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As I drip my way into the office, I can exult...

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As I drip my way into the office, I can exult...

Old 06-03-05, 06:11 AM
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Eggplant Jeff
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As I drip my way into the office, I can exult...

I am NOT a fair-weather commuter!

However, I am a commuter who needs BETTER FENDERS! Ack!

I have a "Shockboard" front fender and a rear rack I made with a partial fender design. I thought they were pretty good, and they do work fine for keeping regular gravel or whatever off of me, and the occasional puddle. But in rain? Constant, soaking rain? With a very wet road?

My shoes filled up with water.

I mean, once I got up to speed it felt like someone had a glass of water and was pouring it into my shoes.

After I got to work, I turned each foot upside down and watched water run out of my shoes.

And the front fender doesn't go nearly far enough forward, the tire still sprays water up pretty high when I'm moving at a good clip.

Woo hoo though it was a blast riding in the rain. I must have had a big stupid grin on my face for half the ride in.

Next thing I need is a drying rack... one of those little things you hang clothes on to let them air-dry. I need a short one, I have an area where I could put one under my desk and it would be fairly inconspicuous.
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Old 06-03-05, 06:46 AM
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I have full fenders on my bike, but rain is rain. My shoes still become soaked.
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Old 06-03-05, 07:28 AM
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For warm weather, skip the socks and use a pair of Shimano or Lake sandals. No sloshing and they dry quickly.
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Old 06-03-05, 07:54 AM
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I agree, my full fnders do a lot, but my feet still got soaked in this morning's rain. Maybe rainpants and shoe covers would keep them dry, but that is just too hot and too much trouble on a day like today.

I'm fairly lucky when it comes to drying my stuff since I can hang it up in a janitor's closet that is not used during the day. I bought a compression curtain rod and mounted high up in the closet and then hang my clothes over the slop sink so even if they drip the floor stays dry. Someplace on here a guy had posted pics of how he had mounted some small cup hooks in the knee well of his deskto hang up his cycling stuff. It was very discrete unless you were crawling on the floor and didn't interfere with his use of the desk. Combined with a small heater or fan sitting under the desk he claimed things dried out pretty well. Just an idea if you have to dry stuff at your desk.

By the way, Eggplant what do you use for rain gear? I have a bike cape, which is fine as long its reasonably warm, but a cold fall rain will be really uncomfortable, so I am in the long term looking for another choice.
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Old 06-03-05, 08:41 AM
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I think what was happening was my rear tire in particular was flinging water down/forward (from the front of the tire) onto the back of my ankles / right down into the back of my shoes. I think a full rear fender would reduce that.

Yeah I was thinking on the way in how much better sandals would be. I did remove my socks almost immediately when I realized how wet they would be getting; I couldn't remember if I had a spare set at work or not so I figured I'd better keep the ones I had dry .

Rain gear... right now? Absolutely nothing. I was WET when I got to work . Didn't bother me though, I remembered to bring a small towel. Definitely will have to get something for winter, but I don't know what yet.
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Old 06-03-05, 08:42 AM
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Oh I forgot to mention, I was wearing a wicking polyester shirt (in neon orange of course) but it was drying out from the rain very quickly (I change anyway for work though). My regular cotton shorts, on the other hand, were soaked... I'm hoping they are dry by the time I go home or they'll be pretty yucky to wear. Maybe it's time for some bike shorts...
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Old 06-03-05, 08:56 AM
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What is this 'rain' that you speak of?
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Old 06-03-05, 09:43 AM
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Coming into work like a drowned rat is not advertisement for cycling, esp if you have a skunk stripe on your back. Enough distressed rodent analogies. Get some full-length fenders (like SKS).
In some intermediate temps, it is too hot for gortex and too cool for a jersey. A shower-proof windproof (eg pertex material )can cope quite well. Cotton is bad news for a wet commute. Use cycling shorts or a synthetic, quick-dying sports or hiking shorts.
The shoe problem is hard to solve. SPD sandals, mesh shoes, over-booties or in emergency, some plastic bags.
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Old 06-03-05, 09:55 AM
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I live in the UK, I am about to go out and get truly soaked to the bone...I have full fendars on my marin mill valley, and apart from stopping streams of puddles to gargle with you are gonna get soaked with almost any kit.... 22 miles of pure h2o tonight for me....
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Old 06-03-05, 09:57 AM
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oh...on a serious note, weather proof high vis stuff is a must!
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Old 06-03-05, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
I am a commuter who needs BETTER FENDERS! Ack!

But in rain? Constant, soaking rain? With a very wet road?

My shoes filled up with water.

I mean, once I got up to speed it felt like someone had a glass of water and was pouring it into my shoes.
You're getting the rain we had earlier this week.

