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  1. #1
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    Riding in the rain

    Here in Michigan, you are never more than 6 miles from a body of fresh water. And yesterday I found out why. Rain!

    I had a great 45 min ride in the rain yesterday. Of course, my neighbor, pointed out that it was just beginning to rain. I just laughed and went out to have my most fulfilling ride to date.

    I don't know about you guys and gals, but riding in the rain is awesome.

    Any tips or stories about riding in the rain?

    T

  2. #2
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    When I lived in Atlanta 20+ years ago, I was a year-round, all weather commuter. I remember spending lots of time overhauling hub and pedal bearings and cleaning chains.
    When I do get caught in the rain these days, I find that fenders make a world of difference.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Tips ...

    -- Be careful about riding on painted bits on the road (like the lines) because they are slippery.
    -- Be careful riding across railway tracks, they are more slippery when wet.
    -- Do not ride into puddles. You never know what huge, bicycle-eating potholes they may be hiding.

  4. #4
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    All good advice. I think I'm going to get fenders here really soon.

    I'd like to add one that I learned the nasty nasty way. If you don't have fenders, keep you #$% mouth closed. Anything coming off the front tire is destined to meet Mr. Mouth.

    T
    Getting in touch with my inner cyclist since May '07.

  5. #5
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgreenwood
    All good advice. I think I'm going to get fenders here really soon.

    I'd like to add one that I learned the nasty nasty way. If you don't have fenders, keep you #$% mouth closed. Anything coming off the front tire is destined to meet Mr. Mouth.

    T
    I had eaten many a pile of goose droppings while riding at Metro Park on Lake St. Clair before I got my fenders.
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  6. #6
    Banned. Elusor's Avatar
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    ...and fenders those is?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lt.Gustl's Avatar
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    I found riding in the rain a bit easier in NY when the rain was frequent and I'd stay off the raod while it was just starting up, let grease and stuff wash away. Here in the desert when things are wet, more than likely because of sprinklers it is really slick.

    other slippery things are sawdust and leaves. Also wood is super duper slick, those old school wooden bridges may look nice but they suck when wet, even a little damp and say goodbye to traction.

    Watch out especialy at intersections where slow moving cars drip the most oil.

    Don't lock up that front wheel! A little practice in dirt will have you a bit better in the rain, being light on the bike helps, if you are stiff it will be to your detriment.

    above all be careful, if you feel fatigued, which can happen sooner in the wet from concentration, take a break under a bridge or in a nice warm coffee or pizza place.

    good luck

  8. #8
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Rain is inevitable here. It's actually fun to ride in rain as long as you have your mind ready for it.

    As others have said, mind the painted bits of roads and railroad tracks. Leaves are quite slick, especially when they've started to decay just a bit. Unless you know for certain that there are no big potholes in that puddle, stay out of it!

    As Lt._Gustl said--be careful. Here (and in Michigan) it can sometimes be just above freezing and still be raining. This is a recipe for disaster if you aren't clothed properly. Hypothermia is cruel reality. If your mind starts getting fuzzy, get into where it's warm if at all possible. At least get under shelter.

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  9. #9
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elusor
    ...and fenders those is?
    http://ecom1.planetbike.com/fenders.html

  10. #10
    steel lover
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    I love rain riding. One of the reasons I'm looking for another bike... I have one problem with rain riding... I ride a Vintage Bianchi with all Campy... just don't like to mess it up.

    Ever since a kid, I've loved rain rides.
    Personally, I think it's training to keep a straight line... cause then the down tube stops the front tire from slinging stuff at you

    The local MUPs tend to have places where water washed over the path to get to the Bayou next to it. The black top is slick enough when wet... the light coating of dirt/mud just makes it scary in some places.

  11. #11
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Tips ...

