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  1. #1
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    How would you dress for a race in the rain?

    I'm riding the Berlin Velothon tomorrow - in fact, in less than 12 hours from now!

    It's going to rain and be 13C (that's 55F).

    I'm at a total loss as for what to wear, but for lack of alternatives I'll probably just go for my regular shortsleeved jersey and bicycle shorts. Maybe a longsleeved tight shirt under the jersey - or would that just be a nuisance in the rain and it's better to have wet skin than a soaked "second skin"?

    No one is accompanying me to the race, so I can't hand over a rain jacket to someone just before the start (we usually have to wait 30-40 minutes before the start, that will be the worst part temperature-wise).

    Any advice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by swekarl View Post

    No one is accompanying me to the race, so I can't hand over a rain jacket to someone just before the start (we usually have to wait 30-40 minutes before the start, that will be the worst part temperature-wise).

    Any advice?
    Use something disposable as a makeshift rain jacket. 30 minutes of standing around in the rain isn't a good idea. How about a trash bag? you are going to look ridiculous yes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerundium View Post
    Use something disposable as a makeshift rain jacket. 30 minutes of standing around in the rain isn't a good idea. How about a trash bag? you are going to look ridiculous yes.
    That's actually a good idea. Disposable t-shirt + one of those disposable plastic raincoats if I had tought of getting one. Too bad I threw away lots of thick clothes last week... Actually, I think I will take my old Shimano rain jacket and then just leave it on the street when the race begins.

  4. #4
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    pajamas

  6. #6
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thechemist View Post
    Embro
    Thanks, I had no idea... Wish I had asked some days earlier instead of 12 hours before the start.

  7. #7
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    It's early morning now, 1 hour before the start, and I'm fully prepared, dressed, etc. But in the end I've decided to not turn up. If you think I'm a weakling you are totally right. But I don't mind. Sorry for taking up your time!

    PS: I found that (as always, despite research!) the question has been asked before: Racing in the cold, windy, and wet - attire question

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    So you went with "pajamas" - good call, enjoy the day!
    ...

  9. #9
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    So you went with "pajamas" - good call, enjoy the day!
    Thanks - I did! The more so the more the rain continued to pour down. (And I must admit I didn't get @gsteinb 's subtle advice until now.)

    The race passed my house so I went down to the street and snapped some pictures. I did NOT envy the riders.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Moyene Corniche's Avatar
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    Interesting.... Don't see why you've backed out but ?
    I just rode a 3-1/2 hour 1100 meter elevation gain training ride this past Friday in the rain... Temperature was about 61F.
    Here is what I wore...
    For an Undershirt I wore a rash guard, it's an undershirt we wear under a wetsuit for surfing ( Aleedo ) it is light, collar is mid way but most importantly it doesn't collect water.
    I wore bib knickers, spring version, meaning they are thicker than standard bibs.
    Arm warmers, short sleeve jersey and a breathable mesh backed vest.
    Pearl Izumi covers over my shoes, they are stretchable impermeable but most importantly, tight fitting.
    cycling cap under the helmet, brim keeps water from entering inside my Smith lenses. Last but not least, yellow lenses for highlighting.

    I was warm, but not overly even when climbing the few km long climbs on the ride... I have a rain jacket, but haven't used it in years. It's really not practical, it doesn't fold up well and doesn't really keep you dry since it doesn't allow water to enter but also doesn't allow moisture to escape outwards...

    This is more or less the same layering that I have used either in truing rides or racing in the wet at KSR, Jiminy Peak or various other very wet encounters...
    Ah.... Voila les Cannon ... !!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by swekarl View Post
    It's early morning now, 1 hour before the start, and I'm fully prepared, dressed, etc. But in the end I've decided to not turn up. If you think I'm a weakling you are totally right. But I don't mind. Sorry for taking up your time!

    PS: I found that (as always, despite research!) the question has been asked before: Racing in the cold, windy, and wet - attire question

    Your apology for "taking our time" was considerate, but not needed. Better to have asked than not, and even better IMO you chose the 'jammies, at least until you get enough experience training in the rain to know what to wear during a race. Sounds like Moyane's got it all worked out.

