Taking part in a charity cycling challenge is a fantastic experience that will give you a chance to push yourself to your own limits while raising money for a great cause. There are many charity cycling challenges available and when you take part in one you can raise funds for the charity of your choice.
Of course, on long distance fundraising events you will need to be prepared for all types of weather. Sometimes it rains on bike ride day, but the show must go on. Rainy weather and wet roads can make your journey more dangerous, so here are some tips that will help you to ride in rainy weather safely and comfortably:
· Wear some glasses with yellow lenses. They will protect your eyes from the mud and flying water that might be thrown up by the other bike wheels and they will also increase the contrast in low light levels so that you can see more clearly.
· Avoid riding through puddles, as you cannot see whether or not they are shallow pools or deep potholes.
· It might help you to decrease your tire pressure slightly, as it will allow you to get a better grip on the road. You will be a bit slower, but that will be okay in adverse weather conditions.
· Look out for the shimmering rainbow that indicates an oil slick on a wet road, as they can be very slippery.
· Keep your speed moderate and avoid braking suddenly, as this is when you are more likely to lose your grip on the road and skid. Slow down well in advance, apply the brakes in a smooth fashion and decelerate gradually.
· Take care when going around corners. Look up and anticipate the corner then reduce your speed so that you are not applying the brakes as you are going around the corner.
[photo credit: cycling by joshua putnam]
· Also, when going around a corner drop your outside foot to the lowest point and shift your weight a little more, as this will increase your grip on the road.
· To make yourself more visible to cars on a dreary grey rainy day, make sure that you wear fluorescent bands and bright colours.
· Add lights and reflectors to your bike as well, so that you will be more easily seen.
· Make sure that you have a good waterproof jacket. It will make a big difference to your comfort when you are riding. Also, you can equip yourself with tights, waterproof shoe covers, gloves and waterproof covers that go over your trousers.
· The base layer that you wear close to your skin should be synthetic or wool, because these fabrics will wick away moisture better than cotton. Look for the type of “dry-fit” clothing that is designed for this purpose.
· Wool socks are a good idea. They will absorb moisture and become water resistant even when it is slightly humid. Also, wool will breathe and keep your feet warm.
· Your hands can get cold when you are exposed to the wind and the rain, so consider wearing waterproof gloves.
· Also, you will want to wear a second layer. Wool or fleece is a good option because it will keep you warm without it becoming soaked in sweat.
· The outer layer should be a waterproof jacket that will keep the water out. Make sure that you choose a jacket with waterproof seams, so that the water will not soak through.
· Rain boots or waterproof shoe covers are recommended, as they will keep your feet dry and they will protect you from splashes.
· Be very careful when you are riding over wood, metal, painted or brick surfaces as they can be extremely slippery when wet.
· Wearing a cap will help you to see better by keeping the rain out of your face.
· Bring some money with you for a backup plan if you need to give up on the ride and take a taxi or a bus somewhere. Sometimes the weather is just too bad to ride in.
Last but not least – after long distance charity cycle rides in the rain you should wipe the dirt and water off your bike (especially from the brakes and chain) and add a little bit of lubricant to keep it from rusting.
photo credit: openning image- cycling by floris oosterveld