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It won't always be sunny and warm, so it is important to know how to ride under poor conditions

Rain

Having a bike with fenders will add to the comfort of your trip, as will waterproof clothes. Painted lines on roadways are very slippery as are roads slick with water. Slow down and avoid deep leans into turns. Some tires are better than others in rain.

Wind

You can't control it, you can just take advantage off it. Riding into a huge headwind is not fun. One of the more important factors in how much you enjoy your touring experience will be wind management. A tourer who plans a tour without taking the wind into account chances having to make major changes on the fly or abandoning parts of the trip entirely. Although the speed and direction of the wind are not the only factors to consider, they can have a major impact on the overall success of the trip.

If you have planned a circle tour, you might say that wind will have no effect as you will have to head into it for at least half the way. This is not necessarily true. Let's say that you are planning a trip to Netherlands. You plan to arrive in Schiphol airport and head directly to the North Sea coast to bike part of the North Sea Route and then head inland to near the Belgian and German boundaries and then return to Amsterdam for the flight home. A careful check of historic weather data will show that for much of the year wind direction near the coast is from the north or the west. Many locations near large bodies of water have the wind predominately off the water. In the case mentioned above you would be wiser to head south and tour in a counter clockwise direction as it would be unlikely that you would ever have to bike directly into a huge and punishing North Sea wind.

My tours tend to be more destinational than circular, so wind management is an important part of tour planning. The first thing I do after choosing my destinations is to do a weather chart of each destination. The chart includes the dates I'm planning the tour, the high and low temperatures, the wind direction and speed and I also record the relative humidity and a synopsis. If you are planning ahead less than a year, you can find historic data on the Internet through Weather Underground.

Managing the wind means that you try to avoid heading directly into strong winds, rather than keep the wind at your back. If the predominant wind is out of the west you can still travel off the wind

The information gathered on a weather log also helps decide on the type of clothing and the likelihood of rain. You can also use the information to tie in rainfall to wind direction and discover which direction the winds come from that have the greatest speed. All these can be factors in planning your route.

Variables

 

Riding in the Winter

Some call us crazy, but many seriously addicted cyclists ride year around, yes even in Canada! Below are some tips to make winter riding more safe and comfortable.

Wind Chill

Temp including windchill 5 km hr into wind 10 km/hr into wind 15 km/hr into wind 20 km/hr into wind

Imagine you are riding your bike on a day the weather is -15° including the windchill. That windchill does not take into account your movement. If you are riding 15/hr into the wind, the addition cooling will feel like -23°

It won’t always be sunny and warm...

Riding Under Adverse Conditions

BLOG: Cycling in Bad Weather

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