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Fair weather weenie...

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Fair weather weenie...

Old 02-07-12, 07:55 PM
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El Gigante
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Fair weather weenie...

Ok. So I know that some of you commute every day, no matter what. Rain, snow, hurricanes, tsunamis - don't matter. Kind of ashamed to admit it, but living in southern California, if it looks like rain, I leave the bike at home and take the bus to work. I'll ride if it's cold or hot, but wet? No thank you!

Anyone else share my dislike of getting wet and shut it down when rain is forecast?
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Old 02-07-12, 08:15 PM
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I occasionally wimp out in winter and take the bus. If the weather's really torrential, usually during Spring, I might also consider the bus, though since we don't have a bus shelter at the stop, it's pretty much a wash.
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Old 02-07-12, 09:59 PM
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I've lived in southern cal for a dozen or so years, and it does tend to turn hardcore riders into weather wusses. Aside from the past week fighting a very nasty flu virus and hacking cough, I am typically die hard about commuting here in Orange County. There has been so little rain in the past year, it is almost remarkable. This non-winter season, I have not even used my goretex rain jacket for a commute ride. I won't use the goretex for light mist or wimpy drizzle, only for the real rain days. Of course, I have something most southern cal cyclists do not have, a proper bad weather bike. One of my commuter bikes is a Surly Crosscheck with Nexus 8 internal geared hub, Planet Bike Cascadia fenders with mudflaps and 700-35 Panaracer Pacela tires. I wear Nashbar ragster sandals (w. platform pedals) and my socks on a real rain day are Sealskins, a sort of waterproof neoprene feeling material. I wear a thin wool liner under the sealskins, and they keep my feet mostly dry and pretty comfortable, even in a pouring rain with huge puddles. As a former resident of many parts of the US and many other countries, I have learned to enjoy cycling in a wide range of conditions. Fenders are your friends.
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Old 02-08-12, 12:03 AM
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It's a matter of deviation from normal. If I didn't ride in the rain, I'd ony ride three months of the year. On the two to three days a year that we have snow or ice, I leave the bike in the garage. If I lived someplace like Minnesota, I imagine I'd adapt to actual winter.
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Old 02-08-12, 07:21 AM
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I'm with you. I don't like riding in the rain either, so I take advantage of rainy days to restock supplies in my office, bring home dirty laundry, run errands, etc. We don't get much extended rainy weather here, so driving on rainy days has little effect on my mileage and gives my legs some much-needed rest. However, if the forecast is for very light rain, or just a chance, or I've missed a lot of riding for various reasons, my tolerance goes up. I don't ride in heavy rain, thunderstorms, tropical storms, etc., unless I unexpectedly get caught in it.

I do have fenders on my commuter bikes and generally carry a lightweight, packable rain jacket because you never know when some rain might pop up around here, particularly in spring and summer. Fenders are most useful to me on days when it rained overnight or during the afternoon and the roads are still wet, even the rain has stopped.

Last edited by tarwheel; 02-09-12 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 02-08-12, 07:24 AM
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If the streets are too wet in the morning I'll drive in. Usually by lunch the streets are dry enuff. I'll drive home and get my bike. I miss a few days but not too many.
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Old 02-08-12, 09:22 AM
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rain in and of itself isn't too bothersome, but cold rain when it's in the 30s/40s isn't my idea of a good time, regardless of how waterproof i make myself. if it's down pouring when i'm about to leave in the morning, i'll just take the train. if it's forcast to rain later in the day, i typically roll the dice and just ride my bike anyway. then at work i keep an eye on the weather radar to know when the big rain clouds will be rolling through and plan to leave work accordingly. being the midwest, it's rare that it just rains hard for an entire day. rain clouds come through, it rains, then they leave, so it's typically possible to work around them by leaving a tad early or waiting them out by staying a bit later.

i very much prefer snow over cold rain.
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Old 02-08-12, 09:59 AM
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Like Andy_K, I don't have much of a choice. It seems like it rains more often than not 'round here (Glasgow). I've actually grown to kind of enjoy it. You don't overheat. It's wind I can't stand, particuarly the strong 40-60 MPH gusty stuff we've been having this winter. It makes riding in traffic particularly dicey. All it takes is one gust from the side, a close passing car and ...

I'm moving back to the midwest this summer, it will be interesting to see if my relationship with rain changes when it becomes less a part of daily life. Now, it's not even something i really think about beyond 'oh look, it's raining.' I don't walk shorter distances, or put off trips on the bike because of it. I wonder if I'll still be not bothered once I get to go a whole week without rain.
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Old 02-08-12, 10:02 AM
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I live in Southern California and I am a fair weather weenie and this week has been a perfect example. I'll ride into work tomorrow and since I have Fridays off I'll probably get a road or mountain bike ride in.

I don't mind getting caught in the occasional Summer rain, though.
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Old 02-08-12, 10:02 AM
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Errrm, no.






