Tips to beat the Dutch rain this season
We know. The rain is an absolute pain. From wet clothes, to wet bike seats and wet hair, it is not our ideal kind of weather. However, there are a few things that you can do to minimise its impact and at least stay a little dry this season.
Beat the rain
We have five tips we would like to share with you. Who knows, they may help you to stay that little bit drier during your cycle to work.
Tip 1: Get a rain suit
They are not the most elegant. In fact, it will probably look like you are wearing a black bin liner which you have stuck reflective strips onto, but you can’t say they don’t work.
You can buy them at quite a few stores and they will often come in a set with trousers, which have an elasticated waistband, and an overcoat. Be wary that you will be wearing these on top of your clothes, so avoid buying too small of a size.
Rain suit trousers also have either a Velcro strip or poppers at the ankles, which you can adjust so that your ankles stay dry and the water doesn’t come up your pant leg.
Another tip when using a rain suit: it is a good idea to bring along a bag which you can put it in when you take it off, unless you hang it up to dry straight away, of course.
Tip 2: Check a weather app
Nowadays, there are plenty of weather apps which can tell you pretty accurately when it is going to rain and how much rain you can expect.
For example, Buienradar will send you an alert if it is going to rain based on your location. This is incredibly handy as then you can see if it is only going to pour down for a few minutes or a few hours and plan your bike ride to work or home accordingly.
Other weather apps have interactive maps, so you will be able to see what the weather is like all over the country and whether a certain rain cloud is coming your way.
Tip 3: Bring an extra pair of socks
If there is one thing that simply has no silver lining it’s wet socks and thus wet feet. If your shoes are not waterproof, getting your socks wet is an inevitability.
Firstly, wear waterproof shoes, you are pretty much asking for trouble if you don’t. Secondly, bring extra socks with you, or a small towel, or whatever you need to replace your wet clothes with so that you can get warm and dry quicker.
Also, if it is not possible to bring a wardrobe of clothes with you to work, try to wear materials that dry fast and bring only the essentials, like socks, which don’t take up a lot of room in your bag.
Tip 4: Line your non-waterproof bag with a plastic bag
Perhaps you’ve followed the previous tips and are now dry, but what about the contents of your bag? It appears that you may have survived, but unfortunately they haven’t.
We are not sure if you’ve ever opened up your bag to find that your diary is sopping wet and those socks you brought with you are too, but it is not pleasant. To avoid such a situation it is a good idea to either have a bag which is waterproof or compensate for the situation with your own genius by adding a plastic lining to the inside of your bag.
How do you go about doing that? Simple, with a plastic bag, one you possibly have lying around. This will protect your precious non-waterproof goods and stop the ink from running in your agenda, thus stopping you from forgetting that important appointment.
Tip 5: Seek shelter and wait it out
Don’t try to be a hero and cycle through a storm if there is a perfectly good bus shelter for you to hide under until the storm dies down.
If it is really pouring with rain it is likely that it won’t last for long, so cycling through it just means that whilst you may spare a few minutes in regards to your journey, you are just getting soaking wet for no reason, when you could have just waited five minutes and kept half of your trousers dry, maybe.
Don’t be afraid that this will make you look weak; plenty of the locals will also be seeking shelter. After all, no one likes to be soaked through and look like a drowned rat, unless that’s your favourite look of course.
Bonus tip: Be wary of puddles - You’ll get splashed
Those puddles may seem shallow, but the odds are when that thought pops into your head, the next puddle is actually very deep. If you see someone lifting their feet from their pedals as they are going through a puddle ahead of you, it is probably because that puddle is deep and the resulting splash will leave you with wet socks (check tip 3).
They sneak up on you those puddles, so expect the unexpected, namely that the puddles are not as shallow as you think they are. It’s not just the puddles you have to watch out for, but the cyclists in front of you as well.
Those mudguards may protect the cyclist from raindrops flying off their wheels and attacking them, but the precipitation is only diverted, if you are unfortunate, to your face. That’s fine, it’s only water… mixed with dirt from the road.
You will often see cyclists avoiding the puddles all together, good for them as it saves their socks, and good for you because the chance of dirty water flying into your face is diminished.
Then there are the cars. It may not be the intention of the driver to splash you, unless of course it is. And, as you well know, cars tend to travel faster than bikes, so the splash you get is much more extreme.
If the driver is intent on splashing you, it is difficult to avoid and you will just have to suck it up and accept your fate. Our best advice here is to keep a safe distance from puddles, which regrettably is not always possible.
To sum up
Controlling the weather would be nice; however as that is not yet possible it is best to arm yourself in other ways against the cold, wet enemy that is the rain.
These tips should help. If you have any other ideas about how to survive the Dutch weather, please share them below!