Thursday, 17 September 2015

Cycling in the Rain

The level of rainfall in Amsterdam isn't that much different from Manchester, but they cycle in style.

When was the last time you saw someone cycling in Manchester using an umbrella?


  1. Coaster brakes - means you can spare a hand to hold a brolly...

  2. Have to be honest. Umbrellas are fine in an open space with no wind, but they're bad enough on a busy pavement. Imagine if it wasn't raining and you walked down a pavement holding a vertical pole with two foot long pointy sticks poking out at eye-level. You'd get arrested. On a cycleway?

    But they seem happy enough. Maybe it's just me.

  3. I lived in Amsterdam for 8 years and the one and only time I fell off my bike was when I was carrying an umbrella like that...

  4. I don't agree with umbrella usage on the bike myself. Even with a coaster brake you need both hands on the bars to control the bike in the event of uneven surfaces or other sudden manoeuvres.
    Plus, a brolly is hugely unaerodynamic, and therefore highly inefficient.
    So no.
    I favour a waterproof jacket and a cycling cap to keep the rain out of my eyes. The old-timers like a cape, but even they admit it's tough, even dangerous, in windy conditions.
    Or have another cup of tea and wait for it to stop raining.

  5. But the Dutch cycle with brollies all the time. Never seen it identified as a safety issue...

    1. >Never seen it identified as a safety issue

      This suggests you are unfamiliar with rule 66 of the UK Highway Code which reads:

      "You should: keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear... not carry anything which will affect your balance..."


      This brolly-carrying seems yet another particularity of Dutch cycling associated with the flat terrain there—about 75% of the country is within a few metres of sea level. There, if you stop pedalling, you trundle to a halt.

      Cyclists elsewhere in the world have more to contend with, and are rightly advised to keep both hands where they belong: on the handlebars, in full control of the front wheel and brakes.

      As for the rain, as the Dutch like to say, "You're not made of sugar!"