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Old 10-23-04, 11:41 AM   #1
stapfam
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Wet Weather Riding

Due to climatic change, or the fact that I always remember the summers of my youth, this year has been diabolical for Riding. It seems that my riding clobber at present is shorts, preferably the ones that cover my knees, the top quality cycling top thats wicks away Moisture, and the goretex. We have had a rather cool and damp summer this side of the pond, and I am getting fed up with it.
It still doesn't stop me riding though, although I may give it a miss tomorrow, due to the high winds coming in with the rain. Its just about bearable to do a wet ride, but the gales forecast for tomorrow means that the rain will be horizontal and probably in the face.
Cold doesn't bother me too much, except on the hands so rain proof gloves are the answer for this, but just a tip to the bypass recoveries out there, the extremities do not get the circulation required so keep the feet and hands well covered.
I cope with the rain, mainly due to the goretex, but how do the rest of you get on with wet conditions?
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Old 10-24-04, 06:49 AM   #2
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Over here-on this side of the pond-we are headed toward winter-meaning when it rains now-it's plenty cold as well. I picked up a pair of overbooties-for my shoes-for rainy weather. Although I find them awkward to put on-they do the trick-and at least my feet stay dry. I have a pair of cheap rubber overpants, too. The issue that bothers me most-is that after a few kms of cycling-I may as well be naked-as the sweat build up inside my jacket is as much as the rain pouring down on me. My jacket has a hood-so-I can wear my helmet over it. I still need to get water proof gloves!
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Old 10-24-04, 07:29 AM   #3
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Climates vary so much in regards to "wet."

Some places have warm rains, and folks there can't understand why everyone doesn't enjoy riding in the rain, thinking that rain the world over is also warm.

Around here, we never have "warm" rain - it is always cold, almost icy - and sometimes it is ice, even in summer. Riding in this freezing rain is an entirely different matter.

Then, of course, starting in about a week, all of our precipitation will be in the form of sleet or snow. Sleet and snow is not my cup of tea, thanks, I have no need to "prove" my manliness by riding in it!
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Old 10-25-04, 07:21 AM   #4
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Stapfam,
I can identify with your dislike of cold summers. It has been much like that in Toronto, only less rain. We usually get a heat wave in Toronto in August, but none developed this year. Mind you when the humidity is 100%, who needs hot?

I was in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset in March and April of this year to do the South West Sustrans Path. The weather was great (much to my surprise).

As to the question: I'm sure the English have as many names for rain, as the Inuit have for snow. Light rain or mist I usually just put a shower cap over my hemet. From there and as the intensity of the rain increases I go to Gortex jacket and pants, booties over my shoes and a narrow towel (rather like a bar towel) around my neck to prevent drips.

Do I stay dry? It depends on the heat and humidity. Even though the jacket has pit zips, I can still get pretty wet, but usually from my own sweat. If it is warm enough I just wear a cotton shirt and shorts and get really wet and change them when the rain stops.

And finally, I'm planning another trip to England in October of 2005. This time from Gloucester to Reading along the canal tow paths. I was hoping to camp. Any idea what weather I can expect?
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Old 10-25-04, 08:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by stokell
Stapfam,

And finally, I'm planning another trip to England in October of 2005. This time from Gloucester to Reading along the canal tow paths. I was hoping to camp. Any idea what weather I can expect?

If this year is anything to go by,Wet & Windy. Heavy rain and high winds cause a problem, but this year has been exceptional. A very wet Autumn in most of the country, but where I live in the extreme S.E., we did not get the rain till late, but it has more than made up for it in the last few weeks.
In a normal year, Early October would give you mild weather without too much, rain or wind, but a few cold nights may make certain that a good sleeping bag will be necessary.
Attachment is taken on one of our local trails in July, when we would normally expect good weather, and this was the good part of the trail. Incidentally the frame colour is Blue and not the crud colour that it appears.
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Old 10-27-04, 10:38 AM   #6
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I agree about the booties. I did not have them 2 years ago on my Austria trip and my feet got cold and wet. I also had rain gear that did not breathe so I got wet from the inside. Last year in Germany I had more breathable top & pants, plus the booties, and was much less uncomfortable.

The photo is from 2 years ago - I ditched the suit before the flight home.

Ken
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Old 10-31-04, 03:41 PM   #7
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I agree with stapfam. I live maybe 40 miles from his part of the world and it has been a really unpleasantly wet summer. My local trails are mostly in the forest area near home and the undergrowth is mostly dry but roots can be a serious hazard. Take one of those at a 45 degree angle and it's down you go. Not so bad in the dry but the wet gets everywhere. I like it though. I have the trail mostly to myself and apart from some piles of horse sh1t (I enjoy riding over them!) the wet keeps most people away. The only thing that discourages me is having to wash the bike after. The dry dust is fine, but the mud and general trail crud can be difficult to wash off. I tend to dress for a dry ride and take my chance.

