Wet Weather Riding - IAMSAFE?

Seems that April showers are still with us and here in South West France, its thunderstorms with serious amount of rain. Wet riding is a challenge but also a fact of life and we have all likely been out on our bike when the heavens opened, worse still maybe we are wearing the wrong gear - gloves or jacket not waterproof, jeans not all-weather trousers or keeping you dry, and boots that soon get a lot more than damp. Bliss! Cold, wind chill and riding past all that discomfort is not at all safe or indeed wise.

The thing is your discomfort and reduced focus will make being on the bike in the wet more dangerous than tyre grip, poor visibility or even reduced braking distance.

It is actually not just the conditions we ride in, we need to think hard about ourselves - the IAM advocate this checklist:

I = Illness

A = Attitude

M = Medication

S = Sleep

A = Alcohol

F = Fatigue

E = Emotion

If you saddle up with the wrong gear in the pouring rain, maybe because you HAVE to ride home or get to the hotel, I can see wet riding being a factor that impacts with at least 3 of the above checklist -

  • ATTITUDE - you will not be in the right mindset to ride well, especially if you are in the wrong gear

  • FATIGUE - you will tire faster and that contributes to lost focus or concentration, and

  • EMOTION - you are likely only thinking about how you must get there, and then safety is often ignored

I speak from first hand experience, I have been there and done it, and luckily I was ok. I have also ridden with the right gear, with the right mindset in absolute downpours, and the experience and my safety was so much better!

Please do have a look at the graphic below, do think about IAMSAFE - not just in the wet - and Ride Safe.

Oh, and the guys in the picture at the top - words fail me!!!

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