Cycle Commuter’s tips
Overtrousers – a jacket alone will just have the rainwater running down the jacket on to your trousers, shorts or skirt whatever so you need something to protect your legs. They will also protect you from water thrown up from your tyres or passing vehicles.
Lighter weight pairs are less bulky and therefore easier to carry but not necessarily so protective. The full Gore-Tex ones are very expensive and a bit of over-kill for relatively short commuter rides. I use a pair of Altura Cascade overtrousers and they’re medium weight and very effective, http://www.wiggle.co.uk, then, if you don’t have overshoes, the rain runs down the jacket, down the overtrousers and on to your feet and shoes! Gravity is an amazing thing. Have a look at the Altura Night Vision City Overshoe http://www.zyro.co.uk Endura do some good ones too, see http://www.endura.co.uk
If you’ve got this lot then you’ll be well protected and will arrive nice and dry and clean at your destination provided you follow tip 3.
3. Avoiding overheating and glowing excessively
Particularly when you’ve got all the wet weather gear on it’s very easy to overheat and to start sweating which isn’t a great thing for social acceptability at work – or even at home. You’ll probably be aware now, if you weren’t before, that even moderate cycling generates a lot of heat quite quickly.
Key things to remember :
· Underdress so that you are actually a bit cold when you start off – you will soon warm up.
· Moderate your pace so that you don’t generate too much heat - take it a bit easier perhaps than you normally might, if you’ve got a lot of wet weather gear on. You may need to allow a little more time for your journey as a result.
· If you roll up suit jackets and such garments which you need for work, and put them in the panniers, creases will soon fall out when you put them back on.
· Give yourself a few minutes on arriving at work to take off the wet weather gear and lose a bit of trapped heat, before you go into a warm environment where you may start glowing.
· I find carrying a pack of wet wipes and a body spray can be very handy for those situations where I may have misjudged things and got too hot and don’t have access to a shower or other washing facilities! No-one’s commented yet on my social acceptability or otherwise so that’s proof they must work!
. View our videos on cycle maintenance here
Cycle safety tips