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About Getting Wet

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About Getting Wet

Old 05-03-21, 02:02 PM
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About Getting Wet

Whether you are riding a bike, running, or walking - how do you feel about rain? We all get wet when we spend time outdoors. At times we are prepared for wet, and at other times we are surprised.
In the warm weather of late spring or summer, I don't mind being doused by a surprise shower. If I see it coming I'll either dress for it or stay inside.
Got doused today. It made me think of it.
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Old 05-03-21, 02:11 PM
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I live in the Puget Sound. We know a thing or two about being in the rain. The importance of layers, the difference between water resistant/waterproof, wool socks, fenders. A whole bunch of fenders. And lights. Yeah, gotta have lights.
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Old 05-03-21, 02:12 PM
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A couple of weekends ago, I was compelled to do my birthday ride: 61 miles on my 61st birthday. Been doing that at least since I turned 50, and I suppose I'll continue until I can't. I offer the compulsion part of that because it was low 40s and raining for about the first 30 miles or so. Not my favorite weather to ride in and right between getting really sweaty with dedicated rain clothes and getting cold and damp without dedicated rain clothes. I went without and managed not to get hypothermic and then warmed up once the rain stopped. If it had been another day, I probably would have stayed home. But I ride plenty in the rain between commuting and getting caught in a shower on a long ride (somewhat inevitable in the summer around here).
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Old 05-03-21, 02:49 PM
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There is a big difference between rain in the NW and rain in the east. Here in the east it is a heavy downpoor that will get you soaked to the bone in 15 sec.
The ifirst year here, after 30+ in Portland, OR area, I didn't think I needed an umbrella. Today there is one in every car and a couple by the front door and the back.

On one commute home from downtown to Alexandria the decision was made to go for it. there was no option. A bunch were waiting under the bridge but c'mon, really?! If you have another 9 miles to go, what is the likelihood you will stay dry? 0

Fenders are great, even theses worked really well.
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I was just thinking about riding in the rain. I need to pick a bike to do that with. My thinking is the Trek 610. I have a 760 to do the dry fast thing. I think the 610 is a great candidate.
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Old 05-03-21, 02:56 PM
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Rule 9. Don't like it, rule 5.

But in reality, while I was born a bada$$ (the proof is below), I never go if it is raining at the start or the forecast is greater than 50%. I'm pretty much a pansy as I age.

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Old 05-03-21, 03:12 PM
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If the weekly forecast is for rain in the morning, I drive to work. If the forecast calls for afternoon thunderstorms, I drive. I don’t mind rain, it is the lightning that keeps me off.

Weekend morning, I ride in the rain cause there is rarely lightning that early.
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Old 05-03-21, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dweenk View Post
Whether you are riding a bike, running, or walking - how do you feel about rain? We all get wet when we spend time outdoors. At times we are prepared for wet, and at other times we are surprised.
In the warm weather of late spring or summer, I don't mind being doused by a surprise shower. If I see it coming I'll either dress for it or stay inside.
Got doused today. It made me think of it.
I'm riding a lot less now in the rain. Some of it is getting softer and less driven but a real part is that I've crashed enough. Rain is associated with slipperier roads, wet leaves and pavement paint, lower visibility; both from drivers and me as a full-time glasses wearer. I really don't want to hit the corner of my hip or ankle again. I already have to pad the hips (both sides) and ankle (one side) to sleep.

Yes, I'm getting soft but I have done my share. 3 years of racing and training in whatever, just grabbing the appropriate bike. Commuting 2-4 days/week for many years year 'round in Alameda, Ann Arbor, Boston, Seattle and Portland. I've ridden the fix gear through puddles (pools?) of water nearly up to the bottom bracket in three of those cities. The fix gear race training rides upwind for 50 miles, lunch in downtown wherever and the spin home after on dead legs. My first open (real) race, 105 miles in real (Maine) rain. As wet as I've ever been, by 1/3 of the way through. Riding along the Kennebec River I couldn't repress the thought that I could take a veer to the right and I wouldn't get any wetter. The post race jokes about what tires tasted best. The bike racer behind every bush in the park of downtown Waterville. The curses by those with shoes without those dumb holes in the sole.

