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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 06-01-15, 09:23 AM   #1
clasher 
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DNF - Crazy night rain

So I had my first DNF on a 400K this past Saturday. The daytime temps were in the high 80s and there was a lot of humidity. I felt pretty good for the first 200km since I wasn't riding too hard for the weather and my time was about 9.5 or 10 hours at this point. I was feeling optimistic at this point evne though I had got caught in a bit of a downpour that ended as I rolled into the second control.

By the time the sun went down it started to pour hard. There was also a lot of wind with gusts The temperature had dropped to the 50s by this point and I think it was getting into the 40s by 1 or 2am. I decided to call it quits when my teeth started chattering together, I only had 80 or 90km to go on the ride but my shoes were full of water and my lower body was soaking wet. I had full fenders, some shoe covers and long tights over top of my shorts and sun stocking things. I had a windbreaker and a wool jersey on top of my regular jersey all underneath a camp-mor cape which seemed to keep most of my upper body dry and I was warm enough but the wet feet going numb were probably the biggest worry for me, the last stretch of the ride was all through the countryside with one possible 24h grocery store to stop at I didn't want to take a chance at hypothermia so I do feel good about quitting since I've gotta work 10 hour shifts the rest of the week I can't afford a cold or anything right now.

What kind of weather gear do you pack for a ride like this? Obviously I need better booties or something like galoshes but lighter; I was thinking water socks or something impervious since I don't ride with clipless I can do that. I don't really like my camp-mor cape all that much since it's a huge drag but it did keep me surprisingly dry on top but it's a bit short on my 5'11" frame. The carradice pro-route looks a bit better and the spats they sell seem like a good way keep my legs warmer and drier. I find my feet get really cold during winter activities and when I work outside in the winter so it might be more of a "thing" for me than most people, poor circulation or what, I dunno, but I didn't see what anyone else was riding with since I did all the ride by myself.
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Old 06-01-15, 04:42 PM   #2
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. I decided to call it quits when my teeth started chattering together.
That really sound miserable, hypothermia is no joke.
You were well equipped for wet/cold.

Since you had "wet feet going numb" do you think that toeclips/straps pulled snug "since I don't ride with clipless" were hindering circulation to the feet?
Wool or Neoprene socks and possibly clipless pedals might help with good shoe covers.

I use a Carradice Pro-Route raincape and helmet cover w/ my town bike, very good solid kit that has seen some nasty weather (for short periods).
Pro-Route spats are designed to work w/ the cape and allow cleated shoes.

https://www.carradice.co.uk/index.ph...&product_id=67

Good luck from sultry Texas.
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Old 06-01-15, 05:26 PM   #3
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I don't even use straps and clips, just some MTB style SPDs shoes without the cleats install on bmx-style flats. Some of my friends joked that I could have got trench-foot from riding with shoes full of water... I looked up the rainfall and apparently an 1-1/8" of rain came down on Saturday and another inch or so all of Sunday. That's usually how much rain we get in a month so it was a bit of an outlier in terms of rain, but I still feel like I need to look into some better shoe covers or something. The rest of the riders went on to finish as far as I know.
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Old 06-01-15, 07:03 PM   #4
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my first 400k saw about 6 hours of rain. Started raining just as it turned dark. Fortunately I was fast that year, and didn't have to ride all night. The slower guys had a lot of trouble with that rain. I usually just carry a rain jacket. Best not to drink anything cold. I have ridden a 200k in wet snow all day, that was particularly miserable.
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Old 06-01-15, 11:09 PM   #5
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I've ridden cold wet brevets for many hours with numb feet - no feeling in them at all. As long as it's well above freezing, no damage. No cape. 40s is a little chilly, but not too bad. My usual uniform for rides like this is a long sleeve Craft undershirt, short sleeve jersey, arm warmers, a wind vest, and a wind jacket. I put it all on if necessary. On the feet, Smartwool socks, as thick as doesn't cut off circulation. Waterproof booties of whatever brand, but waterproof. On the ankles, dry suit leg seals on bare skin with the bells pulled down over the bootie tops. Tights that zip at the bottom, zipped down over the leg seals. Ride hard enough to stay warm.
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Old 06-02-15, 01:23 AM   #6
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One thing I have moved towards is wearing shoes a size bigger on randonnees than I would for other riding. I can pad my feet up with extra socks or just one thick pair of woollen ones. That brings that layering concept into the feet as well as the torso. Wool in particular seems to hold water and expand, plus the feet are likely to swell if they are soaked for an extended period.

Also, as a by-the-by, don't forget Machka's "duck feet" solution -- that is, keep the calves warm with longer socks or, say, an additional pair or leg warmers under tights.

I have to agree that riding with wet feet is awful. My latest experience was on Sunday, and we didn't ride very far! I can't offer much of a solution other than the standard booties, although the French pair I have come all the way up the calves, so help reduce the trickle-down effect. The major problem, though, is stopping the water from coming up underneath , and even if the shoes are fully protected from the wet, the amount of sweat from the feet will soak shoes over several hours.

As to the torso, I ride with either a Ground Effects Stormtrooper jacket from NZ, or an MEC heavier-weight jacket from Canada. The Stormtrooper has the real benefit of a hood that is shaped so as to not hinder side vision. I used the Stormtrooper on Sunday, and it lived up to its name -- it kept my body dry and warm.
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Old 06-02-15, 10:00 AM   #7
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I did three 200k Brevets this year in cold pouring rain and/or snow. The snowy one was 28F in the mountains and I barely made the second control. I think only 5 or 6 of 18 finished. I had hypothermia on the 28F one. It took an hour of drinking hot chocolates and hot apple pie to get back out on the then merely slushy roads. A Police Officer offered to take me anywhere I wanted to go. I probably should have taking him up on the offer.

