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No Excuses when the weather is bad!

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No Excuses when the weather is bad!

Old 04-23-17, 06:55 AM
  #1  
prostuff
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No Excuses when the weather is bad!

I'm a 22 year old guy that is currently training to be able to ride and feel comfortable riding 60+ km daily on a road with elevation after elevation. I plan beforehand the days that I want to train on (-basically 5 days per week at the moment).
Recently it started raining and snowing where I live and for the FIRST time in my life, I was strong and committed enough to not use the weather as an excuse to stay indoors!

Now I'm curious: Does anyone here that's more professional / not a beginner like me fall into the trap of using the weather as an excuse not to train/cycle?
Also, I'm curious how you see the act of not cycling due to bad weather? Do you think it's a good enough reason? Looking forward to opinions potentially unlike mine! c:

P.S: I made a wannabe-motivational video regarding that bad weather day in the hopes of helping others if anyone wants to check it out:
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Old 04-23-17, 07:17 AM
  #2  
CliffordK
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I do cycle commuting and utility cycling. I do avoid some rain, but sometimes one just gets wet.

There are quite a few riders here that ride in ice and snow. I've done it in the past, but can generally work my schedule around it.

The one thing I would suggest is to BE SAFE. Not only is control more difficult for a cyclist in the ice and snow, but it is more difficult for other vehicles on the road...
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Old 04-23-17, 07:38 AM
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Bad weather for me is under -10F for temp. Any report of mist or actual rain also qualifies in the summer.
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Old 04-23-17, 07:42 AM
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hurricanetours.com
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Old 04-23-17, 08:08 AM
  #5  
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I ride a bike because it's fun. Cold or snow are never an issue so I ride all year long, but I do not like rain, at least, not the type of sub freezing rain we get at this time of year. Summer rain's ok, but it gunks up the drivetrain so I'll rather go for a run if it happens. Or swing my kettlebell at home. Or go for a walk.

When it rains, correct clothing also becomes an issue, because you need to have something waterproof which still breathes. And even when a water shell does breathe you need to ride pretty slowly not to end up sweating your ass off. Not to mention rain pants suck and since I don't have waterproof bibs I just prefer not to ride when it's raining.

I also don't like wind but that's not an issue as long as I use earplugs.

This last week we've had days when it has been sunny, raining and snowing, all at the same time and also taking turns with maybe 15 to 30 minute intervals. Needless to say, there has been not much riding this week.
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Old 04-23-17, 09:52 AM
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Wow all I can say is that looks so dangerous, never in a million years would you find me outside in that!! It did however make a very entertaining YouTube Video. I'll be the one on the couch watching you tube with my pizza in that weather.
I do have an uncle who lives in Telluride, biking was his only transportation by choice for over 20 years. He also rode competitively and did mountain biking. I'm sure snow+ice+mountain+highway was just part of the norm.
He used to do the craziest stuff. If only they had go pros back then....
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Old 04-23-17, 10:11 AM
  #7  
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Finland, eh ... (crosses it off list of possible vacation destinations.)
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Old 04-23-17, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The one thing I would suggest is to BE SAFE. Not only is control more difficult for a cyclist in the ice and snow, but it is more difficult for other vehicles on the road...
This is a very important note that I, sadly, do not put into practice much at all other than putting a helmet on. I should work on this.

Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
When it rains, correct clothing also becomes an issue, because you need to have something waterproof which still breathes.
I think this depends. For example, I had a pair of cotton trousers that day. Below the belt I was fully wet and my shoes are still not dry yet! The thing is that I didn't feel any discomfort while riding, only when I stopped, but that's when I could take the pants off because I was home.
Even in the summer rains, I ride fully wet and it's never a problem. Special rain clothing seems unnecessary.

Originally Posted by JNV View Post
I'm sure snow+ice+mountain+highway was just part of the norm.
Yes, anything can become the norm if you put enough time into training for it. Your body will adapt. That's what I'm attempting to prove with my training and making riding daily long distances the norm in my life c:
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Old 04-23-17, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by prostuff View Post
I think this depends. For example, I had a pair of cotton trousers that day. Below the belt I was fully wet and my shoes are still not dry yet! The thing is that I didn't feel any discomfort while riding, only when I stopped, but that's when I could take the pants off because I was home.
Even in the summer rains, I ride fully wet and it's never a problem. Special rain clothing seems unnecessary.
The question is however, were you damp or absolutely drenched? Because that makes a difference. Also rain in itself is not that big of an issue, but when the rain is cold and there's a lot of millimeters coming down you cannot avoid getting hypothermic if the other conditions are also bad. That is why rain shell becomes a necessity in certain conditions which are all too common here in both the autumn and spring periods, ie. under cooled rain (not sure what it's really called. It means water that's basically sub zero but not yet frozen), heavy winds and temps near freezing so the actual wind chill is below freezing. Also add to that the very humid ocean air which just pushes through layers and you've got something you don't want to be caught in without proper gear.

