April 10, 2015
While you may not acknowledge it, deep down you know it to be true. At some point it's going to rain on your bicycle tour. When it happens, the good news is that you have a choice on how you deal with it. Here are some options I've put into action when handling a rainy day.
Rain gear is expensive, and assuming you packed it, you might as well get your money's worth and put it on. It's amazing what a layer of PVC material can do when it comes to keeping you warm and dry. The pro tip here is to put it on before it starts to rain.
There's no shame in taking a day off due to foul weather. In fact, in some cases it's the smartest way to go. If the rain is coming down so hard that it would make it difficult for traffic to see you on the road, you don't want to be out there. If you can take your day off indoors, that's awesome. If not, maybe see about moving your tent somewhere that won't turn into a mud hole.
If you happen to take a gander at the sky behind you and see some clouds building up, throw it in the big ring! Might as well enjoy surfing the tailwind that accompanies the impending doom.
If you're out in no man's land where there's no shelter to be found, keep in mind that you're shelter is on you at all times. That's one of the beauties of bicycle touring; home is always an arm's reach away.
When possible, always take a coffee break... always.
Photos by Josh Tack
TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh's "Fine Tuned" column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.