I have to give credit to Zinn for my frame....it was still stable and steerable despite violent shivering and shaking. My one design criteria was absolute rock solid tracking with no chance of shimmy. I was out of control but my bike had me covered.

I also ride with bigger cycling shoes for the reason Rowan mentioned and also during extreme heat my feet swell after about 300K. Seal Skinz wool socks with a membrane are half decent. Thick wool socks with plastic bags over them are better. Has anyone ever found a truly water proof set of booties?

I wore or carried a merino wool tee shirt, wool long sleeve tee shirt, LS wool cycling shirt, Showers Pass Elite jacket, wool cycling shorts, and wool leg warmers. A Showers Pass helmet cover keeps my head dry. Merino Wool gloves over my cycling glvoes. The forecast was completely wrong and my mistake was not having rain pants. It was supposed to be light rain and in the 50's.....not high 20's and low 40's with hail, sleet, and snow.

I thought fenders keep Randos dry?

Last edited by RR3; 06-02-15 at 12:04 PM. Reason: forgot jacket
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Old 06-02-15, 07:38 PM   #8
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Which 400, if I may ask?
I was doing the Parry sound 400.
Rainy yes...but no great downpour.

Got to use my "new" rainpants...upcycled leaky gortex waist-high fishing waders.
( I cut the booties off).
They worked well!
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Old 06-03-15, 09:09 PM   #9
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It was the Oak Ridges Morraine 400k, out of Toronto. The rain was over an inche for the Saturday and Sunday was another inch or so, but I only saw a couple of hours of rain on the Sunday. It was more than I was prepared for, especially on the feet, I think if I had better boots or something to keep my feet drier I might have been okay otherwise. The fenders were a huge help to me, especially with the cape but I am riding fenders that are a bit narrower for my tires. If I didn't have to work this week I might not have bailed but I was glad I did. If anything this only makes me wanna go faster in the future as a few hours of rain in the dark wasn't terrible but doing all night in that condition wasn't in the cards for me. I'm going to look into the jacket recommendations too, the cape seemed to slow me down more than I already go.
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Old 06-04-15, 07:47 AM   #10
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I've had good luck in cold weather keeping my feet warm by using:

-Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier MTB Shoe Covers (neoprene coated with waterproof PVC)
-Wool socks
-Hot Hands feet warmers (cheap - 1 pair lasts 4-6 hours)

Definitely switch to clipless pedals -they really improve performance - which is important if you are riding 400k.
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Old 06-04-15, 07:51 AM   #11
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convenience stores almost always have plastic bags that work for feet. Check the doughnut display
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Old 06-06-15, 01:35 AM   #12
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I thought fenders keep Randos dry?
I think it is a given that fenders won't keep a rider dry when there is a downpour. The forward motion of the bike/rider is going to mean said bike/rider is a bucket plunging headlong into the rain.

However, after two consecutive weekend experiences WITHOUT fenders on our Bike Fridays, I can indeed confirm my own suspicions that fenders work very well to keep excessive water off the shoes, ankles and shins, and are particularly effective in keeping all sorts of road crud off various parts of the bike, including me, water bottles, rear rack bags and, importantly, the drive train.


Most of our bikes have fenders, but I haven't bothered thus far to source fenders for the 20" wheels on the BFs. My research is about to begin.
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Old 06-07-15, 11:19 AM   #13
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I love the plastic donut bag suggestion. Going to use it someday for sure.
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Old 06-07-15, 12:06 PM   #14
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shouldn't you be sleeping?

In a pinch, you can use that type of bag for your hands too
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Old 06-09-15, 06:34 PM   #15
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Most of our bikes have fenders, but I haven't bothered thus far to source fenders for the 20" wheels on the BFs. My research is about to begin.
I keep my BF fenders on my PR virtually full time - the only exception is extended periods of sunny weather with a forecast of no more than 10% chance of rain.

The standard BF fenders for their 451 models do not uses struts, the fender is only supported by the mounting bracket made of aluminium, which I consider a design flaw. Metal fatigue will eventually kill them. I've had three of these fail from metal fatigue so far, including one received under warranty when the original part failed. The replacement lasted all of 6 months. I then replaced the failed metal parts with stainless steel reproductions and have not had them fail again.

If there's a significant chance of rain on long rides I'll take my nylon rain gear, which consists of pants and a jacket. The rain gear also works as an extra layer against hypothermia. I will also use small plastic bags around or inside the shoes to keep socks dry in rainy weather. Yes, sweat can be a problem, but it's the lesser evil compared to rain. I've found it difficult to find shoe covers big enough for my shoe size where I live (Japan).
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Old 06-11-15, 03:44 PM   #16
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I have a bent with 20" wheels and those suckers can throw impressive rooster tails on wet roads because they rotate so much faster than 700c wheels. I have fenders
permanently mounted for that reason.

My one experience as part of a team on a 500mi 48 hour time limit ride that was wet for the first 12-15 hours in mid 50s temps was feeling
fine while on the bike but getting hypothermic in the car after my 85 mile stint in the rain.

Last edited by sch; 06-11-15 at 03:48 PM.
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