I'm not sure what you mean by, even in the summer rain gear is unnecessary, since then it's only a case of whether you want to be wet or damp, not damp or hypothermic.
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Old 04-23-17, 01:04 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by prostuff View Post
This is a very important note that I, sadly, do not put into practice much at all other than putting a helmet on. I should work on this.
It is easy to say HTFU when you don't care about safety. Heck, right now the major highway by me is under construction, meaning my little lake town main road has turned into a bypass. I'm not venturing out into a nonstop stream of cars who are treading the road as an alternative route, to ride my normal around the lake route.

Twice this past week, we've had rains heavy enough my windshield wipers couldn't keep up. I don't ride through puddles can't see the bottom of, and I don't want to get hit by someone else in a very limited visibility situation just to prove you can do something.

Same goes for cold rain. You may not feel hypothermic, that doesn't mean you aren't heading for danger, riding around in wet cold clothing. I agree when it is warm in the summer, it isn't that bad to get wet, no way I'm willfully getting soaked when the temp is below 60F (15C) or so. Even in the summer, though, I am riding in quick dry materials, not cotton pants. I cant imagine the chafing that would cause if you did it regularly enough.

Cold and ice wouldn't bother me, if I had a bike setup with studded or fat tires. I like the cold. Again, only with condition appropriate clothing.
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Old 04-23-17, 01:09 PM
  #11  
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If you're talking strictly training, right now it's 63 and raining cats and dogs, and I have absolutely no inclination to get out for a training ride or recreation. I did that yesterday, which I'd planned several days ago based on the forecasts. I don't think it's an "excuse" per se, because I commute in this weather and worse, having not missed a day due to weather in several years. I just need a reason beyond training to do it.

Regarding the rain gear, it's true that you're going to be wet one way or the other. But I've found that certain types of clothing and accessories are better than others for a number of reasons.
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Old 04-23-17, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
The question is however, were you damp or absolutely drenched? Because that makes a difference. Also rain in itself is not that big of an issue, but when the rain is cold and there's a lot of millimeters coming down you cannot avoid getting hypothermic if the other conditions are also bad. That is why rain shell becomes a necessity in certain conditions which are all too common here in both the autumn and spring periods, ie. under cooled rain (not sure what it's really called. It means water that's basically sub zero but not yet frozen), heavy winds and temps near freezing so the actual wind chill is below freezing. Also add to that the very humid ocean air which just pushes through layers and you've got something you don't want to be caught in without proper gear.

I'm not sure what you mean by, even in the summer rain gear is unnecessary, since then it's only a case of whether you want to be wet or damp, not damp or hypothermic.
There wasn't water dripping from my trousers, so I guess damp would be a more suitable verdict. My clothes were more wet than what you would get out of a washing machine, though, and the weather was below freezing.
What I meant to imply is that on the lower half of the body, rain-proof clothing does not seem necessary. Obviously, the cold feeling is higher on the top half, especially when cycling because you just do nothing with the top - only the legs are moving/warming themselves. I wouldn't have been able to cycle 20 km -and still be healthy- without the rain-proof jacket I wore, so I deem that necessary.
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Old 04-23-17, 01:13 PM
  #13  
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There is a difference between determination and being foolhardy. Wisdom lies in knowing the difference. Your video of the ride turned out fine but the limited visibility and busy traffic is above my comfort level. Best wishes.
Bern
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Old 04-23-17, 01:15 PM
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Depends where do you live ! If you live in a country where in Mediterranean, cold weather would be serious barrier due your body's climate effect. But if you live in a country where in cold and snowy, cold weather would not be barrier because you know tomorrow and the next day will always be cold.
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Old 04-23-17, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
There is a difference between determination and being foolhardy. Wisdom lies in knowing the difference. Your video of the ride turned out fine but the limited visibility and busy traffic is above my comfort level. Best wishes.
Bern
I agree with you. The thing is that there was no fog when I began to cycle on my usual route, otherwise I would have taken a more cautious approach. The fog just started to show up gradually. It was scary and I learnt a good lesson from it: when the risk of fog is present, choose a different road that's not as traffic-heavy c:

