Do You Like it Wet…
Dangerous Curves Ahead…
Slippery When Wet….
Before you cue the familiar 70’s porn music and dim the lights, let’s get focused here…I’m talking about biking in the rain! I’m talking about when you want to ride so badly, that you’re willing to endure a soaking chamois and wet feet. I’m talking about that moment when you don’t know if you’re wet from sweat or from the rain. Even on the best-planned rides, sometimes the weather can change faster than you can say, “bow chicka bow”… So settle back in your chair and let’s take a moment to appreciate this sport we love. It’s a sport we enjoy so much that we’re often willing to practice it in the most dangerous of conditions.
Let me paint a picture for you. I’m sure it’s happened to all of us. You’re enjoying a beautiful day on the bike. There was no indication that rain was coming, but suddenly the skies grow dark. If you were on your road bike, the increasing winds would make it harder to maintain your speed. Conversely, if you were on the trail, you’d hear the wind as the tall trees moved against one another. The temperature would drop and the first raindrops would begin to fall.
On a road bike, this is not fun at all. The rain stings as it hits your skin. It’s hard to see as your cycling glasses become covered with rain and condensation. You worry about drivers seeing you and about your skinny tires slipping on the wet pavement. You probably pull over and wait out the storm.
On a mountain bike, it’s a little different. You can hear the rain long before you ever begin to feel it. After the raindrops overload the leaves of the trees, the deluge finally begins. Sometimes, you can keep riding, but other times you simply have to stop. You stand under a tree and watch, as the trail becomes a river.
When the rain stops falling, you have to make a decision. Quit or keep riding?
I will keep riding. After all, I am the Bikinator.
Sure the road spray off your tire will keep your butt in a constant state of dampness. Sure your glasses will be pretty annoying to look through. Sure, you’ll have to take it easy in the curves. But at least you’re still riding!
Drivers probably look at you and think you’re absolutely certifiable, but once you’re already wet, it’s actually fun to just keep going. You are getting your work out in! You’re not letting a little pesky rain stop you! You are proving how much of a diehard you are!
When mountain biking, you will have to watch out for the wet logs and roots. Always remember to hit them straight on, so you don’t slide out your wheels. You’ll also have to go slower on the downhills and curves. But at least you’re riding! You get to see just how the water run-off can cause erosion. You get to experience the phenomenon of the forest soaking up the excess moisture like a dry sponge. Who would have thought you’d get a science lesson while riding your bike?
So feel proud when you brave the elements in order to get your ride in. Sometimes those rides when you say, “Oh well, I’m already wet. I may as well keep riding,” are the rides you remember as the most fun. Sometimes that pressure-free ride becomes the one where you clear a tough obstacle you never made before. When there are low expectations, it’s amazing how fun the ride can become.
Disclaimer: Please don’t ride mountain bike trails when they are wet enough where you would cause damage to them. Maintenance volunteers work hard to keep the trails safe, so if riding your bike would undermine their work, please stay off the trail until it dries.