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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 03-24-09, 08:40 PM   #1
Pedal Wench
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200K in the rain?

Would you do it? Forecast calls for 70% chance of thunderstorms for a 200K this weekend. Surprisingly warm - temps in the 60's. I have a good rain jacket, but not much else that's truly waterproof and breathable. What do you think?

Edit: I should add that I have a major commitment the next morning, and I have to be 100% on my bike - can't afford an injury.
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Old 03-24-09, 08:44 PM   #2
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Yep.

http://www.machka.net/brevetstories.htm
http://www.machka.net/pbp2007/2007_PBPExperience_2.htm

and especially ... http://www.machka.net/brevet/2005_600.htm
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Old 03-24-09, 09:23 PM   #3
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Nope.
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Old 03-24-09, 09:33 PM   #4
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Sure.

Strangely enough, I find riding in the rain rather pleasant. None of my gear is particularly waterproof, so anything that has to stay dry goes into plastic shopping bags or ziplock baggies. I found out the hard way that cell phones don't work well when wet, so those especially go in a ziplock bag.
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Old 03-24-09, 09:46 PM   #5
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I like riding in the rain, but not when it's colder than that. I think I used to have a rule that I didn't ride in the rain below 47F.
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Old 03-24-09, 10:25 PM   #6
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The only thing that especially bothers me when riding in the rain is wet shoes. There is something about sloshing around in soaked shoes all day that really bugs me. If I were in your position I would add waterproof booties/shoe covers and then be happy.

Good luck!
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Old 03-24-09, 11:10 PM   #7
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Would. Have.
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Old 03-25-09, 02:18 AM   #8
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Go for it!
Just remember that stops should be very brief so you don't cool off too much. Also, if you're driving or taking the train to the start, it could be a good idea to bring a change of clohes and leave it at the start/finish if you can so you can go home in dry clothes. I remember a 200 I did in the rain last year and I had a 30 mn train ride after that, and I was really freezing in my wet clothes (it's one of the rare times I used an emergency blanket to keep me warmer in the train)
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Old 03-25-09, 04:18 AM   #9
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Hell yeah.
Think about how nice your next dry 200 will be!

I tend to chaff a lot in the wet so make sure your undercarriage is well oiled.
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Old 03-25-09, 06:49 AM   #10
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Don't forget mudguards, they make a big difference, particularly with long mudflaps fitted.
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Old 03-25-09, 06:55 AM   #11
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I rode a 200K through the Shenandoah Valley last weekend with the Randonneurs of the Mid Atlantic. The temps were near freezing and it started to rain 50 miles in, then rained steadily the rest of the way. I was wearing double layer wool on top and loose fitting nylon pants (with liner) on the bottom. I was still sweating so elected not to wear rain gear (easy choice since I didn't have any). I got a little cold at the final control (27 miles to the finish) so I put on a wool trainer. I stayed warm enough the rest of the way but I can say that I was definitely glad to change into dry clothes after truning in my Brevet card.

My advice: Man up and ride in the rain. The personal gratification at the finish is worth your effort.
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Old 03-25-09, 08:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedal Wench View Post
Would you do it? Forecast calls for 70% chance of thunderstorms for a 200K this weekend. Surprisingly warm - temps in the 60's. I have a good rain jacket, but not much else that's truly waterproof and breathable. What do you think?

Edit: I should add that I have a major commitment the next morning, and I have to be 100% on my bike - can't afford an injury.
to join in on what the others have said, I find that a major hallmark of brevet riding is the 'no rain days, no excuses, get it done' attitude that comes with the events.

There are a lot of different club rides and race clinics that one can do for getting in physical conditioning and strength training, but randonneuring is really about the mental conditioning of accepting the day as it comes and dealing with it to the best of your ability. So, to answer your specific question, " yes, if rain were involved, I would definitely ride; if I had a longer ride in mind (600, 1000, 1200) for later in the season then I would make an extra-special effort to be out there"

With that said, last year's Boston 600 was assaulted by a fairly fierce thunder and lightning storm with near zero visibility in many spots. Like, "people would lose sight of their companions just by crossing a street" level of visibility. That ride had a rather severe attrition rate, but I don't think anyone would fault the riders for choosing safety first. So there are, of course, limits and the need to rise to a challenge from weather shouldn't encourage you to do anything foolish. Stay safe, and use your best judgement.