    -- Be careful about riding on painted bits on the road (like the lines) because they are slippery.
    -- Be careful riding across railway tracks, they are more slippery when wet.
    -- Do not ride into puddles. You never know what huge, bicycle-eating potholes they may be hiding.
    I learned long time ago to be careful when making a turn over a painted stripe when the roadway is wet, but just a few weeks ago I spun my rear wheel on a crosswalk line when I was starting up from a stop at an intersection, which threw me a bit off balance. Watch out for those manhole covers when their wet as well.

  12. #12
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    Good grief, I hear what to avoid, but not no answer to my question.


    Do you mean riding in the rain and getting wet, like without a rain coat or umbrella wet? Or do you wear something to keep the rain off you? I have no problems getting wet, I look that much hotter when my shirt is wet. It would suck to walk around a store or something with wet clothes on you, they have ac, and you get cold and shievery and then later sick.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by djSlvt
    Good grief, I hear what to avoid, but not no answer to my question.


    Do you mean riding in the rain and getting wet, like without a rain coat or umbrella wet? Or do you wear something to keep the rain off you? I have no problems getting wet, I look that much hotter when my shirt is wet. It would suck to walk around a store or something with wet clothes on you, they have ac, and you get cold and shievery and then later sick.
    Good question. I am a newbie so I don't have suggestions for wear. It was really warm and it was like taking a warm shower while going fast.

    T
    Getting in touch with my inner cyclist since May '07.

  14. #14
    okay maybe not. mmerner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    -- Be careful about riding on painted bits on the road (like the lines) because they are slippery.
    -- Be careful riding across railway tracks, they are more slippery when wet.
    -- Do not ride into puddles. You never know what huge, bicycle-eating potholes they may be hiding.
    +1

    not only railway tracks but anything metal, like manhole covers.
    question everything.

  15. #15
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    It was raining whilst I was out today, so just in case anyone out there is like me and has older bikes with steel wheels (that's not what I was riding today, but was reminded of it for this thread)--remember that your stopping power almost completely disappears until the brakes have squeegeed off the rims!

    East Hill
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  16. #16
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Here in the Uk-Despite climate change- If you did not ride in the rain- Then you would miss out on a lot of riding. In the winter you have to have a good Waterproof- and that means an expensive one that will breath to let out body moisture. In the summer when there is a high temperature and possibly only showers- then a showerproof wil be OK. If the rain lasts longer- then the showerproof will stop working but at least you will stay warm.

    Couple of weeks ago I went out in the rain- for a 4 hour ride. Wore the Goretex waterproof and I stayed warm. Bit too warm but definitely not cold. Only problem I found was in the heavy rain into a headwind and the rain was stinging the face. That was where the Ski mask came in and still enjoyed rain riding. Other thing to think of it leggings. Once again- in the summer I do not bother but cold water hitting the legs can chill them down a bit. Even a pair of Cheap leggings from the womens section of Wally mart will keep them warm.

    Now as to stories and someone has mentioned Hypothermia already. I did a metric in 2001 and it rained- It chucked it down. Although it was a circular route- The wind kept changing and always seemed to be a headwind. That wind also strengthened in the ride and a good 20mph at the start became a 70 mph headwind across the top of open moor for the last 5 miles. The rain was horizontal and The only way to keep moving forward was in a pace line---- That was just about barely moving. 6 of us in the line and only about 30 seconds at the head of it. It took us over an hour to cover that last 5 miles- and we were overtaking other pace lines in that distance. Got to the end and the last slope up to the finish was sheltered and was barely a 5% gradient for 1 mile. I started shivering up the hill and got to the finish to have the Medics throw space blankets over all of us. The temperature had dropped to just above freezing, we were soaked and the wind had taken our body core temperature away.

