Ten things worse than biking in the rain (and ten ways to make it better) #GHCC

Hello May!

Today was my first official day biking to work for the Group Health Commute Challenge, and it was raining. Not the light Seattle rain. This was the drenched-before-I-got-to-work rain. As I was swimming through my soggy commute, I started thinking about all the things that are worse than biking to work in the rain. Here's my Top 10 list, but I bet you can come with many, many more.

  1. Being on hold with customer service after your computer breaks
  2. Waiting in line at the DMV
  3. Sitting in gridlock traffic on a sunny day
  4. Waiting for the bus in the rain
  5. Going to the dentist
  6. Taking a final exam
  7. Biking in 105 degree heat
  8. Talking about the Alaskan Way Viaduct
  9. Sitting in front of a computer all day long
  10. Singing karaoke/listening to my boyfriend sing karaoke

All silliness aside, I was thinking about what would make my rainy bike commute better. Below is my list of equipment and clothing that makes bike commuting in the rain safer and more enjoyable:

  1. Fenders: Hands down my number one item for bike commuting. They keep you and your bike dryer and cleaner. The people biking behind you also appreciate your fenders.
  2. Rain jacket: It's a jacket, and it keeps you dry. Enough said.
  3. Full fingered gloves: Depending on the gloves, they will keep your hands warm and/or dry.
  4. and 5 and 6. Dry set of clothes/socks/shoes/unmentionables: Some of us (me) bike in my everyday clothes. I like to look nice when I arrive somewhere. However, arriving looking like a drowned rat isn't so great. I keep an extra pair of shoes, socks, and other in my desk just in case. Additionally, if there is a chance of rain I will bring a dry outfit.
  5. See above.
  6. See above.
  7. Rain pants and booties: Rain pants and booties keep your legs and feet warm and dry. A note about booties: make sure when you buy them to buy the waterproof ones. There are other booties out there that are like wet suits for your feet. They keep feet warm but not dry.
  8. Lights: This morning it was dark. Cars had their lights on. My front white light made me more visible on the roadway and therefore makes me feel safer.
  9. Cycling cap: Some people love 'em, some people hate 'em but regardless it keeps the rain out of your eyes.
  10. Glasses: When it rains, there is all sorts of gunk on the road. Glasses protect your eyes from little rocks, bugs and all other things that might impede your vision.

I am sure there are many of you out there in internet land that either have great tips for riding in the rain or things that are worse than riding in the rain. Please share!