If you have a second set of metal rims - use them - or don't ride. 4) Disc Brakes - are amazing in the rain but be careful, especially if you are trail riding and getting mud all over your bike, hubs, and brake discs. Particulate matter when caught between your disc pads and disc rotors will cut down the life of your pads and rotors and they are the major contributor to that annoying sound called brake squeal/howl. 5) WATCH OUT FOR TRAFFIC!!!! Cars are just as impaired by rain/wet conditions as bicycles. Most motorists have a difficult time paying attention to the road as is, add rain to the mix and as a cyclist you have to be extra aware of the traffic around you. FINAL WORD - riding in the rain can be a blast! But make sure you take the proper steps to protect yourself and your equipment. Nothing is worth harming your health.

I'm a director of photography (cinema), commercial illustrator, & Nikon Professional Photographer. I'm the Founder of - Cyclists Against Coronary Artery Disease.
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