If you approach it less as a physical challenge and more as a mental exercise, then tame your speed, ride conservatively and accept the rain; you might find it rather rewarding.

Last edited by spokenword; 03-25-09 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 03-25-09, 08:26 AM   #13
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oh, and also, we all have a dozen boring stories about perfect rides in the sunshine, but drama-ridden war stories about 8 hours in the rain always have their special glamor.
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Old 03-25-09, 08:36 AM   #14
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If we waited for nice days up here in the PNW, we'd never ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LWaB View Post
Don't forget mudguards, they make a big difference, particularly with long mudflaps fitted.
Fenders and flaps are essential. There's a polite reminder on the SiR rides & brevets site, telling people if they show up for a wet ride w/o fenders and flaps you will be riding at the back of the pack all day.


2 weeks ago the first 100k pop. of the season was a mix of snow, rain and torrential rain... we still had about 50 people show up.
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Old 03-25-09, 08:42 AM   #15
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It kind of sucks but if your prepared it's not so bad. Also if your planning on doing an ultra your likely not going ot have perfect weather for entire duration.
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Old 03-25-09, 09:58 AM   #16
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Been there, done that, got the mud stained jersey. Do it.
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Old 03-25-09, 10:00 AM   #17
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Did it Friday before last. 11 am start, temps in the mid 40's. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 03-25-09, 10:33 AM   #18
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Shoot! With temps in the 60's you'll barely even need the rainjacket. Just wear wool, and keep moving. I've got a 200k coming up this Sat, and the forecast is 60% chance of rain, high of 49. I say ride, and thank your lucky stars you're not in the Pacific Northwe(s)t right now.

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Old 03-25-09, 11:08 AM   #19
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Did it in sandals.
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Old 03-25-09, 11:35 AM   #20
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It would depend on where it was, too. We lived up in Ft. Collins, CO, and if you got a thunderstorm up there, it was going to sprinkle for 20 minutes and be done, and it was dry enough, you'd be dry shortly, too. Not quite that way down here in Dallas.
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Old 03-25-09, 12:11 PM   #21
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It's in north Georgia. None of my group have fenders/mudflaps/nothing. Still on the fence. I'm doing a volunteer event the next day that more than enough covers my mental toughness requirement.

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Old 03-25-09, 12:30 PM   #22
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go for it - the only thing that will melt in the rain is your fear of riding in the rain.

if nobody has flaps, then just get ready to eat some road grit. sometimes you can position yourself just to the side of the rider in front of you, so that their spray hits your shoulder and not your face. it helps when that's all you've got.

also i would suggest bringing spare socks/gloves if you go, and possibly switch them out halfway or something. even a 200 can be a hellish ride if you're wet all day.
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Old 03-25-09, 03:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
"temps in the 60's"
... and the problem is?
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Old 03-25-09, 07:01 PM   #24
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You don't need or want waterproof, except for your feet. You're fast, so you'll keep warm. Pair of PI or equivalent tights, not the heavy thermo. Short sleeve Craft undershirt. Summer short sleeve jersey. Arm warmers. Wind vest. Microfiber rain jacket, very light. Wool socks. AmFib or similar booties, not neoprene. Another pair of wool socks in a ziploc. Headband to keep the water out of your eyes. I don't think you'll need a skullcap in those temps.

Here's the secret: get a couple of grocery store plastic vegetable bags. Cut the bottoms out. Roll up the bottom of your tights. Put your shoes on, then the plastic bags leaving the bottoms of your shoes unbagged, then roll the bottoms of your tights down over the plastic bags which are wrapped around your bare legs. Then the booties. Some bootie/tight combinations need the booties on the inside. Whichever. Doesn't really matter. If your feet get too warm, just take the bags off.

Bring some extra butt grease in a 35mm film container.

+++ on the fenders and mudflaps. You'll be loved.

Keep your mouth closed while riding past farm entrances.

I rode a 200 at 33° and raining with about the above equipment. Other than not being able to feel my feet for about 80 miles, I was fine, though miserable some of the time. Numb feet does not mean damage unless it's below freezing. I rode hard, though!
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Old 03-27-09, 09:36 AM   #25
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My rain has turned into 90% chance of severe thunderstorms all day with damaging high winds (tornadoes!) so common sense is winning out.
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