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Old 09-07-08, 12:44 PM   #1
antokelly
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touring in the rain would you go for it.

if you were guaranteed rain on you tour would you still go,i know everyone well myself maby,look's at a tour with sunshine in mind but here in ireland especally this summer the rain has been non stop not great cycling weather,ok im still out there cycling done 50 on friday and the same again today no rain on the day but it sure came down during the night.i was thinking of buying a small boat who knows with this global warming cycling might become a thing of the past .
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Old 09-07-08, 12:56 PM   #2
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I wouldn't go if it was going to rain all the time. I did live in Ireland where if you didn't do it in the rain you just didn't do it. We would go rock climbing on a rainy day. (I've been ice climgbing on a rainy day, the only problem being the drive home). When I came back to NA, I went out climbing one day and it started to rain, and we just kept climbing while other groups decamped. They were even telling us we were irresponsible to keep at it. That was in the mid 70s. Now I just need a little more comfort than I can get camping and cycling in non-stop rain. I keep at it if it rains while I am out there, but I wouldn't head out into it if I knew better. Also, I never really worry about cars, but rainy weather is the exception. I do not feel as safe with reduced visibility and road holding. Also rain doesn't make even drivers happy and their mental attitude is part of the battle.
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Old 09-07-08, 01:48 PM   #3
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Yes ... I've started tours in downpours, and I know that it absolutely 100% will rain several times when I am on a tour.

I spent the first two months on my three-month Australian tour riding in the rain and hearing, "Well it was nice here yesterday, we don't understand what happened. An unexpected, unseasonable cold front moved in late last evening (about the time I arrived) and it's been cold and rainy ever since."

Same thing in Europe last year.

Same thing on our "hub and spoke" tour in BC this year.

When I ride, tour, camp, travel ... it rains. I've acquired a good selection of rain gear.
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Old 09-07-08, 01:50 PM   #4
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Well, what do you mean rain? It rains most places on this planet. Some places it rains every day, some places once evry couple of years. Some places it rains in torrents, others it rains lightly.

I'd say if I were to bike in the rain, I'd be well prepared with the proper equipment. I'd ride using the 12 raindrop principle (of my own design). It's rather like the Beaufort Scale. Select an area about 1 metre square. A puddle is excellent, a square metre of grass is poor. If all you have is grass, use a square metre of newspaper.

Observe how many raindrops fall onto the square metre in a second, and the size of the raindrop. If the raindrop is moderate, then I will bike when a maximum of 12 hit a square metre in one second. With the rain gear I have, I will remain dry at that rate. You've got to figure out your own Stokell Scale.
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Old 09-07-08, 02:13 PM   #5
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that's a wee bit complicated for me stokell,ok im cycling near enough all my life not touring and iv'e been caught out in all kinds of weather but when your ready to head out the door and it's lashing rain and the forecast says rain for the rest of the week,well then you have to think twice ,there aint going to be much fun cycling and camping in conditions like that,oh and rain is rain no matter what way if fall's from the sky.
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Old 09-07-08, 02:20 PM   #6
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that's a wee bit complicated for me stokell,ok im cycling near enough all my life not touring and iv'e been caught out in all kinds of weather but when your ready to head out the door and it's lashing rain and the forecast says rain for the rest of the week,well then you have to think twice ,there aint going to be much fun cycling and camping in conditions like that,oh and rain is rain no matter what way if fall's from the sky.
But if I were going to stop touring because I know it will rain ... I wouldn't tour. And I'd rarely cycle. I've never done a tour where it didn't rain. I've even done tours where it snowed.
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Old 09-07-08, 02:56 PM   #7
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yeah machka but is your rainy tour's as memorable as great sunny tours,i dont think so.ok if you get caught out in bad weather well there's not much you can do about that,but what im saying is to start out in it knowing it's going to be bad for your whole trip.i suppose if you were to list your favourate reasons for touring rain woulden't be on that list now would it .
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Old 09-07-08, 03:56 PM   #8
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is your rainy tour's as memorable as great sunny tours
When I'm planning a trip, if I have a choice between planning one in a more sunny climate/season, I'll probably prefer that over a more rainy season/climate.

