I have to admit. I am pretty much a 100% bicycle commuter and I bike straight through the winter. But it doesnt mean being stupid. Here are some tips about biking in bad weather:
- Weather services are wonderful - lots better than way back in the day. Pull up the local weather radar and see where the storms are. If a storm is coming, I will change my schedule to miss the storm: leave early; leave late; or shoot the gaps between the storm fronts.
- Use good gear. Wear clear eye protection to keep the rain out of your eyes. Use good bags that keep your stuff dry. Make sure your brakes are in good working order. Use fenders to reduce the spray on yourself and others.
- Be visible. If cars had difficulty seeing you before, they certainly will have trouble seeing you with rain messing up their windows. Wear high viz colors and lights.
- Surfaces may be slippery. Some cyclists use different tires in different weather conditions. This may also increase your braking distance. And heavy rains may wash debris onto your route.
- Have an exit strategy: Can you hop on the subway or a bus if it gets bad? Can you lock up your bike and stop in a coffee shop to ride out the storm?
- Dont ride during lightning.
- Be careful of flash floods. Many trails in my area dip down next to creeks and are regularly flooded during strong storms. Do not ride through floods.
- Be careful that what looks like a puddle on the road might be a pothole.
Clean your bike off when you get to your destination to avoid rust.
10 tips for riding in the rain, Active.com
Cold Weather Biking Tips, Bike Arlington
Cycling in icy conditions and bad weather, Bikeradar
Bang! Avoiding Lightning on Your Bike Tour, Traveling Two