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How do you deal with weather?

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How do you deal with weather?

Old 04-08-11, 10:24 PM
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e-Man
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How do you deal with weather?

I was going to use the bike to commute today, but found decided against it due to the weather forecast (rain/wind/thunderstorms). When I left in the car in the morning, it was fine outside. Some drizzle in the afternoon, and then on the drive home I realized I could have made it before the real rain and wind hit. Being a newcomer to commuting. my question to you veteran commuters is how do you plan for mother nature? Any particular website that you trust the most for the forecast (weather.com is what I use), or do you tune into the local news? Any kind of weather you will absolutely not try riding in, or risk riding in? Ever been stranded at work or on the way home from the weather turning bad? I can handle some wind, but too much is a deal breaker, and I also avoid water on my bike at all costs.
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Old 04-08-11, 10:34 PM
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The only weather I don't like to ride in is the kind that puts ice on the road. I deal with that by living where it rarely happens. Some of my funnest commutes were in thundershowers. I just love riding in the rain. It's important to repeat that mantra every mile or so during the winter.
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Old 04-08-11, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by e-Man View Post
I was going to use the bike to commute today, but found decided against it due to the weather forecast (rain/wind/thunderstorms). When I left in the car in the morning, it was fine outside. Some drizzle in the afternoon, and then on the drive home I realized I could have made it before the real rain and wind hit. Being a newcomer to commuting. my question to you veteran commuters is how do you plan for mother nature? Any particular website that you trust the most for the forecast (weather.com is what I use), or do you tune into the local news? Any kind of weather you will absolutely not try riding in, or risk riding in? Ever been stranded at work or on the way home from the weather turning bad? I can handle some wind, but too much is a deal breaker, and I also avoid water on my bike at all costs.
Why, is your bike going to melt if it gets wet?
I ride in what ever weather that happens to be happening when I head out.
They were forcasting snow for last Thursday night/Friday morning, Thursday morning as I was leaving one of my co-workers told me I shouldn't ride in Thursday night--I asked "Why, is it going rain fire from the skies?" because that is the only situation that I could imagine that I wouldn't want to ride in.

The proper clothing and equipment (studded tires, fenders, ect..)is key.

Last edited by xtrajack; 04-08-11 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 04-09-11, 01:15 AM
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I ride when it's not raining. I drive when it rains... unless the weather forecast is wrong and it does rain after i've already started, then I just ride in it since I have no choice. I don't avoid rain because i'm afraid or anything... I just don't like being soaked and rain is so rare in so-cal, investing in rain gear isn't really worth it. I just consider rain days a rest day.
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Old 04-09-11, 02:39 AM
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I live in Vancouver B.C., really have no choice but to deal with wet weather. Its not so bad, but its a large part of the forecast. Just dress for it and its not bad at all. I wish we would get more of the frozen stuff.
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Old 04-09-11, 02:47 AM
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Yup, fellow Vancouverite here.

I don't deal with the weather, I embrace it.
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Old 04-09-11, 06:35 AM
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Just suck it up buttercup and ride. So you may get wet, big deal you won't melt. A little water is not going to cause your bike to fall apart. So you do a little more cleaning and maintance, again big deal. Weather does not generally affect my commute.. I have skiped a day here and there because of flooding, one tornado and a ice storm.
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Old 04-09-11, 06:36 AM
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Fenders, a good rain jacket, and big ziplock bags to keep things in the panniers dry.

I usually use weather.com because they include wind speed and direction on the hour-by-hour tab. However, their predictions are generally more off the further ahead you go. I only trust it within about 24 hours.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:01 AM
  #9  
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New guy here as well... Rain gear, ziplocks. Also, weatherunderground is pretty good.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:28 AM
  #10  
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Geez, as much as I hate the holier than thou response, all I can say is stop being such a pansy and suck it up.

Or don't. I don't care. Just stop fretting over it.

Seriously, once you realize that you don't have to be 100% comfortable for your entire life, it's pretty much downhill from there. Get some fenders and rain gear. Stop worrying about your bike getting wet and just ride it.

That said. I don't ride in lighting storms, but they blow over in short order around here, so I just sit it out for a bit.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:36 AM
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You can't rely on weather forecasts, except to give you a general idea of chances. Dress and equip yourself and you can ride in just about anything.

