If this winter is going to be your first exposure to wet-weather bike commuting, here are a few tips for keeping your rides a bit more bearable.
– A good set of full coverage fenders will go a long way towards keeping you dry. A quickie clamp-on rear fender will keep your butt dry, but not much else. Your wheels sling water in all directions, and full coverage fenders will keep grimy wheel water from soaking your legs. These start at around $35 at the Bike Hub on campus.
– Rain gear, like jackets and pants, can get spendy—but it’s worth it, especially if riding in the wet is something you’ll be doing often. Look for used rain gear that’s in good shape, or watch for sales at bike shops and outdoor stores. A lot of newer rain gear can be packed down small enough to fit easily into your backpack.
– If it’s wet and cold, you’ll need to layer up; rain gear is designed to keep you dry, not warm. If it’s wet out, but not too cold, anything more than a rain jacket over your regular garb is likely to steam you like a lobster.
– Covers for your shoes and gloves for your hands will go a long way towards keeping you comfortable. These come in as many shapes and sizes as there are flavors of ice cream, so shop around and find what you like.
– Make sure your bike’s in good working order. Nothing sucks more than hoofing a busted bike across town in the rain.
– Accept that despite everything you may do, you’re still going to get a little wet. “Waterproof” is a silly word, here. Pretend it doesn’t exist.