However, once I am on a planned trip, I'll pretty much continue through the weather. In a multi-month trip, if I'm feeling a bit "ahead", I might take a rain day here or there, but it is rare to take two rain days in a row.

I've cycled through snow and my share of rain including road detours due to flooding. What was probably most challenging was cycling poorly surfaced gravel roads in NWT or Russia after too much rain. On last years trip, I had a few days of "peanut butter roads" and in hindsight at least, that is among the more memorable experiences.
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Old 09-07-08, 04:23 PM   #9
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Loathe rain. (1) It makes camping a chore. (2) I can't see through my glasses. (3) I worry that cars with lousy windshield wipers can't see me.

I've toured Ireland, and wouldn't do it again as a camper. Rain, I think, is best appreciated in a wee pub with a beer or tea.
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Old 09-07-08, 06:03 PM   #10
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yeah machka but is your rainy tour's as memorable as great sunny tours,i dont think so.ok if you get caught out in bad weather well there's not much you can do about that,but what im saying is to start out in it knowing it's going to be bad for your whole trip.i suppose if you were to list your favourate reasons for touring rain woulden't be on that list now would it .
Are my rainy tours as memorable as my sunny tours? Yes, definitely .... even more so! I completely forgot that I did have two sunny tour ... my Montana Hub and Spoke tour in early August this year was sunny the whole time ... well, except for the 15 minutes I was setting up my tent the first night. And an overnight tour to Pine Lake in 2006 was also dry.

Have a look at my website ... I've logged my rainy tours there. Every time it rains ... listending to the sound of the rain and breathing in the smell of the rain ... I immediately think of camping. And tons of pleasant memories of numerous camping trips flood back.

Rain is such a natural part of camping, touring, travelling, and cycling for me. That said, this year, for the first time I have actually been trying to avoid cycling in the rain ... with only marginal success. I am the rain queen ... clouds seem to follow me no matter where I go. The Australians love me!!

However, if I were about to start a tour and it was pouring rain (been there twice), I would go anyway (which I did both times) with the thought/comment, "Well, let's start this and see what happens." And I didn't regret either tour.

As with most of my tours, I would also take some escape precautions ... I'd bring train schedules, bus schedules, perhaps some car rental info, and definitely hostel info. Camping in the rain isn't terrible, but sometimes it is nice to stop in at a hostel (or hotel if you can afford it) for a night or two now and then to get out of the rain. Sometimes it is also nice to catch a train one day, rather than ride ... especially if you've heard rumors that it isn't raining in a certain part of the country a little ways away. If it's going to be a rainy tour, it's good to be flexible and keep your options open.


Oh, and one more thing ... bring a decent rain poncho. Rain ponchos are great for standing around the campsite, for dashing to the toilet in the middle of the night, for setting up and taking down the tent, for doing a scenic hike, and sometimes even for riding in the rain.

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Old 09-07-08, 09:47 PM   #11
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But if I were going to stop touring because I know it will rain ... I wouldn't tour. And I'd rarely cycle. I've never done a tour where it didn't rain. I've even done tours where it snowed.

OK. 3 things:

#1 I'd tour with Machka because of her great attitude.

#2 I wouldn't tour with Machka because it'll probably rain.

#3 Lightning, no. Most other weather yes.
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Old 09-07-08, 09:50 PM   #12
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OK. 3 things:

#1 I'd tour with Machka because of her great attitude.

#2 I wouldn't tour with Machka because it'll probably rain.

#3 Lightning, no. Most other weather yes.



And if you don't like lightening, you'd better scratch me off your tour-partner list. Just ask Rowan!!!! We experienced a lightening strike recently that scared me half to death ... and I've come very close to being struck before.
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Old 09-07-08, 10:18 PM   #13
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if you were guaranteed rain on you tour would you still go,
Not much choice around here, you might be able to predict no rain a week ahead but not much more. Even in a bad drought in general, in most of southern Australia or the east coast you have to be prepared for rain, even summer storms.

Now why can't it be like that in the farming areas, and dry at the beaches?
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Old 09-07-08, 11:33 PM   #14
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Not much choice around here, you might be able to predict no rain a week ahead but not much more. Even in a bad drought in general, in most of southern Australia or the east coast you have to be prepared for rain, even summer storms.