I have ducked under bridges before due to intense lightning.

I will ride in just about anything. I draw the line at volcanoes, but we don't usually get those around here.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:41 AM
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no bad weather, only bad clothing.

motel style shower cap for over the helmet
cycling specific rain jacket not form fitting so you can move and wear other things underneath if necessary
cycling specific rain pants
yes, you may be wet from sweat but you need to protect from cold rain water
shoe protection, I used rubber overboots but that's me - big variety out there but you have to protect the shoes from getting wet
eye protection, yes the glasses will get wet and need to be wiped but there's all kinds of stuff flung up from wet car wheels and you don't that garbage in your eyes
strobes and reflectors front rear and sideways, when drivers vision is obstructed you still need to stand out, so wear bright colors
riding with slower congested rush hour traffic is safer than off hour faster traffic

good luck, and be safe

oh yeah, fenders! :-)
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Old 04-09-11, 07:58 AM
  #13  
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"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…"

No, I don't work for the Postal Service, but I figure if they can deliver the mail walking around outside in actual weather, I can certainly pedal my silly little bike in it.

Water won't hurt your bike. You do get it wet to wash it, don't you? Then you've already discovered this. Rain won't hurt you. You do take showers or baths, don't you? Then you've already discovered this. Actually, just imagining the warm rains you must have in AZ makes me jealous.

As for weather forecasters, I've rechristened The Weather Channel™ as The Hyperbole Channel™. Never have I seen so many people get so lathered up over nothing. A few flurries causes them to foam at the mouth over the potential for it to wreak havoc over a wide path of destruction. C'mon. It's a snow flurry. They're pretty, and fluffy.

Their forecasts for rain are typically amped up by 20 or 30% or more. I've can't count the number of times I've ridden when they've said it's raining, and instead, it's dry as a bone outside. Same for snow. They'll forecast a foot, and we get a couple of inches. So whatever The Hyperbole Channel™ says, I turn it down a few notches.

In the desert southwest, you probably don't even need raingear, just get wet and and dry off at your destination. In the summer, that's all I do around here. Over about 50 or 55, it's just too hot and steamy inside raingear. I get soaked with sweat instead of rain. Since I'm going to get soaked anyway, I'd rather it be rain.

For the few times a year you get rain out there, full coverage fenders are probably overkill. I use Bontrager Satellite quick release fenders on my 30-50% chance of rain bike. The quick releases mount to the brake bolts, and the fenders clamp into the quick releases in seconds--literally. Keeps my backside and face clean. The rest washes off at home--with water.

Last edited by tsl; 04-09-11 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 04-09-11, 08:14 AM
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bike commuters are heroes
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Old 04-09-11, 08:54 AM
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Wow, loved the "pansy" style responses. I don't care for rain because I live in a place that generally doesn't get wet weather, so I echo bhop's answer that I don't want to invest in equipment that wouldn't see much use. Also wouldn't want to change tires (I prefer all terrains, something that rolls smooth on the street since that is where I ride 95% of the time). Has for my fear of getting it wet, I don't like the fact that water can wash off lubricants and cause rust. Sorry if I bothered y'all with this thread, was hoping for less jabs at my direction.
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Old 04-09-11, 10:01 AM
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I put on rain gear before leaving and ride. If there are thunderstorms, I'll try to time my ride so I'm not in the middle of one. (Tooling around in a thunderstorm with a conductor between my legs just seems like a bad idea.)

You don't need to change tires. Your normal tires will work just fine in the rain.

Quite a lot of components are rust-resistant alloys these days. The main bit you have to worry about in the rain is your chain, and even then it's not like it goes from lubricated->bare instantly. As long as you're not using a dry teflon lube you should be fine for several rainy rides without adding lube.
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Old 04-09-11, 10:08 AM
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e-Man, I essentially made the same experience as you did. Too often there is rain forecasted, but it never actually rains during the time I commute. Therefore, I pay not that much attention to the forecast. In the summer, I will be careful regarding lightening, don't like being on a steel bike when lightening is close.

But sometimes you do get wet, afterall.
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Old 04-09-11, 10:29 AM
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Here is the best page I have found to get a indication of upcoming commute weather. Everything you need on one page. Just change the location to where you live or you might be unhappy with the results.

