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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-23-08, 03:38 PM   #1
ImNotGoodAtThis
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Combating the rain.

I live in Flagstaff, AZ and it is raining harder than I have ever seen it rain here before. Its been coming down for about ten minutes and the streets are already flooding. Kicker is I work in an hour and have to bike 7 miles to get there. Any tips for fighting the flood?
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Old 07-23-08, 03:41 PM   #2
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I guess 10 minutes of Rain in Arizona is cause for a flood

its been raining since tuesday morning here.

My recommendation is to be prepared to get wet.

Wish me luck i'm about to do my first commute home in an electrical storm
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Old 07-23-08, 03:46 PM   #3
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Hey now, it rains here too. The only other time I have seen it rain like this is when I was in Georgia.

I think I have no other option but to get soaked and bring a towl to work to dry off with.

Good luck with the electrical storm, I'm sure that metal frame between your legs isn't too assuring.
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Old 07-23-08, 04:04 PM   #4
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I lived in Tucson for a couple years and biked around. When it's the monsoon season? I was late to class several times due to the rain and street flooding. It's dang dangerous. Plan an alternate route if possible, don't ride when there's lightening and at least it's warm.

A "normal" rain? Don't fight it, learn to live with it and ride safely in it.
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Old 07-23-08, 04:10 PM   #5
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Now that's ironic.... tomorrow morning, I'm leaving the capital of wet riding (Pacific Northwest) where it's been wonderfully dry for weeks, for 5 days in currently soggy Flagstaff. Making a family visit, hopefully with some time for riding local trails (but always end up having less time for riding than I'd like). Hope the floods ease a bit, although this along with all the snow last winter must be helping with the long term drought there. I'm planning to live there full time when I semi-retire in about 3 years.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:46 PM   #6
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I would imagine you're going through monsoon season as we are in your neighboring state. Don't worry, it only lasts 2 months
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Old 07-23-08, 08:07 PM   #7
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I guess you're already halfway through your shift by now.

Let us all know about your adventure.
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Old 07-24-08, 04:03 AM   #8
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all you can do in that situation, get a cab or bus, or backpack a change of clothes & towel in plastic bags & just go for it. wear something yellow / flouro. you're gonna get drenched so start earlier so you can change, obviously.

god i hate it when it does that. all the grit that gets thrown up in the chain / gears. more degreasing / re-oiling.
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Old 07-24-08, 06:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ImNotGoodAtThis View Post
I live in Flagstaff, AZ and it is raining harder than I have ever seen it rain here before. Its been coming down for about ten minutes and the streets are already flooding. Kicker is I work in an hour and have to bike 7 miles to get there. Any tips for fighting the flood?
Either wait ten minutes, which should still leave you plenty of time to get to work; take an alternate means; or suck it up and ride in the rain. Getting wet once a year won't kill you.
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Old 07-24-08, 06:38 AM   #10
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I just rode to work in a light rain. You're just gonna get wet and it'll keep you nice and cool.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:27 AM   #11
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It's only water, dude. I'm baffled by how people are freaked out by getting wet. Get wet, towel off -- no biggie. We're ingrained to "come in out of the rain" from a young age -- it's just water.

Wearing light, moisture wicking material can help you dry out faster when it quits raining, I've found.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:36 AM   #12
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Good luck with the electrical storm, I'm sure that metal frame between your legs isn't too assuring.
3 commutes in a row now, light rain, heavy rain (w/ lightning) , light rain

I kinda like the electrical storm best. Driving hard rain is fun to ride in i've decided...i just get wet thats all. And the lightning... well that was cool to watch and I figure if I get zapped It'll just push my POWER levels OVER 9000
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Old 07-24-08, 08:44 AM   #13
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I got soaked this morning too, as the window between the heavy rain intervals was shorter than I estimated. I just left early, and double bagged everything-I use some smaller, and cheap, panniers, and a trunk bag. I shove phone, wallet, money, etc in a ziploc in the trunk, and I put my clothes for the change in the panniers, in which I put regular kithcen trash bags. Stuff the clothes inside the trash bags, seal em up and buckle the panniers, all set.

I was completely drenched though, and I am trying to dry everything as much as possible for ride home, but everything in my bags was 100% dry.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:56 AM   #14
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i packed my clothing in a plastic bag before putting it in my backpack and packed my cape just in case but it was only damp and foggy on my ride in, when i showered and got to my desk it was pouring outside and the wind had picked up quite a bit so i was lucky to have missed that part on the bike, stuffing newspaper in my shoes when i get home dries them out really quickly

warm summer rains are no big deal
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Old 07-24-08, 09:01 AM   #15
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I've ridden that far in downpours when it was about 33F outside. That was miserable, and I had to switch gloves when I couldn't feel my fingers anymore. But a summer rain? I say bring it on. Worst case, you arrive wet from rain instead of sweat, so you smell better.

Now safety is a different matter. Bikes don't hydroplane, but I could certainly see being worried about a car hydroplaning into *you*. I'm just guessing that drivers in Arizona react to rain about how they do in LA, taking it as a sign of the apocalypse and freaking out. Take it slow, stay safe, and if you have rim brakes that have a bunch of dust on them from a long dry season...don't expect them to have much stopping power.
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Old 07-24-08, 09:08 AM   #16
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I rode home in a pretty sweet storm last night. the sky went from slightly dark to a dark orange brown then to black and it just let loose. In like 30 seconds the water in the bike lane was 4" deep and i was almost geting blown over by the wind and rain. All the cars just pulled over and waited it out. I was pretty impressed with my cheapo lights because the cars could still see me even in the rain.

the only thing you can do in this situation is to have a dry bag a change of clothes and a towel.
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Old 07-24-08, 09:10 AM   #17
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The safety thing is an issue. I had to ride on some sidewalks this morning due to flooding in the street/bike lane that would have presented a hazard. Luckily, early AM and rain equals not many peds or joggers. This stretch has visible driveways and roads too, so clear warning for sidewalk obstacles.

I got on the road once the flooding was past me.

As for brakes, I test them periodically when it is wet/raining, to make sure nothing is fouling them. This also makes them a bit more responsive in the wet conditions.
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