Biking in Spring Weather
I find as a Canadian, that the moment that spring hits, I am out the door with a vengeance. My bike trainer is neglected, my helmet is dusted off and as long as it is above zero Celsius, I will tell myself that it really isn’t “that bad.”
Because it is light after 5 PM, I overlook the cold, wind, rain and roads still littered with debris from snowbanks, despite frozen fingers and bike tire punctures.
However, a good bike ride is made a lot more comfortable when you are dressed appropriately and I have developed my list of spring non-negotiable bike items.
Shoe covers –
Honestly, outside of warm gloves, I found that this made the biggest difference in my in-climate weather riding comfort levels. I got the Castelli Tempo shoecover and it has made an incredible difference by keeping the wet and cold from my feet. I used to stuff feet warmers in my shoes or wrap my toes in tin foil and a host of other tricks. It is worth just investing in a good pair of shoe covers.
Full disclosure, the first time that I rode in these, I got a hole right underneath the toe on the bottom of both covers. I spoke with a number of other riders and this seems to happen to shoe covers and I have ridden in them since and I have stayed warm but do want to pass that along.
Altitude Sports is currently sold out of this model but anything with Goretex and Windstopper will be great options.
Cycle Glide –
If you have a good bike fit, you shouldn’t need to rely on body glide but it becomes an absolute necessity in the spring rain showers. I was so grateful to have this for my bike race last weekend when it poured rain all 2 hours that I was on the course.
If it is going to be rainy, be sure to throw one of these in your bag. I really like the stick style (the only other types I have tried were creams) and it was mess-free and effective.
Good socks –
I can’t tell you how much I hate having socks that bunch or are non-wicking in wet conditions. Having a gosh darn good pair of socks is vital for good spring riding. I reviewed my favourite spring riding socks here before and the con turns into a pro on spring evenings when it gets dark earlier or on mornings like this past weekend when I was out riding before the sun. Reflective, bright socks means cars can see me more easily and that is always a pro!
OK – so you finish your ride and head back home.
It’s not a great idea to just put your bike away, especially in the spring. The roads are wet and full of debris which means your bike will be covered in mud, grit and goodness knows what else.
This is where the cleaning comes in.
If it is a nice day, I will just hose it down but if it is cold and gross outside, I will use a bike cleaner and cloth for the bike frame on my deck.
Then, sometime before my next ride, I clean the chain which is where the Park Tool Chain Scrubber comes in. I had been using cloth or brushes for a while and once I made the upgrade to this tool, it made my life significantly easier. I can’t recommend it enough.
You fill the tool with cleaning solvent and put it over your chain. It strips off all of the dirt and grime quickly and you follow it up with some chain lube and it is ready to ride for your next adventure!
This feature is in partnership with Altitude Sports. Although they keep me going with everything I need for cycling,they have literally everything you need for outdoor adventuring. Right now they have an Easter sale with a ton of items at 50% off!