    Thanks for the pictures.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

  12. #12
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moyene Corniche View Post
    Interesting.... Don't see why you've backed out but ?
    I just rode a 3-1/2 hour 1100 meter elevation gain training ride this past Friday in the rain... Temperature was about 61F.
    Here is what I wore...
    I'm relatively new to road biking and a typical "sunshine rider" if you know what I mean. Not very knowledgeable about these things. If I had been better prepared with the kind of equipment you mention I might have had considered it a challenge instead of backing out. But going there in my usual thin gear would take the fun out of it + would down me for a week with a cold. So I reasoned.

    I can add that I don't like getting my bike wet and dirty. Bring it on! I know I'm ridiculous. But I still don't like it.

    This is the only race I've participated in. I bike it once a year (3 years in a row so far). I had looked forward to it, because I love racing on the streets in the sunshine, cheered on by happy bystanders. I missed out on that this year, but so did those who participated...

  13. #13
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    I will race a race that's important to me in the rain. I race really well in the rain, cold rain in particular. I'm not doing races I don't care about in those conditions, and I won't train in the rain. I don't like getting my bike dirty either.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Moyene Corniche's Avatar
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    It took me all of 15 minutes to clean my bike afterwards, relube and done ready fro the next ride. Inclement weather is not a big deal, I actually like racing or riding in the rain. In a race, if it was cold or wet and cold, you could be assured a percentage of the riders are already beaten, solely from their own mindset of not liking the conditions... Basically If I entered I'm riding.
    You don't catch cold from riding in the wet, you do however become more susceptible to a virus from being depleted and thus your immune system is not up to defending itself from someone who is passing on microbes...
    After a race or ride in the cold and/or wet, it is impervious that one immediately gets out of wet clothing, into a hot bath or shower and into warm dry clothing.. Even if there isn't the luxury of a shower ( say at a race with a 2-4 hour drive back home ) getting out of cycling clothes, into warm clothes and replenishing yourself by eating is critical.. I used to surf year round so at the end of the session, it was out of the wetsuit and into clothing. Often times ski racing you'd hand your warm ups to a coach or teammate to take down to the finish, only to have a halt on your start time as you are standing there waiting for the course to be cleared or whatever.
    That said, I much prefer a sunny hot day riding up to Peille from Menton. But we are outdoors so the conditions are part and parcel...
    Wanting to seriously get back to racing next year, or at the earliest late season, I rode all winter, most days were cold, some it snowed but I actually enjoyed it like a 16 year old Noobie.

    Not saying you absolutely have to ride in less than ideal conditions, but it is part of the sport and just prepare beforehand for unforecasted situations..
    Ah.... Voila les Cannon ... !!

  15. #15
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moyene Corniche View Post
    Inclement weather is not a big deal, I actually like racing or riding in the rain. In a race, if it was cold or wet and cold, you could be assured a percentage of the riders are already beaten, solely from their own mindset of not liking the conditions...
    I was actually thinking like that too, and it encouraged me. Maybe next year I will be better prepared (you should have seen me picking out the right socks to cut open and use as leg warmers), but at this stage in my development as a cyclist I just wasn't ready. I must say your attitude is inspiring though.

    You don't catch cold from riding in the wet
    Agreed. It was mainly the waiting before the start that I worried about. 30-45 minutes in the rain and cold. (You could see your breath.)

    But I watched and learned (as @RoadTire suggests), it was interesting to see how those who participated were dressed. I would say 90 % wore some kind of biking rain jacket. I have an old Shimano jacket that is too thick and heavy, so gonna buy something tight and fluorescent.

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    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Dress? I'd wear a mid length salmon tinged pleated number with a sheer lace liner and spaghetti straps.