On low traffic days it is fun to go for long rides in enough clothing to be fully warm while soaked. I still do it occasionally. (With fenders! Being soaked is fun but being soaked in road filth? Not my bag.)
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Old 05-03-21, 03:33 PM
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For me, the worst part about riding in the rain is when my brake pads pick up a shard of metal, and I hear it grate against the rim. My bikes are too nice to put up with this.

Fortunately, I really don't have to ride in the rain. A good ten months out of the year, we have plenty of dry days. If I still worked a 9-5 job where I couldn't pick and choose riding days based on weather, I would feel different about it.
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Old 05-03-21, 03:48 PM
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I enjoy riding in the rain. I'm not a fan of strong headwinds/gusts though. If it starts getting above 20mph, I'm unlikely to ride.
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Old 05-03-21, 05:15 PM
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With my C&V bikes and their unsealed everything I avoid it like the plague. On my other bikes I avoid it because I'm a wuss and I've done my share of commuting 5+ years in the BC rain most weeks.
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Old 05-03-21, 05:16 PM
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I have ridden in the rain all my life, back in HS I rode everywhere with the howling wind from the Columbia river gorge out in East county, it rained from Sept. to July back then.

My best friends house was only about 2mi. away but it seemed like 10 in the dark with the wind and rain beating you to a pulp most of the time.

I have commuted plenty the last 6-7 years, plenty of rain and drizzle. Wore out the water proofing of a stellar Drift Creek Outdoors Tundra Tech $30 jacket in the last year, still works fine off the bike. Should have bought half a dozen.

Replaced it with an Eddie Bauer BC Uplift that so far works very well early on, no commuting yet but several pouring rain rides have gone well.

Its all about the gear and wrangling it, mix, match, too hot, cold, sweaty, etc. ad nauseam, we all know the drill, I normally overdress so am too hot and or sweaty but cannot tolerate much cold when riding, especially cold and wet.

Merino is the great equalizer for me, hat, socks and a base or mid layer can level out a lot of misjudgement for me.

Here's a crappy pic of the setup,

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Old 05-03-21, 06:13 PM
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Not a fan. Been caught out in it, but avoid it if possible. One big factor for me is that I wear glasses, so visibility suffers when the lenses are all wet. My ability to pick out pot holes and road ruts/cracks diminishes.
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Old 05-03-21, 06:50 PM
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Being warm is key. Dry, not so much.
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Old 05-03-21, 07:01 PM
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Hate it. Usually get caught out 1-2 times per year.

Last week a fast-moving squall came out of nowhere when I was 15 miles away from home. I hunkered down under a railway bridge while the worst passed, but it was getting dark, so I had to ride in the rain. Road were wet and I got soaked. Mostly, I hate having to deep clean the bike. There was still a lot of grit on the roads from winter and much of it ended up on the bike. I worry about slick spots as well. Lots of manhole covers, painted lines, grates, and rail tracks to negotiate. Really have to slow it down when it's wet.
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Old 05-03-21, 07:58 PM
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In Southern California it is rare to get caught in the rain. I have been damp from drizzle a few times and actual rain only a couple of times in the last several years. This year is probably the least amount of rain ever so I logged many dry miles from winter to spring. When I was young and my bike was my only transportation it wasn’t too bad to ride in the rain my wife and I lived on a sailboat and had our bikes on deck . We both had jobs and commuted without fenders but we had real good foul weather gear. When you are in your twenties it is amazing how tough you can be!
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Old 05-03-21, 08:19 PM
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Just went out last week in a light drizzle with comfortable temperatures (60F maybe?) and I kinda liked it. I was wearing water resistant clothing which was fine with light rain, but a down pour would have soaked me. What surprised me was the effect it had on my bike. I thought I chose the bike of choice with fenders, 28mm tires and wheels with a nice tread on them but after the ride, I parked it back in the warm dry garage, toweled it down a bit and left it. The next morning I noticed the huge stained marks on the rims and signs of rust on my chain, cassette and chain ring.
I already added a post about the rims to find it that's brake and grit debris so washed that off but didn't expect the bits of rust. I guess there's probably a better bike I should be riding in the rain, probably one made of aluminum and disc brakes.
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Old 05-03-21, 08:21 PM
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When I was young and dumb I was introduced to the phrase "embrace the suck".

You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

(looking for a picture and not seeing it? Thank the Photobucket fiasco.PM me and I'll link it up.)
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Old 05-03-21, 08:29 PM
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I ride strictly for fun so I don't intentionally ride in the rain. But in the heat of summer on the gulf coast you can never predict the pop up thunderstorms so I inevitably get caught in some very heavy rain. Sometimes blindingly heavy.

