5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

Biking to work is a wonderful way to commute. It’s healthy, eco-friendly and saves you tons of money on gas! However, biking to work becomes instantly a lot more complicated in inclement weather. How do you stay safe when visibility is down and it’s cold and wet outside?

Whether you’re dealing with a thunderstorm or a spring shower, these tips for biking to work in the rain will help you get to work safe, on time and completely dry. Before you know it, you might actually learn to love riding in the rain!

5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

1. Bundle up

First things first, you need to learn how to layer. Layers trap your body heat, ensuring you stay warm during cooler weather.

If you’ll be riding in the rain, you’re going to want to choose a waterproof jacket, rather than a water-resistant one, to keep you warm and dry. Look for a garment that is seam-sealed (turn the garment inside out to check), but also has vents to help release body moisture without letting rain in.

Your jacket of choice should also fit snuggly over a wool or synthetic polypropylene-polyester base layer, which will help keep sweat off your body (so you don’t get chilled when you stop moving). Just make sure it doesn’t restrict your movement in any way.

Here are a few bonus features you’ll want to check for as well:

  • Comfortable cuffs that fit tight around your wrists
  • Pockets where you can stash your phone and other essentials

5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain-2

2. Be as visible as possible

Reflective clothing is your friend! If you’re going riding in the rain, make sure you’re wearing a variety of items that will ensure you stay visible on the road. Some great options include: a high-visibility vest, a flashing light for both the front and the back of your ride and reflective spray (yes, spray!) that helps you show up in the dark and washes off when you’re done.

3. Learn the rules of the road

Biking in the city is hard enough as it is; keep yourself safe by following the rules for bikers on the road. Here are some of the basics:

  • Behave predictably – stay visible, leave distance and yield as much as possible
  • Ride on the right side of the road and not on the sidewalk
  • Yield before entering major roadways – stay behind crosswalks and away from the curb
  • Look before moving laterally or turning – check your blindspot and use hand signals
  • Use correct lanes – choose right, left or thru lanes like you would if you were driving
  • Stay visible to motorists who may cross your path and make it clear you need your space

Following these rules and signaling properly will ensure you stay safe and visible to other drivers on the road.

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4. Know your bike

Find a safe, rarely-trafficked area to test your bike’s behavior. How does it respond to wet conditions when you brake? Do you find it more difficult to control? In what specific scenarios should you be wary when you’re riding for real?

Riding in the rain is more challenging for obvious reasons: everything gets slipperier when wet. So keep an eye out for painted surfaces, metal manhole covers and rainbow oil residue. You’ll also want to be careful when you turn; sudden movements or leaning could cause you to spin out.

5. Embrace it

Unless you live where the sun always shines, rainy days can really mess with your biking schedule. So brave the rain, power through with confidence and bike like the hero rider you know you are.

Are you a cyclist? What tips do you have for our other riders? Let us know in the comments!

164 comments

Paulo R
Paulo Reeson3 hours ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson3 hours ago

ty

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Leo C
Leo C2 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Mike R
Mike R2 days ago

Thanks

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Jaime J
Jaime J3 days ago

Thank you!!

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Sophie M
Sophie M4 days ago

thank you

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Carol W
Carol W7 days ago

I will stick to dry weather bike rides :)

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Olga T
Olga T8 days ago

I think it's better to just not ride a bicycle when it's raining. If you are risking your health that much, it isn't worth it. In addition to everything written in the article, puddles can hide deep holes and rocks.

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Patricia D
Patricia D8 days ago

Why not take a bus on rainy days!

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JT Smith
JT Smith8 days ago

This article fails to mention how to deal with bad weather in summer and how to contend with trying to stay dry when wearing those extra layers will cause you to overheat faster.

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