Getting caught in bad weather is no fun. You need to be prepared, ALWAYS. Once I was caught unprepared and I did not have a good time. Thankfully it was a nice summer day and as I was riding home from work it started to rain, actual it was more like being in a shower and I was drenched. It was so bad that it took three days for my shoes to dry out. I learned from my drubbing and decided to buy a couple of things to make myself fairly immune to water.
Bright yellow rain jacket – My personal recommendation is the yellow O2 rain jacket. I like the fact that there zippers are sealed and I have a little pocket for my mobile phone. I have had mine for 4 years. Although, the yellow is faded because I have washed it a number of times, it has lost its luster, and is still bright enough.
Full length zipper pants – I recommend these rain pants because you have the full zipper up the side and can wear your work clothes under these pants and remove the rain gear without problems. Make sure and get a size larger than you normally need so that you can wear work clothes.
If you wear a backpack than you will need a backpack rain cover as well. I keep mine in my work backpack at all times, and if it starts to rain than I can take it out and wrap it around the backpack to keep it dry.
Lights – as the weather turns to the worse you need to make yourself even more visible to traffic. You need the rear and front lights to make yourself shine.
Winter and cold weather additional equipment:
Water proof gloves – you want to keep your hands warm and dry. If you need your hands to apply your brakes, than the gloves are doubly important to ensure your fingers work properly. I have two sets of gloves, one for heavy winter, sub-freezing temperatures and ones that are lighter and more for late Fall and early Spring. Both are waterproof though. Keep yourself dry.
Booties – These are waterproof little booties that you can pull over your shoes that keeps them dry and warm.
I know this seems pretty extreme to have this extra equipment to handle bad weather, but it allows you to ride in pretty bad weather and still enjoy yourself. The military taught me to be prepared for everything and that is you are doing. Be Prepared and you will still enjoy yourself.
Let me know if you have any other tips for making yourself waterproof and making your commute to work on your bike enjoyable.