  17. #17
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Dress? I'd wear a mid length salmon tinged pleated number with a sheer lace liner and spaghetti straps.
    Haha, subtle difference of "how would you dress" and "what would you wear" noted!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Moyene Corniche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Dress? I'd wear a mid length salmon tinged pleated number with a sheer lace liner and spaghetti straps.
    Pics or it didn't happen ..
    Ah.... Voila les Cannon ... !!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Moyene Corniche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
    Sounds like Moyane's got it all worked out.
    Not always, it is challenging to " dress " ;-0 appropriately for the conditions.. I've been on both sides where you are underdressed, freezing so that the early miles are more difficult then they need be. But also overdressed where it was cold and rainy at the start and it warmed up more than the forecast predicted... Then it's a question of " Do I take things off and stuff them in my pockets or do I ball it all up and throw it in the woods to return later to pick it all up.
    Done the latter a few times, also have had the pleasure of being able to drift back to the sag wagon and have them take my arm warmers and vest..

    It's really more often about figuring out what is the minimum you can wear and still be warm enough or cool enough...
    Ah.... Voila les Cannon ... !!

  20. #20
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moyene Corniche View Post
    It took me all of 15 minutes to clean my bike afterwards, relube and done ready fro the next ride. Inclement weather is not a big deal, I actually like racing or riding in the rain. In a race, if it was cold or wet and cold, you could be assured a percentage of the riders are already beaten, solely from their own mindset of not liking the conditions... Basically If I entered I'm riding.
    You don't catch cold from riding in the wet, you do however become more susceptible to a virus from being depleted and thus your immune system is not up to defending itself from someone who is passing on microbes...
    After a race or ride in the cold and/or wet, it is impervious that one immediately gets out of wet clothing, into a hot bath or shower and into warm dry clothing.. Even if there isn't the luxury of a shower ( say at a race with a 2-4 hour drive back home ) getting out of cycling clothes, into warm clothes and replenishing yourself by eating is critical.. I used to surf year round so at the end of the session, it was out of the wetsuit and into clothing. Often times ski racing you'd hand your warm ups to a coach or teammate to take down to the finish, only to have a halt on your start time as you are standing there waiting for the course to be cleared or whatever.
    That said, I much prefer a sunny hot day riding up to Peille from Menton. But we are outdoors so the conditions are part and parcel...
    Wanting to seriously get back to racing next year, or at the earliest late season, I rode all winter, most days were cold, some it snowed but I actually enjoyed it like a 16 year old Noobie.

    Not saying you absolutely have to ride in less than ideal conditions, but it is part of the sport and just prepare beforehand for unforecasted situations..
    I'm not sure this specifically is responding to me, or a general response. If directed to me you're welcome to do as you wish, and I'll do the same. Given the amount of races I typically win a year I've made the call that unless it's part of some larger goal (a series, for instance), or a very important race to me that there are other things I'd rather do with my recreational time and dollars than race in the rain. Given the fact that there are number of sites with 10 day forecasts and registration typically not closing until 48 hours or less before start time (and most having day of reg) I can usually choose pretty accurately what to register for. Being seriously into racing I choose to do what I find fun. Mostly that's suffering. I suffer just fine indoors when the weather sucks, or it's dark, or there are too many soccer moms on the road. Which, given the time of day I train, means more often than not I'm saddling up indoors.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moyene Corniche View Post
    Pics or it didn't happen ..

    Brrrrr....gives me the heebiejeebies just thinking about it.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

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    Senior Member Moyene Corniche's Avatar
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    I wasn't targeting anyone, just a response within a discussion...
    Ah.... Voila les Cannon ... !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by swekarl View Post
    I'm riding the Berlin Velothon tomorrow - in fact, in less than 12 hours from now!

    It's going to rain and be 13C (that's 55F).

    I'm at a total loss as for what to wear, but for lack of alternatives I'll probably just go for my regular shortsleeved jersey and bicycle shorts. Maybe a longsleeved tight shirt under the jersey - or would that just be a nuisance in the rain and it's better to have wet skin than a soaked "second skin"?

    No one is accompanying me to the race, so I can't hand over a rain jacket to someone just before the start (we usually have to wait 30-40 minutes before the start, that will be the worst part temperature-wise).

    Any advice?

  24. #24
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    That guy used to be on my team .

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