Did You Know?

About one-third of all work trips in Chicago are comprised of people biking, walking, or riding public transit.

Bike to Work Week: Good clothing, bad weather

The weather’s so unpredictable.

Indeed, forecasting the weather over the past month here in Chicago would've been more accurate using tarot cards. Many of us looked at forecasts of longer than a few hours with skeptism normally reserved for conspiracy theories.

However, if you plan accordingly, you'll learn the first truism of cycling: There's no bad weather, only bad clothing.

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A rain jacket is helpful in either rain or snow. Look for models that have zippable vents for riding in wet, warmer weather. Opt for tech fabrics over cotton beneath.

Rain jackets also make great windbreakers for colder, even sub-freezing, tempratures. Just be sure to add an extra layer along with your normal top for every 10 degrees below 50.

And if you don't have fenders, just ride slower: that way you kick up less stuff from the road and spare yourself a skunk stripe up the back. A light, detachable rear fender for your seat post can be found for under $15 at any local bike shop.

It’s still worth keeping a change of business clothes in the office for that event about once a quarter when you get caught out there and end up drenched. (Here's a refresher on tricks and tips for biking to work, including what to wear.)

You’ll be surprised at how quickly, as with sweat, light rainfall dries off and how heavy rainfall usually signals itself early enough so you can find cover. Otherwise, keeping a light pair of gloves and a beanie cap in your shoulder bag or panniers give you the convertibility to weather two-thirds of the year’s daily changes. Pun intended.

As part of Active Trans' Bike Commuter Challenge and celebration of Chicago's Bike to Work Week, June 11-17, guest-blogger and Active Trans supporter Jay Ready is offering a series of posts on overcoming the most common barriers to bike commuting. This was his latest installment.