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick...Type=graphical
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Old 04-09-11, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by e-Man View Post
I live in a place that generally doesn't get wet weather, so I echo bhop's answer that I don't want to invest in equipment that wouldn't see much use. Also wouldn't want to change tires (I prefer all terrains, something that rolls smooth on the street since that is where I ride 95% of the time). Has for my fear of getting it wet, I don't like the fact that water can wash off lubricants and cause rust.
I've spent about 10 years in similar climatic conditions, where rain is a rarity, so I can understand not wanting to go spend time and money on rain gear.
If you do any outdoor activities at all (hiking, etc) you likely have all you need to get by in the wet - simple lightweight rain jacket at least.
If the temperature is warm, say 55 degrees F or warmer, you really don't need anything on your legs, and above 65 you could literally ride with no rain gear at all - our skin is waterproof, after all.

For the bike, you should be able to get some inexpensive clip-on fenders (easy on, easy off) that keep the majority of the nastiness off of you without requiring unnecessary expense or extensive installation. Something like this for the rear and this for the front.

I personally love riding in the rain. It takes some mental adjustments (embracing rather than resisting), but rain does not have to be a bad thing.
Good luck!


Originally Posted by e-Man View Post
Wow, loved the "pansy" style responses........ Sorry if I bothered y'all with this thread, was hoping for less jabs at my direction.
Nah, don't take this stuff personally.
99.9% of us don't bite. We do enjoy spirited jousting from time to time, but it is generally benign.
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Old 04-09-11, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by e-Man View Post
I was going to use the bike to commute today, but found decided against it due to the weather forecast (rain/wind/thunderstorms). When I left in the car in the morning, it was fine outside. Some drizzle in the afternoon, and then on the drive home I realized I could have made it before the real rain and wind hit. Being a newcomer to commuting. my question to you veteran commuters is how do you plan for mother nature? Any particular website that you trust the most for the forecast (weather.com is what I use), or do you tune into the local news? Any kind of weather you will absolutely not try riding in, or risk riding in? Ever been stranded at work or on the way home from the weather turning bad? I can handle some wind, but too much is a deal breaker, and I also avoid water on my bike at all costs.
You "deal" by deciding (or imagine this... wanting) to ride your bike. After that, the rest is simple.

You've already made the opposite decision.
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Old 04-09-11, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by e-Man View Post
was hoping for less jabs at my direction.
I'm genuinely surprised by that.

I mean, you started a thread by saying that you do not want to, and further, aren't willing to deal with adverse conditions. So basically, you're not really looking for advice. So... if a person is going to respond to someone who doesn't want advice, there's not much left to do but name call or break out the ruler (you know, for measuring the "manhood").
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Old 04-09-11, 11:00 AM
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Hi e-man
Getting snow where you are? I've been commuting for a little over a year, and have been caught once by the weather. My commute is only 2.5 miles one way so I've been able to sneak home between storms.
I go to noaa.gov for my weather info. There is a box to put your city and state and you get a seven day forecast. Believe only the first two days.

Remember... In Arizona, if you don't like the weather, wait 20 minutes.
I'm going to go ride in the snow... C'ya...
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Old 04-09-11, 11:25 AM
  #23  
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Truthfully, unless you live directly under Niagara Falls or something, the chances of actually getting caught in a torrential downpour are pretty slim. I generally tell people "I'm fine with cold, and I'm fine with rain, but freezing cold rain and wind, I don't have the clothes for." The reason I don't have the clothes for freezing cold rain is because we get about 3 days a year like that here, and chances of me riding during those 3 days are even slimmer.

Just expand your outer gear collection, eventually you will pick up pieces here and there and before you know it, you'll be riding in blizzards.
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Old 04-09-11, 11:49 AM
  #24  
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I stopped trusting the weathermen years ago. I missed a lot of riding time because I was worried about even the slightest chance of rain.

Now I have a thermometer outside my window to check the temperature and will glance at the 5 day forecast and look at the chance of precipitation percentages.

Since most of my commutes are only a few miles I have some cheap Field & Stream Rain Pants and Jacket that cost about a total of $60.
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Old 04-09-11, 11:51 AM
  #25  
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dislike bad weather (esp wind) but its worth the trade off.
i luckily have a shower at my studio and i just bring extra clothes
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