Spring Cycling: Staying comfortable and visible on your recumbent bicycle
Robert Holler shares tips for staying comfortable and visible during spring riding conditions.
Spring riding is here and for many parts of the country, that may mean that you will occasionally be riding in the rain, cooler weather, during the sunrise/sunset, or all of these conditions. Whether you are touring, commuting, or just want to get back on the road for some early season training, you’ll want to stay dry and visible.
For clothing, layering is key. To keep the warmth in I recommend a wool base layer to stay warm and dry. If rain is in the forecast a very light breathable rain jacket/pants makes the best outer layer.
Between the base and top layer, I always go for more thin layers as opposed to a heavy layer. Inevitably I start to warm up and have to peel back a layer, so more is better and you can fine-tune your temp and comfort level. Use a nice thin wool base - like a long sleeve wool t-shirt, and build up from there.
Pick gloves that allow for ease of movement. This is another area where - depending on the temperature - layers are good. You can use a thinner wool or Thinsulate base glove, and then add another thin glove on top of that. For the wind and rain having an outer glove shell will keep your fingers warm and can be a relatively thin amount of material on your hands as opposed to thicker gloves. Use a thin warm inner liner to keep your fingers warm and free to move. A windproof outer glove shell will let you layer your hands just like your body.
Bike treatments will also help keep the weather off of you. Fenders can be added to your Cruzbike and will keep the rain and grime off. We recommend the Planet Bike brand fenders as they are light and mount relatively easily to all our bikes.
Visibility in inclement weather makes you safer and gives you peace of mind so you can enjoy the ride. Many outer layers today come with high visibility fabrics. On your Cruzbike be sure to have reflective material on your chest and arms. Reflective sleeves are great. You can also add reflective material to the back of your helmet or clothing you already have.
Jim and Maria use hi-visibility coats. When riding after dark or before dawn, these coats and rain gear really show up in car headlights.
Rear lights are a must for safety. Today's lighting is very bright, affordable, and lightweight, so you can use more than one rear flasher.
Likewise, having one or more lights up front helps you to see and be seen. Being seen from the rear will protect you from traffic that is overcoming you and front lighting lights your way and helps drivers turning onto the road see you.
The Cygolite brand Cruzbike sells are bright, USB rechargeable, and hold a charge well. The headlight is here and the tail light is here.
Don’t underestimate the power of a flag to help you be seen. The human eye is drawn to motion and the fluttering of the Cruzbike flag makes you highly visible even during daylight conditions. The height of the flag also allows you to be seen over tall grasses or when you might be shielded by a car.
Order the Cruzbike Z Safety Flag here.
Being visible is critical in the spring. The low angle lighting at typical commute times can be hard on the eyes of drivers. Lights, flags, and reflective gear will make sure you are seen.
If you are also warm, dry, and comfortable you can enjoy your riding and what is happening around you.
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