Cycling in all weather conditions
COVID-19 update: When you’re out for exercise, we encourage you to follow COVID-19 directions from BC's Medical Health Officer, including practicing physical distancing by keeping two metres of space between yourselves and others.
In the Central Okanagan, we are fortunate to have mostly ideal weather, but the conditions aren't always ideal.
A few simple accessories can help you keep your wheels rolling all year-round.
Your local professional bicycle shop can help answer questions and outfit you to suit any cycling conditions you may encounter.
Stay warm and dry through the more unpredictable Okanagan seasons.
- Install front and rear fenders to prevent rain from splashing your clothes.
- Install a vinyl saddle (seat) to help to prevent the seat from soaking in the rain. Cover your saddle with a bag when parked out in the elements.
- Keep rain gear stored in your bag or panniers. Make sure rain gear is breathable so you don’t overheat.
- Choose appropriate gloves and footwear to keep you warm in cooler weather.
- The Central Okanagan is famous for warm summers and great cycling, but plan ahead so that you are ready for anything.
- Shorts or lightweight pants designed for cycling are good for warm weather and offer complete mobility.
- Protective eyewear (such as sunglasses) helps shield your eyes from sunlight, road debris, wind and insects.
- Synthetic clothing such as sports tops or cycling jerseys offer increased breathability, moisture management and sun protection.
- Bell to alert pedestrians and other cyclists when using shared pathways
- Water bottle and holder
- Pant clips or bands help prevent pants from getting caught in bike chain
- Mirror to help you see behind you (remember to check over your shoulder, too)
- Bike bags (panniers) or a bike basket
- Copy of a Pathway or Trail Bicycle Map (or your favorite cycling navigation app)
- Roadside repair kit including a tire pump, spare tube and tire removal levers for flat repair and a universal bike tool for other repairs
- Don’t want to change a flat? Sign up for BCAA Cycle Assist and they will do the work for you!
- Remember to always bring and use your bike lock
One of the great things about cycling is its simplicity. Cyclists really only need two things: a bike (of course) and a helmet. If you are planning to leave your bike parked outside, you should also have one or two high quality locks. After you have been cycling for a while you may also want to consider some additional gear to make cycling easier in all conditions.
Being visible is the most important aspect of cycling, next to being predictable.
- Use front and rear lights whether you are cycling to work or out for an evening ride. Test lights regularly.
- Wear reflective clothing (or reflective tape or bands). Neon colours are great during the day but do not provide that extra visibility needed at night. Cycling specific clothing often have reflective elements.
To learn more about appropriate bike lighting, reflective gear and clothing visit your local bike shop.
What you wear depends on the distance of your commute, weather, and what you find comfortable. For shorter commutes, many people choose to cycle in their work clothes and ride at a relaxed pace to avoid working up a sweat. For longer commutes, or when the weather is unpredictable, many riders will wear athletic clothes and change at work.
Bring your clothes in a backpack or bike bag (pannier). Special garment-bag panniers are also available. You may also consider taking in a few days worth of clothes to work and leaving them there, or bringing clothes with you on days that you drive or travel by another mode.