I know all about the "pouring a glass of water into my shoes" feeling. That's why I got "real" fenders for my bike.
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Old 06-03-05, 03:45 PM
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FYI in this kind of weather (NoVA/DC folk) at this point I find rain gear to warm. I have an excellent cheap ($30) pertex jacket that I use in the winter when it's pouring, but today I rode in with my normal wicking shirt & bike shorts. I did put on some wool socks, they keep you warm even when wet. Alternatively I find the neoprene booties do a pretty good job of keeping your feet warm & dry, but again, I find them too toasty in this weather.

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Old 06-03-05, 04:46 PM
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Full fenders on my main commuting bike, HEAVY duty mudflaps that not only run down behind the tire nearly to the ground but extend outwards from the sides of the fenders aswell.


When it's raining out, I throw on a pair of gloves, a baseball cap, and a big old leather trenchcoat that I imagine is a lot like most "bike capes" but signicicantly heavier duty. (It's a trick to ride in a trench, though)

I stay bone dry for the first hour and a half, by tha time the damp has permeated me and I'm...wel...damp, but I'm afraid this "The rain soaked me!" feeling is something I've never experienced.

((A good solution to the shoes filling up with water is to wear good-quality boots...IE light-duty workboots...instead of certified cycling shoes.))
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Old 06-03-05, 06:22 PM
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Roadmistress, you've got to try it sometime. There is nothing quite like being absolutely soaked, outside in the rain. You're so wet, it doesn't even matter any more... rain is falling, your wheels are spraying you, who cares? It's kinda like being in a gigantic shower, it's just plain fun after a while. Oh and you don't need your water bottle .

Goes without saying of course that this is only true in warm weather .

I will definitely say it's more fun in poly clothes (or no clothes) than cotton, when cotton gets wet it gets too heavy and sticky.

The "pouring water into my shoes" was the wierdest thing. I had only been out for a couple minutes, I was getting rained on and wet from that just like you'd expect, but when I turned onto the road, sped up... all the sudden there was water filling my shoes. Just pouring on in.
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Old 06-03-05, 08:10 PM
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I always bring my loafers in inside my backpack on Monday and back home again Friday, wearing others footwear to ride (regular pedals). In rain, the other footgear is usually boots, sometimes sneakers. I'm resigned to the fact that my feet will get soaked, but with dry shoes at work, and the spare socks I hopefully remembered to bring, that's okay. Only problem then is when it rains for multiple days in a row, like last week, I either throw them in the dryer when I get home, or I start running out of dry pairs!

I'm thinking maybe I should get some waterproof shoe covering or something, but I don't know how much that would help, or how much I care...

As for the rest of my body, if the rain is warm, I just get wet. In the summer I keep a selection of shirts at work anyway, to change into after showering, and if it's raining, I bring the dress pants in the backpack. (Usually I'm just wearing them.) In the winter here, there's no rain, just snow or ice, but at least I don't have to worry about getting wet. In the cold rain of fall and spring, I have a full two-piece rain suit my wife got me, just regular rubber as far as I know. I look like a lobsterman. It doesn't breathe, but since the temp's only in the 40's or so, I need something to keep me warm anyway.
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Old 06-03-05, 08:25 PM
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It sounds like none of us have found the Holy Grail of dry, comfortable raingear. I am resigned to wet shoes and socks, but poly socks, shorts and shirts dry out really well during the work day. Now that I have enough poly clothes (cheap workout shorts and t-shirts rather than cycling specific) my cotton stuff is going to other uses.

At the end of tonight's ride home I found that my legs, from the bottom of my shorts to the top of my socks, were covered in a layer of grey mud and gravel. I doubt I could have painted it on any more evenly if I had tried. I still like the way a little rain clears out traffic on the trail. It is so much easier to commute when only the hardcore masochists are out.
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Old 06-03-05, 09:12 PM
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I rode 60 miles (pleasure riding, not commuting) in the pouring rain today. Because of my slow pace, due to a new longer distance and slow downhills on my hilly route, I was out there for almost five hours. I got as wet as I could be within an hour and a half, but was fairly comfortable for the whole of my ride in my bike shorts, polyester shorts worn over, poly shirt, and Fox rainjacket.

I have to admit, though... I just wished it would stop for even a half hour!
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Old 06-03-05, 11:11 PM
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OK people. This is a wake up call from rainy-Seattle!

Don't settle for wet anything. Your rain pants should be long enough to cover your shoes while the knee is at the 3 and 12 o'clock position.

If no pants are long enough, you'll need a hiking gaiter that prevents the shoe from filling with water.
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Old 06-03-05, 11:58 PM
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Also booties over your shoes will keep the rain out & the toes warm in Winter.
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Old 06-04-05, 06:01 PM
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If the inside of the shoes get wet too often, they may encourage athlete's foot...may not stay comfortable. Heck even a plastic shopping bag may work to protect your shoes and feet.
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