The roads tend to puddle heavily toward the right edge so you have to ride in the center of the lane. Hope the rain didn't short the tail light out. Fortunately, there's not much traffic on the roads I ride. Unfortunately, that means what traffic there is does not expect anything to be in front of them.

And I worry that such a soaking isn't necessarily good for a 40 year old machine.

Aside from those concerns, I really enjoy it. You're as wet as you can possibly get within the first minute and after that who cares. I'd much rather have that than riding on wet roads and slowly getting wetter and wetter from the filthy spray. Wouldn't want to do it all the time, but when I do get caught I do think it's fun. Of course it's warm and usually not more than 15 or 20 minutes at most, so it's easy to take it as a lark rather than a major inconvenience.
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Old 05-03-21, 09:12 PM
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I like being the guy who rides when everyone else weenies out. But poor visibility conditions will keep my off the road.
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Old 05-03-21, 10:13 PM
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It's fine for commuting, and I have the gear/fenders, but I see no reason to go recreationally riding in the rain. Brake gunk from aluminum dust mixing with water, and chain gunk from the lube and water get all over everything and are difficult to clean off, no matter whether you have fenders or not.

Of course I could get a bike with disc brakes and belt drive. But I tried that and it caused more hassle than it saved.

The gunk's a mild nuisance compared to the downright-hazardous-when-wet thick reflective green paint that some genius urban planner has decided must cover all bike lanes. I have fallen because of it. Before that became ubiquitous, I once fell because of slippery white crosswalk bars. When will they learn? I toured all over Europe and their white/green/red/yellow reflective pavers and "cats eyes" reflective lumps in the road never gave me a lick of trouble. Still, I can't avoid commuting in all weather. Parking's too expensive/difficult for me to drive and public transit too unreliable for me to ever take it.
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Old 05-03-21, 10:15 PM
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I was a Seattle bike messenger for 10 years. Winter months were pretty rough. 40 degrees, windy, and raining for months on end, there were so many days that I just wanted to quit.
I'd love to know how many pairs of brake pads I'd worn out in that time. Sometimes you would go through a pair in a day or two. I wore through my fair share of rims too. My apartment had white carpet, or at least it did when I moved in. I don't think I got my deposit back. It was pretty crappy sometimes, but also the funnest job I've ever had.
I was sick of being cold and wet, so I moved to Palm Springs.
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Old 05-03-21, 11:32 PM
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They say that it rains somewhere everyday in Hawaii.

The heat and humidity make things here generally sticky, as many who have visited or lived here can attest.

I once watched a student pull the extra garbage bag from under a trash can, punch holes for arms and his head, and ride a fixie home during a torrential downpour. At night.

We all have our own tolerances, but I generally don't start a ride while it's raining or with too much standing water. Other than that, most rides are a little wet. And that's just fine by me.
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Old 05-04-21, 01:20 AM
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Gortex Coat

I have no choice. I live in the centre of a city that has no parking. Have been car free for 15 years. I used to own four motor vehicles and two motorbike. 25 miles a day. The best investment I have ever made was an ex Policeman gortex jacket. In the UK the police have their own disposal service that debadges official kit. They sell for 90% less that retail on Ebay. Just a cycle shirt underneath and good from minus 20 up to about 10 degrees C.
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Old 05-04-21, 06:48 AM
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I can deal with getting caught in an occasional pop-up shower, but I really don't like riding in the rain. I have a bike with fenders just to be able to ride on wet roads, but it rarely gets used. I wear glasses, so visibility is a factor, plus I don't like being cold and wet. On my rides, I'll scope out barns, picnic shelters, and overpasses for potential places to seek refuge from storms. I ride for fun, so it doesn't make sense to do it when it's just going to make me miserable.
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Old 05-04-21, 07:11 AM
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I pushed my luck to far yesterday with Mother Nature (TX) with Thunderstorms and Tornados in the forecast. The extra 5 miles I attempted resulted in dealing with Thunderstorm and strong rain/wind as I struggled to get home. Atleast I took the trail bike knowing that this maybe the case again. Was actually sorta nice when the humid 90 weather quickly dropped to 70 and gave me a nice drenching.
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