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Bike Riding in Inclement Weather in Portland

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Bicycle Accidents on June 18, 2015

For bicycling enthusiasts in Portland, sooner or later you will encounter inclement weather conditions. If you enjoy riding for pleasure or fitness, less than ideal weather conditions don’t need to keep you off the roads.

If you depend upon your bike for transportation to work or school, riding in bad weather is just part of the package. Portland mist and low light present hazards to cyclists, and riding your bike while cold and wet isn’t anyone’s idea of fun.

But, to avoid potential bicycling accidents and to increase your overall comfort, there are several steps you can take to keep yourself warm, dry, and safe while on the road.

Bicycling Gear for Inclement Weather

Bicyclists in Portland often find themselves dealing with three main weather concerns: low light, cool temperatures, and rain. Each of these can present hazards to cyclists, and can generally make cycling uncomfortable. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) advises cyclists that preparing for adverse conditions by having protective cycling gear can make your ride safer, as well as more comfortable. PBOT advises that riders may want to invest in the following:

  • Rain jacket or cape: As a first line of defense, a cape or jacket made with a breathable fabric, such as Gore-Tex, will help keep you dry and protected from wind and rain.
  • Thermal layer: Having a thermal layer underneath your clothes can keep you from getting chilled, and keep dampness away from your skin.
  • Rain pants: Protective pants can keep your clothes from getting wet due to splashes and puddles on roadways.
  • Fenders: Fenders are an excellent investment to keep your feet from getting soaked and your clothes from getting dirty.
  • Waterproof hats, gloves and gogles are all good extras that can help keep you protected from the elements.

Dressing in layers is always a good idea in order to trap body heat and stay warm on cold days, and bright or reflective clothing helps to ensure you’re visible to motorists on low light days.

Tips to Stay Safe While Riding In Bad Weather

The Portland Bureau of Transportation offer cyclists a Portland Biking Guide that has advice on gear and equipment, as well as general safety advice and guidelines which all cyclists should be aware of. When riding in bad weather, PBOT advises riders:

  • Use head and tail lights. Aside from the increased visibility, the law requires use of headlights at night and on low light or overcast days.
  • Pay attention to tire wear and inflate tires as needed.
  • Test brakes by squeezing the brake levers, and tighten brake cables as needed. Keep wheel rims free of grease and dirt to improve performance.
  • Clean the bike chain regularly to remove any debris or sludge, and oil the chain as needed.

Contact The Johnston Law Firm

Despite taking preventative safety measures, bicycle accidents can still occur. If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident, contact our experienced Portland bicycle accident attorneys right away. At the Johnston Law Firm, our attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve from injuries caused by bike accidents. Call our Portland accident attorneys today for a free review of your case.

Marc Johnston
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