Rain is finally here. Time to joyfully dig out your rain gear and go for a beautiful wet bike ride. Seattle comes to life in a totally different way when it rains. So if you are new to town, don’t hide inside or put your bike away for the winter. With fenders and rain gear, you can bike year-round.
But be extra cautious of slick surfaces because oils have built up during all this dry weather. The first rains after a long dry period create oil slicks, which are especially problematic on metal surfaces like grates or utility covers. Even some kinds of roadway paint can become slick.
The trick is to avoid turning or braking when your wheels are in contact with anything potentially slippery. Keep your balance centered, let go of the brakes and glide over the slick spot. If you have to turn or brake on something slippery, then slow way down before you get there. After a few days of rain, most the oils will wash into our sewers and waterways, which is also bad but in a different way.