Today's weather might be enough to dissuade most riders from hitting the road, but as long as you dress properly and tread a little more gingerly than normal you can still have a great ride. I headed out for Squaw Peak during a lull in the rain around 4pm. With only a light drizzle falling I little wet from spray off of the road, and the climb up the mountain was plenty to keep me warm. Being careful to avoid riding on any painted road lines (when the road is wet the paint can be extremely slippery) and take it easy in the corners it was quite an enjoyable trip. The fall colors looked incredible in the rain:
When I turned around the last switchback near the top I had the satisfaction of literally riding my bike into the clouds:
The usual view of Provo was completely obscured by the heavy rain clouds:
There was something so satisfying about getting a great ride in despite the rain and the cold. For all of you who are willing to brave the wet, consider the following tips:
- Like I mentioned earlier, the striping on the roads can be extremely slippery. Avoid riding on them like the plague, especially the big fat turn arrows at intersections. If you try to stop on one of those guys you're very likely to lose control.
- Always break early and smoothly when the roads are wet. Your break calipers won't pinch the rims as well and you will need extra distance to stop. Look ahead and think ahead.
- When you get done with your ride make sure to wipe your bike down completely and oil the drivetrain well. This will reduce the chance of rusting and increase the longevity of your drivetrain. Try to get as much grime off as possible. Sand or grit in your cassette and chain will increase wear.
So with that in mind don't be afraid to use your bike in the rain. The fall colors aren't going to be around much longer, so enjoy them while you can!