How to deal with those f*&%ing spring showers.

Hopefully the spring showers are all behind us but as I am laying in bed listening to rain I decided to write about what I have found to keep as dry and comfortable as possible on a bike, without breaking the bank.

Lets work top to bottom.

Head: Bike cap. They don’t just hide helmet hair, they are also a godsend at keeping water out of your eyes when rolling and those drops are falling. I always keep one in my bag at all times. Wool dries super fast and you can get some lightweight wool that is great for spring.

Body: Now that its pretty warm I have  been “borrowing” my boyfriends Tyvek jacket from American Apparel. Tyvek is what they use to make fedex envelops. It is waterproof, incredibly light weight, and can stuff super small. Perfect for throwing in your bag. It is cut long enough to cover your lower back when you bend over on the bike. Plus it is only $30 which is cheap compared to rain jackets from REI. Chrome also has a really hot looking water repellant wind breaker with lots of bike functional pockets, but it takes some bills.

Legs: Water repellant and/or quick dry knickers are a godsend. I have two pairs of WWR Swrve Knickers that I have worn to death and are light enough for spring. They have extra deep pockets to keep your wallet safe and are cut for max comfort on bike. Swrve have recently had to cut their women’s line but the men’s sizes come small and word is they still fit the ladies great. Chrome also has some women’s knickers that I hear great things about. They put a flourish on the hem of the women’s knickers that I don’t love where the men’s get a simple straight across hem. If you are budget conscious go to a thrift store and find some light wool pants and hem them to knicker length. It will cost you $10 and you can get some that are hella good-looking and work great. If it is getting super warm 100% cotton pants also dry quick and are lighter than wool.

So feetsies. Nothing is as miserable as cold wet feet. I always have a pair of thin wool short socks and knee-length thicker wool socks. I wear one pair on my feet and keep the other pair in my bag so I can switch depending on the weather. Wool socks really make all the difference but they are not cheap. Keep an eye out in the REI sales bin for smartwool socks. I don’t think I have ever bought a pair full price. I always keep an extra in my bag because if you have a hella rainy trip somewhere it feels so good putting on some bone dry socks. I also keep an extra pair of gloves in my bag for the same reason. Even those $3 stretchy drugstore gloves are nice to change into when you other gloves are sopping.

Something I recently just purchased are those bike shoe covers. I don’t know what took me so long to use them. Actually yes I do they are kinda uggo and god knows most bike shoes don’t need any help looking more ugly but OMG I love them. They keep my feet so much drier and warmer then I expected. They are also small to jam into a bag.

So biking in the rain will never be as great as biking in the sun but with some prep it can be a lot less miserable. Tell us what you do to deal with rain.

2 Comments

  1. Something important to mention is that even if you’re wearing all the right rain gear, you’ll still get wet. Sweat happens.

    Merino wool turtlenecks can always be found at thrift stores.

    In the Northwest, sometimes (like this time of year) it rains and it’s not cold. Wearing rain gear may be unnecessary, if the rider can tolerate being wet.

  2. Sylvie McSylverson

    July 22, 2011 at 4:18 am

    My favorite shoes aver are my Ecco waterproof boots from The Walking Company. Yeah, they cost a lot ($200) but they were a Christmas present a couple years ago and I have worn them almost everyday. They’re not bike shoes, so they’re not compatible with the clipless style pedals, but I use toe cages instead. Also, I wear them practically everyday, so I can ride to work in my boots and not have to worry about carrying an extra set of shoes in my bag, AND they are totally waterproof and super warm.

    Also, I totally second the thrift shop idea. I have found some great pants at Goodwill that I brought home and hemmed into some comfy knickers. Plus, when they get destroyed through too much use, it’s not a huge financial burden to replace them.

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