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commuting in the rain.

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commuting in the rain.

Old 05-05-09, 07:56 AM
  #1  
ibcrewin
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commuting in the rain.

My commute is not so long, only about 3.5 miles. I used to be a fair to light drizzle commuter until today. I put on my PB Cascadias and my rain poncho and I was set. The rain started coming down and the wind picked up. I'd say it was the type of rain they would cancel a baseball game for.

Anyway, riding was much slower and cautious. On nice days, i'm riding like it's a time trial. On a rainy day, I just want to get there. It took a little longer but nothing crazy, but the more important thing to consider is that I came in relatively dry. One thing I would change is the poncho. I think I want to get a proper rain cape. The poncho is kind of all over the place.

That's in thought i'd share.
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Old 05-05-09, 08:09 AM
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I had a pretty nice commute home in the rain last week. The only problem was that my shields got water on the inside and I had to take them off in order to see...yeah, I know, highly overrated, huh?

The rain was medium to heavy, but was not painful except at a couple of points where my speed is the highest...my average speed only dropped about 1/2 mph, though.
I was soaked through when I got home. And everything that was in my pannier was dry...except for my iPhone, which was in the bottom, sitting in about 1/2 inch of water. Went yeaterday and got seam sealer to tighten the bag up a bit.
Luckily the phone is okay, after shaking all the water out, and letting it sit overnight. I was scared for a bit, because the backlight and the mute button looked like they were not going to work.
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Old 05-05-09, 08:33 AM
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I don't mind riding in the rain, however:

1) bike cleanup can be a PITA
2) drivers don't expect cyclists in the rain
3) clothes / shoes will be wet @ the office.

Cold rain I do mind. I'll almost always avoid it.
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Old 05-05-09, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by oboeguy View Post
1) bike cleanup can be a pita

+1
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Old 05-05-09, 04:55 PM
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I took my fenders off this week. I feel a sense of foreboding.
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Old 05-05-09, 04:59 PM
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We've had a stretch of fall-like nasty rain here. This morning I changed my route a bit, went out of my way to MUP rather than take direct route along 4 lane speedway. Just seemed like more than I wanted to deal with.
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Old 05-05-09, 05:18 PM
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took my fairing off my bent of course it is raining. so I go to get some good rain pants as it is pouring down all day get back to my shop all dressed up and the rain stops.
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Old 05-05-09, 05:23 PM
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I find I am just as quick in the rain and I quite like the rain - it is cooling however you do have to watch out more for pedestrians as they tend to just step off the pavement into the road. At the moment I use a "shower proof" (yeah right) jacket, and "water proof" (yeah right) trousers, but plan to upgrade to just getting wet when I can change at work!
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Old 05-05-09, 07:15 PM
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It's rained off & on here for like 6 straight days! I'd move, but the bad weather would probably follow me!

I wear LL Bean rain jacket & rain pants. With fenders, and the rain gear, I arrive dry. It's been a little chilly, so I don't get sweaty. I'm actually looking forward to sweating!
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Old 05-05-09, 07:37 PM
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Reminded of a quote I saw this year:

"Cold and damp, - are they not as rich experience as warmth and dryness? - Thoreau, (from Journal)

I bought a pair of J&G rain pants. Almost eager to see if they were worth it.
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Old 05-05-09, 07:43 PM
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The problem with heavy rain is that it doesn't happen enough to be really prepared.

A poncho works well, but for a 3.5 mile commute I'd rather just get wet than fiddle with it.
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Old 05-05-09, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
I took my fenders off this week. I feel a sense of foreboding.
Why did you take your fenders off?
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Old 05-05-09, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by oboeguy View Post
1) bike cleanup can be a PITA
I treat my bike like the undercarriage of a car. I keep it mechanically sound, but I never clean it. I run fenders on my rainy day bike. It stays surprisingly clean - sometimes the rain makes it cleaner than when I started out.

Really! It's OK. Bicycles do not require washing. Ever.
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Old 05-06-09, 04:04 AM
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I got good and soaked coming home from work last night. I did have fenders, but they didn't help much after the first mile or so. I just had a regular long-sleeve jersey and tights.

If it had been ten degrees warmer it would have been kind of pleasant. Oh well.

Biggest issue was not being able to see anything through my sunglasses. Had them down on the tip of my nose for most of the ride, and then the water got in the eyes.
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Old 05-06-09, 05:46 AM
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I had ridden to work 11 days in a row until yesterday. The forecasters were calling for showers off-and-on all day, with potentially severe storms. I opted to drive even though it wasn't raining in the morning when I left, although the roads were wet. That turned out to be the right decision as we had high winds, heavy downpours and a few tornadoes right about the time I normally leave work. It would have been at the least very wet riding home, and at the worst dangerous. Some of the roads on my regular route were also flooded.

We have the same forecast for today, so I am driving again. I needed to drive today anyway because I have to help my daughter move out of her dorm at college after I leave work, but the forecast ruled out any fiddling with my schedule to try to squeeze in a ride. Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow.
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Old 05-06-09, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by oboeguy View Post
I don't mind riding in the rain, however:

1) bike cleanup can be a PITA
2) drivers don't expect cyclists in the rain
3) clothes / shoes will be wet @ the office.

