In Victoria, half of the year is wet and dark, but this does not mean you have to stop riding your bike. For both riding in the rain and riding at night, the most important thing to remember is to BE VISIBLE. Lights and reflective gear will keep you and all other road users safe in these conditions. If you’re prepared right, riding in wet weather and at night can actually be fun!
Riding in the rain or snow:
- Fenders, rain jackets, and rain pants will help to keep you dry and clean in any weather condition Our fingers are often the first body parts to go numb in the cold. Waterproof gloves don’t have to be expensive and you’ll be thankful you have them.
- Not all bike lights are waterproof, but most are at least water resistant. When buying waterproof lights look for something that has a balance between brightness and water-resistance. These can range from $45 to $200, therefore, remember to always take your lights with you if you’re leaving your bike unattended.
- Adjust your braking habits to give yourself twice as long to come to a stop more than you normally would. Disc brakes tend to be the most reliable brakes in wet weather, but all brakes will stop you. No matter what brakes you have, however, riding slower in wet weather is always a good call.
- In snow, surfaces are extra slippery, therefore, if you decrease your tire pressure, you actually increase the traction of the tire by covering more surface area. Looking for a great printable resource?
Here is a guide developed by our Executive Director, Adam Krupper, all about riding in the winter. Download Here.
Riding at night:
- We cannot stress enough how important it is to be able to see and be seen! After dark, all cyclists are required by law to have a front white headlight visible for a minimum of 150m, a rear red light which should be visible for a minimum of 100m and a rear red reflector visible for 100 m when illuminated by a car headlight. Lights combined with hi-vis gear will help you be seen by cars and pedestrians while riding at night.
- In Victoria, there is a by-law fine of up to $109 for riding without lights at night.
- The law requires you to use lights from a half hour before dusk until a half hour after dawn. However, many people choose to have their lights on at all times to increase their visibility on the road.
- Point your lights slightly down so that they illuminate the road in front of and behind you. If your lights are aimed up they make it hard for other people to see.
- Check out this video for more tips on riding at night: How To Ride Your Bike At Night – Guide To Lighting + Reflective Clothing – YouTube