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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 07-08-11, 05:56 AM   #1
bluefoxicy
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Rain

We had a severe thunderstorm here around when I left work--I stayed late to avoid the evil sun.

It seems that I have a lot more power riding around in the rain. Higher gears, faster speeds, climb hills easier, don't get as tired, never overheat.

Odd.

Anyone else do better in the rain?
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Old 07-08-11, 06:14 AM   #2
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I can see what you mean. I do a lot better trying to get home before the typical afternoon thunderstorms around here, at least. I shaved 11 minutes off of my typical ride time yesterday, about a 25% reduction.
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Old 07-08-11, 06:26 AM   #3
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Eh, the storm didn't bother me, I was just plowing along no problem. Usually those big hills tire me out; when I got home I wasn't even winded or sore.
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Old 07-08-11, 07:38 AM   #4
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I can see the rain giving you some extra cooling- like sweating, but without actually sweating and losing water. Maybe the rain also encourages you to go faster/work harder to get in the dry again.
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Old 07-08-11, 08:06 AM   #5
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I have set some record times (for me) trying to outrun thunderstorms!
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Old 07-08-11, 04:30 PM   #6
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I have better days when a rainstorm gives me a strong tailwind. Otherwise, I can't tell the difference. Sure does feel better than 95 degree heat!
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Old 07-08-11, 04:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
Anyone else do better in the rain?
Absolutely! My theory is that the rain keeps my chain lubricated better than usual. Or maybe it reduces the rolling resistance of my tires. Or maybe it agitates the air to reduce my aerodynamic drag. Whatever it is, something is going on.
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Old 07-08-11, 05:01 PM   #8
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Riding in the rain is Zen like.

Once you decide to deal with the fact that you are going to get wet, it's great!

Rain= Zen like; lighting= NO EFFIN WAY I'm riding!
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Old 07-08-11, 06:06 PM   #9
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The only thing that bothers me about rain, besides lightning of course, is if the rain is hard enough to limit visibility. Same for fog.

Riding in the rain, however, does give a greater sense of accomplishment.

And it's a great way to clean rims. Just spray the bike off with a hose while it's still wet from the ride.
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Old 07-09-11, 07:46 AM   #10
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About a month ago I was coming home from what turned out to be a 35 miler. My longest at this point. I didn't realize I would be riding straight into a supercell thunderstorm. Had a few honkers, don't know why as at this point I was on a 4 laner 35 mph speed limit, and I had my blinky going. My helmet protected my head from the hail. Despite the driving wind against my every pedal I seemed to feel like I was flying anyway, and riding through puddles brought back a childhood glee that lasted until about the last 2 miles, which includes a brutal hill at the end. Got through it though. I think knowing that I was riding into what was a city size red blob on the radar map drove me to pump harder and not care about saving anything for the end. Oh yeah the storm finally let up on my last mile too. Go figure. Super exciting.
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Old 07-09-11, 08:20 AM   #11
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On Tuesday this past week I rode my homeward leg in a brutal downpour for the first 15 of the 20 miles. Then as if a curtain was pulled aside the wet tire tracks from the cars stopped and it was bright, sunny and hot. Had to stop and pull off my rain gear. Took a minute to call home on my cell and ask my wife if it had rained where she was. She said no and sure enough when I got home the driveway was bone dry. To quote osephjey..."Go figure."

Btw, in answer to the question by the OP I seem to do better in the rain as well. Once soaked it seems to lighten my mood and the miles go by w/less effort it seems.

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Old 07-09-11, 11:59 AM   #12
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I would guess that all of you who are doing better in the rain are wearing cycling clothes, right? So I really should invest in some since my usual "rain clothes" (North Face jacket and some rain pants above jeans) usually make me break out in a major sweat. It is rather hindering. Having read the posts about the joys of riding in the rain make me thing that I should really change my clothes. However, I usually do a "Deichrunde" (40km) right after work, so I would have to change there and then take my other clothes home with me. Hmmm....
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Old 07-09-11, 12:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Absolutely! My theory is that the rain keeps my chain lubricated better than usual. Or maybe it reduces the rolling resistance of my tires. Or maybe it agitates the air to reduce my aerodynamic drag. Whatever it is, something is going on.
I'm not sure whether you're being facetious, but,

1) Your chain's not relying on water for lubrication.
2) Your tires do best when they're in constant contact with the pavement; water gets in the way of that, it doesn't enhance it.
3) Moisture in the air will, if anything, increase its density, thereby increasing the resistance you face.

