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Old 10-18-06, 07:59 PM   #1
vrkelley
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Rain - maintaining speed

Well the rainy season is here and I'm trying to figure out how to maintain the same speed in the rain especially over longer distances. I can't seem to do the same cadence. Any suggestions for maintaining reasonable cruising speeds in the rain??
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Old 10-19-06, 12:04 AM   #2
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Fenders, good lights, decent rain gear, appropriate tires, and good brakes are all essential. If you're cold, wet, miserable, or lacking confidence in your bike's ability to corner or stop you're not going to go as fast.

Aside from all this, unless you're training to race in these kind of conditions I wouldn't worry too much about speed. My commute takes 5-10 minutes longer on nasty days, and on longer rides in foul weather (when I feel like doing them) I'm usually happy just not to be too wet and grouchy.
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Old 10-19-06, 10:19 AM   #3
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You can not, safely, maintain as high a speed in the rain. The street surface is slicker when wet... you can't corner as sharply or as fast as on dry pavement; you have to slow down or crash. Your brakes will not work as well on wet rims so you will need a bit more time to bring your bike to a stop. You can make that time available by going slower or by braking sooner than on dry pavement... for unexpected stops, option 2 disappears, you can maintain a safety margin only by going slower.

During the first hard rain after every dry spell, the roads in the Pacific Northwest are littered with the remains of fender-bender accidents that number about three of four times the amount of wreckage generated on a dry day. Much is made of the fact that "street oil" being rinsed off the pavement is the cause of these accidents and it does add to the slickness of the road. The actual reason for this spike in accidents is that drivers have not yet adjusted their speed, braking and following distance to fit the conditions..... bikes need to do the same.
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Old 10-19-06, 11:38 AM   #4
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I pedaled to work today (Portland Oregon). It was raining and the road was covered with wet leaves. I made it a point to slow down a bit.
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Old 10-19-06, 01:32 PM   #5
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It's leaf season. I slid cornering on some wet leaves yesterday but didn't go down. I wasn't even going that fast.
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Old 10-19-06, 09:51 PM   #6
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If there's one thing I don't miss about Seattle, its the rain. I was there this summer for the first time in years and it was beautiful sunshine, the rain didn't cross my mind.
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Old 10-20-06, 03:37 PM   #7
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You have to accelerate all those raindrops and that takes energy!



If it's really raining, I like to slow down and enjoy it. Obviously, I'm new to the Northwest.
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Old 10-20-06, 11:31 PM   #8
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Other parts of the country have squirrels and deer. Here, we have both deer and squirrels and an even bigger obstacle at this time of year, banana slugs.

Banana slugs are very sticky, it's best to slow down so as to avoid running them over.

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Old 11-04-06, 09:45 AM   #9
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a big honkin' mudflap off the front fender, big shoes with wool socks a good head/wind/rain covering so as to not be distracted by drip and spray.

the distraction of feeling like a soaked cat in a monsoon can knock your speed down a couple of K. You know, when you're riding, the water is streaming down thru your helmet vents into your face with sweat and hair product stinging your eyes, fog in the glasses kind of riding....

Also, the biggest tires you can stuff between the stays.

for winter rubber, bigger IS better. I recommend going 'cross' if your bike won't take at LEAST a 700x32c with fenders for the best traction for rainy riding.

but its true, you just can't or shouldn't go as fast. how about these evening Seattle commutes this last week, eh people? I can't even imagine drivers seeing me very well on Thursday night, thas' for sure!
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Old 11-04-06, 10:33 PM   #10
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I broke a brake cable on my Raleigh 20 trying to stop in the rain the other day. We're getting soaked right now! I guess it makes up for the wonderful Indian Summer this October. November is traditionally the wettest month in the PNW.
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Old 11-05-06, 05:25 PM   #11
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yeah, I'd say the monsoons are officially here. My SP jacket has a whole in the arm from a crash a year or 2 ago. The patch fell off so the coat sprung a leak at the elbow.
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Old 01-17-07, 08:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkelley
Well the rainy season is here and I'm trying to figure out how to maintain the same speed in the rain especially over longer distances. I can't seem to do the same cadence. Any suggestions for maintaining reasonable cruising speeds in the rain??
Make sure you are seen by vehicles, and wear protective gear. For me i ride in what ever weather conditions occur and ride well too. I think it is in the head, perhaps afraid of crashing. Maybe it is the wind that mesess up your cadence.
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