<-- check my location

Honestly if you have the right gear, you don't mind. But maybe in California it's as easy to wait it out than invest.
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Old 02-08-12, 10:03 AM
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Fenders, lighting, and proper clothing make all the difference.
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Old 02-08-12, 10:05 AM
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The romantic in me says: It's all part of the commuter experience, you know man vs nature with the help of a properly outfitted bike and some technical clothing. Living in Minnesota I have to embrace the seasons or it will make me go insane. So when it comes right down to it I find some way to enjoy any kind of weather even if sometimes that enjoyment is derived simply from surviving it.

But in all honestly the thing that really keeps me on the bike everyday is my self imposed lack of access to a car. My wife and daughter take our cars everyday in totally different directions and I refuse to buy another car. So I suppose I could take the bus but I have no idea of how to do it.
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Old 02-08-12, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by El Gigante View Post

.....Anyone else share my dislike of getting wet and shut it down when rain is forecast?
Living the Pacific NW, I'd be SOL in riding a bike for much of the year. The harder it rains, the more enthusiastic about riding a bike I get.
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Old 02-08-12, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by El Gigante View Post
Anyone else share my dislike of getting wet and shut it down when rain is forecast?
I do. Didn't ride yesterday because of the rain. Just put my new commuter into service last week and the fenders have not arrived yet but I only run fenders for riding when the roads are wet, not for riding in real rain (unless I get caught in it). In SoCal, rain usually only knocks out a week's worth of commuting a year so not worth getting too geared up for it.
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Old 02-08-12, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by megalowmatt View Post
I live in Southern California and I am a fair weather weenie and this week has been a perfect example. I'll ride into work tomorrow and since I have Fridays off I'll probably get a road or mountain bike ride in.

I don't mind getting caught in the occasional Summer rain, though.
Wait... we have summer rain?!
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Old 02-08-12, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bored117 View Post
Wait... we have summer rain?!
I was just dreaming of a Summer rain I got caught in...I guess around 2 years ago.
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Old 02-08-12, 12:02 PM
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No riding in rain for me either.

And heavy winds?? Forgettaboutit.

Yeah I'm a wuss, but I'm not worried about proving myself to anyone either. I like to have fun, and if biking became a chore I would just quit.
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Old 02-08-12, 12:30 PM
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Sometimes during the winter I need a break and I'll take a week off from riding outside. There's only so many days in a row of upper 30s, dark on the way to and from work, drizzling rain that just soaks everything that I can take. My record is 15 work days; a few years ago it rained for 26 straight days without a break*. I rode to work for 3 weeks of it before finally breaking down.

*We got a 1 day break with a bit of clear sky, then it rained again for 8 or 9 more days.
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Old 02-08-12, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
The romantic in me says: It's all part of the commuter experience, you know man vs nature with the help of a properly outfitted bike and some technical clothing. Living in Minnesota I have to embrace the seasons or it will make me go insane. So when it comes right down to it I find some way to enjoy any kind of weather even if sometimes that enjoyment is derived simply from surviving it.

But in all honestly the thing that really keeps me on the bike everyday is my self imposed lack of access to a car. My wife and daughter take our cars everyday in totally different directions and I refuse to buy another car. So I suppose I could take the bus but I have no idea of how to do it.


My year round commuting started when light rail was introduced. They changed all the bus schedules and routes. When winter rolled around I was too lazy to figure out the new bus schedule so I just kept riding.

I've found laziness to be a surprisingly good motivator no matter how much harder it makes me work.

Last edited by tjspiel; 02-08-12 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 02-08-12, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Living the Pacific NW, I'd be SOL in riding a bike for much of the year. The harder it rains, the more enthusiastic about riding a bike I get.
I don't get more enthusiastic, and in fact don't like rain, but what else is there? I took today off and rode the motorcycle just because I was tired, not due to rain. I expect to ride my Fargo tomorrow and Friday. Maybe just do some yoga tonight, if anything.

Oh yeah, I've been riding my motorycles year round for years. The bicycle is just warmer.
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Old 02-08-12, 12:54 PM
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I'm a fair weather commuter also. I develop asthma symptoms if I do anything highly aerobic in temperatures under 40 degrees. Living in Upstate NY, that severely limits my bike commuting by about 6 months. I also have a 30-mile round trip commute, so rainy days are definitely out.
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Old 02-08-12, 01:07 PM
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I'd like to be an all weather commuter. But, its hard to justify investment in all the weather gear/fenders when its such a small amount of time it rains in Los Angeles. For now, I'll just drive/take the bus those days.
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Old 02-08-12, 01:52 PM
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I don't mind commmuting in a light rain, but having fallen twice on invisible icy patches in recent weeks, I'm not taking chances when it's wet and below freezing. It's not just the bruises; it's the dings to the bike!
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Old 02-08-12, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by globie View Post
but having fallen twice on invisible icy patches in recent weeks
studded tires?
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Old 02-08-12, 02:18 PM
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studded tires?
I'm running 27" wheels on my commuter, an '84 Le Tour. I've never been able to find any studs to fit, and the conversion to 700s is more than I want to take on right now.
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