Last year in Wales I did the mtb trails at Coed Y Brenin and it tipped rain almost every day. I hit the trailhead at about 7.30 each morning and rode until 11 and I dressed sensibly for the rain as I did not know where I really was, and not knowing the exit points on the trail meant I had to dress for the worse. I found the condensation inside the jacket (it was Goretex) was more annoying than the rain.
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Old 11-07-04, 11:47 AM   #8
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In the Netherlands I rode in the wet a lot (what else was there?)

Here I have thought more about bike preservation, and have not ridden in the wet much on purpose. But with a new bike on the way, I have already been planning on more wet rides using the first bike. I will have to be more careful on descents, however, and am already thinking about what routes to avoid in the wet.

Cheers...Gary
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Old 11-07-04, 01:14 PM   #9
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Rode 60 miles in the rain last Sunday. Mid-50's (F).

BUT, I have had the "sniffles" all week. Was never cold until the end of the ride. Is Mom always right? If you get your feet wet, do you ALWAYS get a cold? It doesn't make sense, but it seems anecdotally true.

Tyson
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Old 11-22-04, 01:04 AM   #10
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I commute in the rain sometimes but its scary in the big city of LA. I use Specialized Armadillo tires to reduce the number of flats, but they don't hold the road as well in the rain. Last week while riding in the rain, my Fuji MTB went out from under me -sideways. Luckily, there was no traffic around me.

Dennis
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Old 12-06-04, 12:39 PM   #11
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Yes the weather this year was ... dampish.
I rode the other day in a total deluge, 17 miles, had to take off the glasses to see where I was, and where I was was inside a deluge... Not funny at all. However.
I have invested in clothes now, and that ride they paid off. On my return home I had a slight damp patch on my left sock and that was it.
Money well spent I think. I was wearing a base layer, then a jersey, and another one, and the outer water proof jacket on my upper body. On my legs I had my shorts, then my tights, then water proof trousers. On my feet I had Shimano shoes, and over shoes.
That lot cost but hey, as I say money well spent.
I agree with comments about people assuming everyones weather is the same. I had last January the experience of -20C at Niagara Falls and was not terribly cold. Then returned home and was colder for sure on the beach at plus 2, why? My cold (Scotland) is a wet cold whereas in Canada it was a dry cold, two totally differant matters.
Anyway, dress warm, stay dry and enjoy your bike.
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Old 12-13-04, 01:28 PM   #12
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The weather here in the Pacific northwest has its share of wet, from heavy fog in the morning to driving rain at any time. After 2 years of getting just as wet on the inside as outside I purchased Performance GORE-Tex jacket and pants. I also have neoprene booties and gloves. The booties and gloves do not keep you dry for very long. At least I get home with my shoes mostly dry. On extended rides even the shoes got wet but the feet were warm. I use a helmet cover that fits over my visor. As long as the rain is not driving it helps keep the glasses dry.

I have tried water repellant for glasses and have been less than successful with it. That rain that is almost a fog when cold enough will cause the glasses to fog up regardless of what I have used on them. I wear bicycle glasses with inserts. I have had to take them off when they fog between the insert and the outside lens gets to heavy.

My ride home is south where the prevailing winds come from in the winter. I have ridden into heavy rain and wind too many days to count. Rain is not bad. The wind is what is hardest. I like to say I peddled home twice if there is a heavy wind.

The only way to keep reasonably dry is to use GORE-Tex clothing. Anything else is second best.
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Old 12-13-04, 02:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
...I cope with the rain, mainly due to the goretex, but how do the rest of you get on with wet conditions?
As cheaply as possible We have the Four Ds for rain here in Seattle: Drops, Drench, Drizzle, and Directional (raining sideways across your face). I have to change my clothes when I get to work anyway, no matter how much I spend on my wardrobe, so I dress down to keep costs down. Longsleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts, REI windbreakers, light duty orange hunting vest, and an extra pair of socks for the ride home. I have fenders on my S/S, so my shoes stay pretty dry behind the front mudflap. Around here in the winter, almost every serious road rider has full-drop fenders on their bike (and a few non-serious ones like myself). Look for the water bottle cut in half and used as a mudflap! Pretty innovative.
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Old 12-15-04, 09:02 PM   #14
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Ugh, Seattle winters. Been there, done that. 8 years worth. If it would just get cold and snow maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but 6 months of grey drizzle just sucks.

I live in NYC now and rode through the hardest rain I've ever seen. Hurricane Ivan came through on the day of the Escape NY Century, which I had already paid for. It was lightly drizzling when I started, within a mile of the start it started coming down in buckets. And then the lightning started. One bolt hit ground, even with all the buildings, a short distance from the starting point. That's what finally cancelled the ride. I had already given up at that point and was under an awning in Washington Heights, waiting for the rain to lighten enough to make a dash to the subway across the street. I was there for at least an hour. I was already soaked but I couldn't bear to go into it again. When I finally did get on the subway, the water in my shorts squished out when I sat down. Totally gross.
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Old 12-17-04, 06:57 PM   #15
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I just wore shorts and sandals for my lower body. 3 layers of cover for the upper body. And that's 2C/36F rain. It's not that bad. As long as the upper body is dry and warm, it's hard to get sick.
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