Spring may mean higher temperatures, but rain falls all year round in New York. Life must go on despite the weather, and for some, this means continuing to cycle for transportation or for fun even when it is raining.
Whether you are a tourist using Citi Bike for the first time or a veteran commuter, review these tips for biking in spring rain to reduce the likelihood of an accident and injury.
1. Stay dry
Although winter is over, spring temperatures are still low enough to be harmful if you get soaked in a downpour. Wear proper waterproof gear, especially over your extremities. Make sure the material is breathable to avoid becoming drenched in sweat. Wear bright colors to make you more noticeable to motorists.
2. Protect your vision
Rain decreases visibility, but so can regular sunglasses in wet weather. Clear or yellow lenses are best to shield your eyes while still allowing you to receive as much light as possible to maintain your vision. Remember to apply anti-fog product to your eyewear.
3. Watch for slick spots
Water causes the roads to get slick quickly due to oil residue, leaves, manholes and paint. Stay away from these areas when possible, especially when braking. Keep out of puddles, as well, as they can be deeper than they look or hide potholes. Just as with a vehicle, slow down and allow more time for braking, too.
4. Prepare your bike
Brake pads do not last as long in wet conditions as they do in dry. Replace them regularly during the spring season to avoid loss of braking ability while out riding. Put fenders over the tires to protect you and your bike from water, mud and debris. Your bicycle should also have reflectors and an LED light. Heavily lubricate the chain to prevent rust.
5. Get off the road in extreme weather
In heavy, torrential rainfall, it is best for your safety to stay off the bicycle and use another mode of transportation or entertainment instead.