Weather-Proof Biking

"Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!"

King Lear might not have been an all-weather cyclist, but he certainly knew about battling the elements. And, as any winter rider can attest, battling the elements is definitely the reality of year-round cycling. Fortunately it doesn’t take a lot of fancy gear to keep you rolling. And, though the prospect of biking through the winter can be somewhat daunting, the prospect of spending every damp-day commute on overcrowded public transportation is possibly even worse. 

Fenders/mudguards: The ultimate essential in wet-weather gear, fenders keep the water thrown up by the momentum of your wheels from splashing all over your legs, feet and backside. If you’ve got a little extra time, try this great set of fenders from an old mountain bike tire on Instructables. But honestly, for the time- and materials-impaired, a plain old length of recycled cardboard and a few zip-ties will do the trick. True, one set won’t last you the entire winter, but they’re easy enough to make, and even easier to replace. If your bicycle already has fenders, consider the addition of mudguards, which further protect both your bicycle parts and your appendages. A comprehensive mudflap-making guide is provided by Alex Wetmore here.

Seat Cover: Your seat doesn’t like to get all soggy and, believe me, neither does your bike seat. You could spend up to $35 on a commercial seat cover at your local sporting goods store, or you could just use a plastic bag. Using a rubber band large enough to double over your saddle to keep the bag attached to the seat-post underneath will last a lot longer than just tying the bag to itself.

Bike Buckets: If you hadn’t gotten around to making one of these by now, now’s your chance. Your goods will thank you for your consideration of their vulnerability to the elements, most especially that change of clothes you might be toting along to keep you weatherproof.

Now, like Lear, you may “bide the pelting of this pitiless storm.”

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