Cold rain I do mind. I'll almost always avoid it.
+1 yeah, what he said. Add the caveat, multiple days of rain = me getting tired of touching my drivetrain.
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Old 05-06-09, 07:25 AM
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no bad weather, only bad clothes
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Old 05-06-09, 07:39 AM
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I take my fenders off on nice days and put them on the night before if it's going to be crappy for a few days. It takes no time and since I do it while I'm wiping the bike down.
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Old 05-06-09, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JimF22003 View Post
I got good and soaked coming home from work last night.
Yeah, after the first mile last night I just gave up thinking about it. the other 17 were a bit cold...

-R
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Old 05-06-09, 08:52 AM
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Be wary of potholes and ruts in the road that are hidden from view by water filling them during the rain. I crashed this morning riding into work when my front wheel fell into a rut and caused me to lose control. I was wearing sunglasses to keep the rain out of my eyes, but they greatly reduced my vision because of all of the water and road crap that was on them. ( detailed story here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?p=8865852 )
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Old 05-06-09, 09:04 AM
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zomar - glad you're still with us! I use glasses too - it's a mixed blessing - take them off and all that road junk goes in your eyes - put them on and deal with fogging and drops on the lenses - I use racquetball safety glasses
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Old 05-06-09, 09:06 AM
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Rode in a semi-torrential downpour into work on Friday. Figured 1.5 hours in the rain. J & G Raingear and it wasn't cold. Rode 7.5 hrs in the rain in N. Wales once, so I"m thinking my commute would be a snap by comparison. WRONG!

Was harrassed by a pitbull for 3-4 miles on a slight continual incline about 1/2 way through the commute. Needless to say it was a harrowing experience as he DEFINATELY wanted a piece of me. He came up out of the ditch to my right in full gallop growling w/t intent to bite...there was no doubt. As he reached my leg area I slammed on the brakes and he skidded by me. Then I began to chase HIM. He kept trying to manuever himself beside me, but I stayed in his blind spot and wouldn't give him a good angle. Now I know why air-combats are called 'dogfights'. Slammed into him from the rear several times once knocking him off his feet whereupon I covered his face w/Direct Stop to no avail. This is the 1st day in months I didn't bring my pellet pistol. The only thing that stopped him was that I chased him into the oncoming lane where a couple of cars had made the turn and were heading towards us. The road I was on 'Ts' w/another road. In forcing him into the oncoming lane he had to clear out of the way of the cars. He was between me and them and I was giving no ground. So, his only option was to go to the other side into the ditch. Saw him stop and look around confusedly. I think he forgot about me. I was able to make it to the corner(about 200 ft), turn left and climb my way out of the area. Don't know what happened to him as I wasn't concerned for his welfare at that point. Wasn't concerned about the ride home either as I know where the dog lives and figured his owners would've caught him and had him properly fenced in by the time I passed by there after work. He'd probably dug his way out as the ground was soft from the rain.

Then a few miles later I was heading towards a main road and noticed a group of cars sitting in a 'county store' parking lot w/their lights/emergency flashers on and another car backing out into the road I was on from the road I was going to turn on to. I thought, "Uh, oh THIS can't be good"...I was right. The road was flooded w/at least 2 feet of water. However I only had to ride about 1/4 mi before I turned off on another road that was a small climb then rolled flat at a slightly higher elevation. I ventured that it would be dry. Correct again. But, as I rode through the flooded part each time I turned my cranks both feet would dip into the water. It was deeper than my bottom bracket, but the bike rolled through it just fine. Got to work, dried my bike, changed clothes, worked a full shift and had a dry, pleasant ride home. Though my shoes and socks were still wet it was ok as the socks I wore are Sealskinz and they're made to hold heat while wet.

As long as one has clothes to change into upon arrival at work and dry clothes or 'quick drying' cycling gear for the ride home it's really not bad commuting in the rain. Was more wet from sweat as the J & G gear repelled the water just fine. One tip: A baseball hat or visor helps a ton in keeping water out of the goggles. I'd double bagged' my lunch, night ride homeward gear, etc. as my bags aren't waterproofed. All was well. None of my lights shorted out and all I did was oil my chain and wipe down my bike the following morning. Went to top off my tires w/my frame pump and had some water blow out of it...
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Old 05-06-09, 09:10 AM
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you might want to open that bottom bracket and let it dry a little?
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Old 05-06-09, 09:16 AM
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Some days you just get caught in the rain. Yesterday was one of them.
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Old 05-06-09, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
you might want to open that bottom bracket and let it dry a little?
It's a 'sealed cartridge' w/2 small holes in the underside of the bb housing for drainage. Aluminum frame. Good call, though. Rode to work on Monday and Tueaday w/no probs. I'll monitor it over the next few weeks for squeaks, etc. Thanks for the suggestion.
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