With the health crisis, many have opted for cycling, especially in large cities. A practice favored by the good weather that Belgium experienced in the spring and this summer. But in recent days, the rain has made its return and with it roads and sometimes slippery infrastructure. With the return of these first, “greasy” roads (rains that mix with the residues present on the roadway and form a mud) and the risk of falls. So cycling in the rain is quite difficult.
To prevent them, here are some pointers from Aurélie Willems, a representative for Gracq, a group that represents and supports cyclists in French-speaking Belgium.
Good equipment for cycling in the rain
First of all, Aurélie Willems advises cyclists to opt for good equipment: a good jacket and possibly good rain pants. The better equipped you are, the better you will experience the fact of driving in the rain. Also think of waterproof panniers that will allow you to keep your clothes and other belongings dry.
A bike in good condition
To attack autumn and winter, there is nothing better than having a bike in good condition. To be sure, the Gracq strongly advises to go and do a maintenance of his bike. “Because if the brakes don’t work well in case of rain, they will react less easily,”explains Aurélie Willems. And “if the tires are deflated, it can have more dramatic consequences”.
Beware of tire wear. Just take a look at it to see if the tires are not cracked in some places or if they are smooth. In this case, it is better to change them because “if the brakes are not in good condition and the tires are smooth, and you pass on a slippery surface, you increase the risk of falling”.
For those who wonder if there are not tires more suitable for rain, know that there is a whole range with notches sometimes a little different. The best is to ask for advice from your bike repairman who will advise you a tire adapted to your daily journey, depending on whether you are only doing the city or not.
In the rain on a bike, as in a car, it is better to have a suitable ride “knowing that the braking distances are greater when the surface is wet, so it must be anticipated. Avoid braking abruptly if you want to avoid slips” she warns.
“You should also know that there are floor coverings that are more slippery than others comme the pavers and metal surfaces”. He added that” in Brussels in particular, we must be very careful about tram rails”.
In case of rain, it is better to avoid them if possible, otherwise, cross them”perpendicularly”.
Also beware of “large bundles of leaves that can hide a large metal plate or other”,mainly on bike paths along the parks.
Even if in the end “there is pas miracle advice”, it is just necessary to “redouble caution”.
A little tip anyway: go consult applications like “Buienradar”. “They are very well made and allow to see in real time the arrival of clouds” and therefore rain. The opportunity if it is possible to advance or delay his departure for work, just not for cycling in the rain which in the end is not as frequent as we think.