    I have ridden in -20degrees- have ridden in 70mph winds and I have been in torrential rain but never all at once. Instant recipe for a week in hospital- as happened to one of our group.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  17. #17
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    i was out yesterday in the rain, off road mtb, was absolutely magic, covered head to toe in mud! wore a pair of tracky bottoms, fitba strip and had a hooded jacket and waterproof jacket and over trousers, was roasting too so ended up just scooting about in my fitba strip and water proof bottoms and trackies, was dead clammy and about 19C so was better without the waterproofs, i don't think i've ever had so much fun in my life, pretty technical muddy rooty trails and thru burns and stuff, was fantastic, need to get myself a better get up so i can do it right thru the autumn and winter, casue yesterday was a rareity, warm and rainy, most of the year it's freezing, so i'm gonny spend a bit of cash...great fun tho, i'd reccomend anybody do it, you feel like a wee guy again, and the way people look at you is hilarious, wasn't a proper trail was more just a masive hill park with loads of trails made by walkers and bikes, outstanding! my mate fell in to a 4 foot puddle, was one of the funniest things you've ever saw!

  18. #18
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    I love riding in a light rain, especially if it is hot outside.
    Born Again Bicyclist! I found my Faith.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Here in the Uk-Despite climate change- If you did not ride in the rain- Then you would miss out on a lot of riding. In the winter you have to have a good Waterproof- and that means an expensive one that will breath to let out body moisture. In the summer when there is a high temperature and possibly only showers- then a showerproof wil be OK. If the rain lasts longer- then the showerproof will stop working but at least you will stay warm.

    Couple of weeks ago I went out in the rain- for a 4 hour ride. Wore the Goretex waterproof and I stayed warm. Bit too warm but definitely not cold. Only problem I found was in the heavy rain into a headwind and the rain was stinging the face. That was where the Ski mask came in and still enjoyed rain riding. Other thing to think of it leggings. Once again- in the summer I do not bother but cold water hitting the legs can chill them down a bit. Even a pair of Cheap leggings from the womens section of Wally mart will keep them warm.
    Ah, yes. A good waterproof. I used to live in Yokohama, Japan and during rainy season, I kept riding. I got some nice rain gear from Land's End, which I believe was made of goretex. It was wonderful stuff.

    t
    Getting in touch with my inner cyclist since May '07.

  20. #20
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    fenders, big mudflaps, front mudflap especially to keep the road crud off the feet and drivetrain. I ride year round transportationally in Seattle, and for years I've gotten great utility out of Gore "Next2Skin" non-cycling specific windstopper hats as a helmet liner.

    warm when wet clothing. the ability to smile while mother nature dumps on you. I remember riding in Florida in the seventies, in warm rain, barefoot and shirtless, coming back from the beach, and loving it.

    Living in seattle now, my bikes all get fenders and mudflaps.
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  21. #21
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    Nah, I don't think I'd be getting mud flaps and baskets. Perhaps a lightweight fender. My bike is already 18 lbs as it is. We have humidity in here, and it hinders riding dramatically. Besides me, there are no riders where I live, Aventura. North Miami Beach area, they'll ride.


    Main reason I want to keep my bike cool and sporty is the drivers. When they see a strong guy and cool bike, they won't mess around, and so far so good. This is very important here, because 80% of drivers shouldn't be driving, and speed limit is more of a you can go 45 if you want to.
    Last edited by djSlvt; 06-05-07 at 07:23 AM.

  22. #22
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    you don't need baskets to ride in the rain,
    but how do you do your shopping on an 18 pound bike without baskets ?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    you don't need baskets to ride in the rain,
    but how do you do your shopping on an 18 pound bike without baskets ?

    Book bag. I'm assuming it will fit a 12 pack nawty, a bottle of absolute, some bread, leancuisine and stuff.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Wet pavement. Water from the rain will act as a lubricant to the tiny gravel and other road debris. That means its easier to get a flat tire on wet roads. Its no fun changing tubes in the rain.

  25. #25
    Waiting for Summer ! soderbiker's Avatar
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    well i lve in sthlm sweden , and , well we have lots of rain and lots of snow , we really dont have a summer . I call it the green winter . but anyway , fenders are a must if you commute or ride in the rain ,
    Cheers T
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