Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Rodriguez Shiftless street fixie with S&S couplers, Kuwahara tandem, Trek carbon, Dolan track
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Well, I think the rainy season has started in British Columbia's Lower Mainland after months of dry weather. It started raining last night, and it's a good thang I rode over to my girlfriend's with all my rain stuff because I had to ride home today in the rain. So the rain setup here in Vancouver is:
Fixed gear bike with the quick-release detachable fenders (they clip on the stays with these rubber straps). Great for bikes with no fender clearance. And the fixed gear means there's no derailleurs, shifters, cassette, or shifter cables to get soaked and damaged by rain and dirt.
Soft cotton cycling cap underneath the helmet (remember cycling caps?). The best kind have a really small peak because when it's raining, you wear it with the peak forward to keep the rain off your eyes(the smaller the peak, the better the visibility). When it's just very cold, you wear it backwards, and it protects your head against the cold wind.
Neoprene gloves and booties. Neoprene won't keep you dry after about 40 minutes, but it does keep you warm.
Goretex rain jacket, the smaller and thinner, the better. No pockets, no special attachments for hiking, just a simple cycling rain jacket made of goretex, so that you can keep it wrapped up in your commuter backpack. (Keeping a spare rain jacket with you at all times is a good idea in Vancouver, BC.)
And that's it. I sometimes carry spare dry cycling socks and dry t-shirt. I find rain pants to be way too hot and uncomfortable. And those John Forester-style rain capes catch way too much wind.
The above works as long as you like riding fast in the rain, something you learn to appreciate in the Pac Northwest. Some of the best rides are in the rain, if only because there are fewer bikies getting in your way, and anyone out there in this weather has got to love cycling.