Anyway, personally, I don't feel rain makes me a faster biker; it does slow me down. I have reduced visibility (in both ways: it's harder for me to see stuff, and it's harder for others to see me) and increased stopping-time. It also can make my hands feel slippery on the grips, and can annoy me as I keep having to wipe water from my eyes.
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Old 07-09-11, 12:49 PM   #14
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I feel cooler and more comfortable riding in a light summer rain, it can feel refreshing. I notice more resistance, water sloshing the wheels more, so not faster. But I don't mind, as long as it's not a storm.
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Old 07-09-11, 03:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
Riding in the rain is Zen like. Once you decide to deal with the fact that you are going to get wet, it's great!
+1 sometimes I aim for the first mud puddle just to get it over with and enjoy the ride
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Old 07-09-11, 04:27 PM   #16
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I, for one, hate the rain. If I get caught in it, then so be it, but I usually try to avoid the rain. Whenever it rains the streets in key biscayne, FL where I do most of my riding is sandy and salty not only causing corrosion if left on the bike but its a pain having to clean the chain from all of the debris picked up! Not to mention it means I have to wash all the clothes I was wearing if I don't want to smell like wet dog... o.k. I'm done ranting haha
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Old 07-09-11, 11:28 PM   #17
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+1 sometimes I aim for the first mud puddle just to get it over with and enjoy the ride
I wish bikeforums.net had a "Like" or "+1"
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Old 07-09-11, 11:35 PM   #18
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I wish bikeforums.net had a "Like" or "+1"
It does...just go to advanced
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI
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Old 07-10-11, 12:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
I'm not sure whether you're being facetious, but,

1) Your chain's not relying on water for lubrication.
2) Your tires do best when they're in constant contact with the pavement; water gets in the way of that, it doesn't enhance it.
3) Moisture in the air will, if anything, increase its density, thereby increasing the resistance you face.

Anyway, personally, I don't feel rain makes me a faster biker; it does slow me down. I have reduced visibility (in both ways: it's harder for me to see stuff, and it's harder for others to see me) and increased stopping-time. It also can make my hands feel slippery on the grips, and can annoy me as I keep having to wipe water from my eyes.
+1 and don't forget you really have to be careful of manholes, railroad tracks, lane dots, fog lines, etc., which are all dangerously slippery in the rain. Then there are the puddles - maybe it is fun to splash through them but you never know when one is concealing a pothole (even if you ride the route regularly a pothole could have opened up since the last time, which heavy rain makes a distinct possibility). Also your chances of a flat go way up in the rain as well. Don't get me wrong ... I like to ride and riding in the rain doesn't bother me in the least and rain or not I'd rather be on my bicycle than in a car, but I really don't think it makes you faster, at least if you are riding with the caution such conditions demand.
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Old 07-10-11, 09:35 AM   #20
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Rain, it's where I live .. summer , the winds come out of the north, less moisture.

Winter they come out of the south, with more.
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Old 07-11-11, 07:03 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
We had a severe thunderstorm here around when I left work--I stayed late to avoid the evil sun.

It seems that I have a lot more power riding around in the rain. Higher gears, faster speeds, climb hills easier, don't get as tired, never overheat.

Odd.

Anyone else do better in the rain?
Yup... or so it feels.

I got caught in last Friday's storm. I ride along a 55 mph road (Pulaski Hwy). A Facebook friend happened by, rolled down his window and caught this picture of me:

Photo by Galen Wallace

I was drenched by this time. My shoes were full of water and water was damming up in my jersey and bib shorts. It was a blast!
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