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How to keep dry on a bicycle in the rain

bicycle photos from Melbourne

If you’re going to get caught out in the rain, at least arrive on a hot set of wheels.

Being a bicycle babe requires taking a reality check in the rain department: water neither stains nor maims and has the brilliant physical property of evaporation!

That’s the first piece of the puzzle on how to keep dry when it rains, you don’t!  Instead, you get a little wet and it evaporates as soon as you’re no longer in the rain, easy!

There is a little more to it than that, in fact there are a million blogs out there all giving you the top ten tips for riding in the wet, surprisingly they all fall very short of the mark.

Here are the real secrets to riding in the rain:

1. Silk trousers – no matter what, your trousers are going to get damp, wet even. If you wear silk however, no matter how wet they get they will dry in a matter of minutes. Firstly because it’s silk, but secondly when you’ve just stepped of a bicycle you’re always a little warmer than if you stepped out of a car. Not warm in the sweaty sense, just gently radiating heat. The combination of wet silk and gentle heat has you steamed dry and ironed in a matter of moments.

Check out Forever New and Yeojin Bae for a regular selection of silk trousers.

2. Riding shoes – not those hideous clip-in things that are padded and buckled and laced and what not, all leading to not just wet feet, but a drying time of 6 weeks. No the ultimate riding shoe is light-weight real leather with a light-weight slim-line rubber sole. In fact, I discovered the ultimate riding shoe when going through my box of old ballerina gear and found a pair of jazz shoes. Slim leather can get wet and then dry numerous times and still look as good as it did before the drenching. In the case of my jazz shoes I wear them for rain rides and then change into a pair of heels on arrival, and my slim-line jazz shoes get tucked neatly into the side pocket of my bag, or left under my desk for the day.

Check out Bloch’s ‘Debut Jazz‘ or ‘Jazzlite‘ for the best riding shoes in town.

3. Rain Jacket – while it’s no biggy getting silk trousers a little wet, it is a biggy to getting everything else wet. So a water-proof jacket is a must for keeping everything above the hips completely rain free including your hair, in fact you can keep just about any do looking dazzling under a rain hood.
Check out Cambridge Raincoat Company, Wet & Wendy, or Kathmandu for great rain jackets.

4. Silk scarf – keeping the rain out off all places is impossible, but the silk neck scarf does the most amazing job of doing the almost impossible. It soaks up the drips from your hood and glasses, and catches them before they drip down the neck of your rain jacket. They dry in minutes on arrival too.
Check out Lincraft for a range of light-weight silk fabric.

5. Glasses – a pair of clear glasses is the final item in my secret stash of rain riding fashion accessories. They stop rain tears and mascara smears and keep your vision clear for anything that comes near.
Any good bike shop should have clear riding glasses.

Finally, if all else fails I’ve discovered the very unfashionable, but very rain-on-able Duxback Rain Poncho from Carradice. It’s hideous but helpful when riding on days likes today!

Originally Published on ‘The Bike In My Life’

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