Now why can't it be like that in the farming areas, and dry at the beaches?
Hehe ... just wait till I move into the area ... you'll be able to count on rain!!



Unless my rain luck finally changes.
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Old 09-08-08, 12:22 AM   #15
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So I gather central Victoria has some happy times coming? And I thought Canada was going to gain an experienced rally organiser instead
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Old 09-08-08, 01:37 AM   #16
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Not if I had to camp in the rain every night. I could ride in the rain every day if I were sleeping indoors.
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Old 09-08-08, 02:03 AM   #17
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Antokelly, it kind of depends on lots of non-rain factors. If you have good rain gear, waterproof panniers and you've set up your bike to be highly visible (light colours, reflectors, good lights, etc), riding in the rain is usually OK. Some factors that might give me pause would be: atrocious drivers (think north east of India); slippery roads with high speed traffic and no shoulder (v scary in the wet); low temperatures and high winds (miserable), mists and fogs (visibility). Weigh up the issues -- some days are just better suited to a snug Irish pub, a pretty colleen and a good single malt.
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Old 09-08-08, 06:07 AM   #18
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well i guess im just a fair weather tourist, i really dont think i would enjoy the experence but fair to you lot especally machka hard as bloody nails ,i mean that in a nice way.ok the sun is shineing here in the emerald isle so im off for a nice 50 miles because the rest of the week is for rain and more rain .thanks for all the comments.
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Old 09-08-08, 06:18 AM   #19
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Sign up for an organized tour. Those go rain or shine. Decide to take the day off , you'll have to play catch up. I would not mind warm rains quite as bad.. Still the wet feet problem, reduced traction . I don't like that. In a warm rain, its not so bad.
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Old 09-08-08, 06:46 AM   #20
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OK. 3 things:

#1 I'd tour with Machka because of her great attitude.

#2 I wouldn't tour with Machka because it'll probably rain.

#3 Lightning, no. Most other weather yes.
+1 on Machka's great attitude.

I am inclined to plan on places and times where it isn't likely to rain the whole trip, but if it rains it rains. It might get to be a grind if it rained hard day in and day out, but some rain is no big deal.

I have not taken days off because of rain, but have started late on rainy days after hanging out in the tent for a while.

In the open country like Montana and Wyoming lightning is kind of scary, but I wouldn't let it prevent me from doing a tour there. I also never took days off because there were t-storms in the forecast. In Wyoming, you might never move if you did that if my trip through there is any indication.

On the memorable thing... the rainy days are often the most memorable and not necessarily in a bad way.
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Old 09-08-08, 10:57 AM   #21
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my son is getting married to a montana girl in november ,all her folks are comming over to ireland for the wedding,maby i'll ask them to take me back just to see what real weather is really like .we dont get extream weather over this side of the pond aldough the rain has been getting heaver over the last few years ,i think i would prefair sunshine giving a choice.
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Old 09-08-08, 11:09 AM   #22
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Much of the world has distinct wet and dry seasons, and many of my trips were scheduled to take advantage of the predictably dry weather I could enjoy. Ireland is not one of those places, In fact, the wettest weather I experienced anywhere in the world while touring was in Ireland, where it rained parts of each day I was biking.
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Old 09-08-08, 12:31 PM   #23
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I'm not sure since i've only done good weather credit card touring (okay, no tent, no sleeping gear, and no food; however, I still carry all clothing items stuff that I need), but I carry everything I need for heavy rain.

I commute (well, not for the next 6 weeks) everyday rain or shine. I don't do recreational rides in the rain because I don't want to be bothered with relubing the chain. I have the feeling that I'd be more than willing to ride a tour in the rain. After all, I would have taken all the time off and have reservations made. The bike that I would take, I know I can trust the traction of the tires in the rain. I would probably have an extra blinky on the left pannier to help get drivers to realize I'm there.

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Old 09-08-08, 12:41 PM   #24
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A rainy day on tour is better than the BEST day at work!
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Old 09-08-08, 05:38 PM   #25
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So I gather central Victoria has some happy times coming? And I thought Canada was going to gain an experienced rally organiser instead
Well, we'll likely split our time between the two countries, but I suspect I'll be off to Australia first.
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