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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 10-21-04, 09:02 AM   #1
Shannon-UT
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Well, I finally did it (rode in the rain)!

I know alot of you already ride in the rain, no big deal but I just wanted to tell someone. Day #2 in the rain. I was not looking forward to it actually, but I just Gortexed up and made myself go. Quite a bit more production getting ready for the ride.

It was about 40-45 degrees I think. I wore my hiking boots (brought my clogs with me), fleece head band, gortex pants and shell and my new gortex mittens. I also wore a fleece vest underneath the shell and that turned out to very hot. I couldn't wait to peel it off when I got to work. I use REI bike panniers too. I left the slicks on too.

A few things I think I would like to get/modify:
1) fenders - even though I have a bike rack on the back and full on Gortex, water still splashes above my head when I go through pedals
2) some of that waterproofing washable stuff - you can wash your pants and shell and it brings the waterproofing it originally had back to life. I actually want to waterproof some BellWeather bike pants because my shell pants are too short for bike riding.
3) better lights.

All in all, it wasn't as bad as I thought. I was actually warm (too warm) and dry. My face and glasses did get kind of wet and the top of my head too from the helmet vents.

That's all, just wanted to share. I kind of feel good. And any advice you want to offer.

Here's a pic of the lovely day we're having:
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Old 10-21-04, 10:25 AM   #2
noisebeam
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This is timely.

For the fist time in over 1500mi of commuting I will need to ride home in the rain - at least that is what the very likely forcast is.

I guess it will be a learning experience. I brought a rain jacket, but if its warm won't wear it - I'm going home so getting soaked it fine. I don't have fenders. I did bring my contact lenses in case my glasses become too wet to see thru.

Al
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Old 10-21-04, 10:33 AM   #3
timmhaan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
I did bring my contact lenses in case my glasses become too wet to see thru.

Al
that's one of the biggest hazards for me. i don't have contacts so i have to have my glasses on when i ride. it can become very hard to see after some time in the rain...especially at night with a lot of lights. everything gets blurred.
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Old 10-21-04, 10:37 AM   #4
Dusk
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You might want to get a rain cover for you helmet. Keeps your head nice and dry and really adds to the warmth if you are out in really cold rain.

Cheers
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Old 10-21-04, 10:38 AM   #5
Shannon-UT
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I wear glasses and I don't have contacts. I found that the visor on my helmet and helmet pulled down lower did a pretty good job of keeping most of the water off. I could still see fine, but it wasn't downpouring either.

Does the helmet rain cover look like a big ol' shower cap?
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Old 10-21-04, 10:39 AM   #6
jeff williams
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Be carefull cornering over painted pedestrian walks or any thick road paint marks in the rain.
Keep the bike upright, no fancy- lean the bike over turns.
The wheels can slip out sideways.

Perhaps I should just slow down....naw.
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Old 10-21-04, 10:43 AM   #7
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This week was my first ride in the rain too. I found that I need booties, and could use some fenders. I was decked out in a rain jacket and some pants, not rain pants, just old navy warm-up pants because I just didnt' want to be all dirty when I changed clothes at work.

I might get a front fender if I can find one that will fit on my suspension forks. I know there are some that are for suspension, but they don't look like they'll fit on mine because of the hanger for cantilever brakes. I'm not using cantis so I could cut it off, but I'd rather not. I'm actually thinking of getting a new bike that will fit me, take REAL fenders and be lighter/faster for weekend rides and maybe some tours.

I'll definately get a better light, I've got a old 4 AA "look at me" light, but I want a better one. I might get some better, waterproof pants.

I really enjoyed the rain riding. It was windy and pouring down rain. I liked how I felt more "hard-core" than everyone else on the road. I liked watching the water come off my front tire, shooting farther and higher with my increased speed. It looked like a saw blade, I imagined it was a sawblade cutting the unneccessary poundage from my midsection.

I was a little disappointed at how none of my coworkers saw me ride up to the office, but oh well. I didn't do it for them, I did it for me.
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Old 10-21-04, 11:21 AM   #8
balto charlie
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I ride in the rain as often as possible; not because I like it but to escape the worst traffic jams. People always think I'm nuts for riding then but I know it's the best way to travel during those times. My favorite views during the rains are the interstate/beltway overpasses when the I see the traffic at a standstill and I'm flying over them, on the secondary roads. This always washes away any negative rain thoughts. Todays ride was one of those moments. Charlie
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