I thought by choosing to cycle in August and September I’d be making the most of summer and have decent weather the whole trip, but there were many occasions when it rained a lot.
I divided the rain into two types – the kind that passes over in a shower, and the kind that hangs about all day.
The former is easily dealt with. Find some shelter, sit it out. Enjoy sitting it out. Have a drink and some food.
Persistent rain isn’t as much fun. It’s important to have the right kind of clothes to deal with it – I was very happy with my wool t-shirts, long sleeve t and gore-tex jacket which kept my top half totally warm and dry, and quick drying shorts and sandals for my bottom half. At no time did I get cold cycling in the rain. However, arriving at your destination wet, putting up a wet tent in the rain can be deflate your effervescent bubbles somewhat. For me the worst thing about wet weather is how mucky the bike becomes. The drivechain gets filthy and the derailleur can sometimes play up, taking a while to shift into gear – which isn’t ideal if you’re negotiating hills and have to change gear frequently. On tour it’s also not convenient to give your bike a good clean the next day. Keeping the chain clean as possible and lubed is a good idea.
I had hot sunny days too. I used factor 30 sun spray every day (rain or shine), and made good use of hats and a long-sleeved top to cover up. The bike has no issues with this kind of weather 🙂
Back to European Cycle Tour main page.