Most of us dislike riding in inclement weather, but that does not mean we never do it. Rain, ice, sleet, snow and even hail can surprise us when we are riding and at times we cannot pull off the road but have to keep riding in whatever the weather conditions may be.
Bad weather poses two major challenges, traction and vision.
Traction: Watch out for puddles on the roadway, painted areas, metal grates and manholes or areas where oil and grease may collect. While riding as always, avoid locking up the rear wheel. Remember it will lock quicker than on dry pavement.
As you are riding pay attention to the surface you are riding on. Remember different surfaces have different drag factors, the less the drag factor, the less traction you have. Keep this in mind when you are turning with your limited traction. Try not to brake and turn at the same time. Ride smoothly, don’t brake, turn or accelerate quickly. Allow more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you and slow down.
Vision: We are all aware that in poor weather conditions we have trouble seeing. This can be caused by rain on your face-shield or windshield, water dripping in your eyes or from your glasses, face shield or windshield fogging over. This problem increases in low light and dark conditions.
Not only do you have trouble seeing other vehicles, they also have trouble seeing you. You become more invisible to them, consider wearing bright rain suites and reflective gear. Also make sure all your lights are working properly and are turned on. In extremely bad conditions, you can turn on your four-way flashers for some added visibility.
It’s best, if you can avoid riding in poor weather conditions. If the weather turns bad while you are riding, pull off the road and wait until conditions improve, but at times you don’t have that option and must press on, so do so with the greatest of caution.
Until the next time.