Originally Posted by KemE View Post
Depends where do you live ! If you live in a country where in Mediterranean, cold weather would be serious barrier due your body's climate effect. But if you live in a country where in cold and snowy, cold weather would not be barrier because you know tomorrow and the next day will always be cold.
It was only one day of rain and snow which is already too much for the middle of April where I live. Not even winter days have as much snow as it was then! This is what added to the fact that it was a challenge. It's funny, though, when the weather gets drunk and tries to cram all 4 seasons into one week ^_^'
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Old 04-23-17, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by prostuff View Post
...for the FIRST time in my life, I was strong and committed enough to not use the weather as an excuse to stay indoors!
Good job! But please, be visible and dress warm. Lots of good info on the commuter and wonter cyclingforums. But still...good job!
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Old 04-23-17, 03:07 PM
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I can handle cold (but to me, that means down to about 20 degrees F). I don't do rain, however, as I have steel bikes and I've not done the frame treatment on either of them.
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Old 04-23-17, 03:41 PM
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I live in the PNW, so rain is part of riding. I only avoid ice, because I do not bounce well at my age. If we tried to avoid rain out here, we would not ride much.
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Old 04-23-17, 04:32 PM
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Use of the words "excuse" and "trap' are extremely condescending.


-Tim-
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Old 04-23-17, 07:22 PM
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Also, let us not forget even the real "pros" don't ride in the biggest race of the year when conditions don't warrant it:

Tour de France: Ventoux stage shortened due to risk of 100km/h winds | Cyclingnews.com

If they can call off a "ride" for heavy wind, I have no issue doing the same.
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Old 04-23-17, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by prostuff View Post
\Below the belt I was fully wet and my shoes are still not dry yet!
Cheapest hair dryer at WalMart. Bike shoes dry fast if you can get the air warm and moving.

As for weather, sometimes I use it as an excuse on the weekends when I only have low priority errands to run, but I've commuted in weather where I was having to go around cars stuck in flood waters, and when it was 17F and drizzling with a moderate crosswind. Sometimes it's just for the "yeah, I rode in this" bragging rights when coworkers show up whining about having to wait for the heater to warm up or the A/C to cool down.
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Old 04-23-17, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Also, let us not forget even the real "pros" don't ride in the biggest race of the year when conditions don't warrant it:

Tour de France: Ventoux stage shortened due to risk of 100km/h winds | Cyclingnews.com

If they can call off a "ride" for heavy wind, I have no issue doing the same.
IIRC, 80mph winds are strong enough to literally knock you off your feet even when you're braced against them, and 100km/h is about 60mph, so I'd have to say that's in a range where it wouldn't actually be physically possible to cycle in any practical - much less safe - manner.
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Old 04-23-17, 09:03 PM
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I'm a year round commuter and have ridden in all types of weather. I try to be an "everyday" commuter but sometimes you just have to call it for safety's sake.

Lowest temps were -30F with windchill and highest temps were 109F though I probably wouldn't do the high temps anymore, heatstroke starts becoming a real concern even with plenty of hydration. Low temps are surprisingly comfortable once you get going and with the proper gear. The worst is rain at or near freezing temps. I avoid those days like the plague.

I also don't do days where there is ice, snow or heavy fogging in the forecast. I am more afraid of cars losing control and blindsiding me more than anything else.

As others have said safety first, and if that is an "excuse" then so be it.
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Old 04-24-17, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Use of the words "excuse" and "trap' are extremely condescending.


-Tim-
I didn't mean it in that fashion. If anything, I use those terms as condescending only on myself since this is what helps me overcome my shortcomings. I don't want to put anyone else down, especially since they have more experience than me, hence why I was looking forward to hearing different opinions/conclusions.
That's why I'm here, to listen and learn from the more experienced peeps that have already been through what I'm going/about to go through. As to avoid making too many cycling mistakes and learning the hard way.
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Old 04-24-17, 05:36 AM
  #25  
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Once upon a time, when I bicycle-commuted, I rode in any weather, from rain to snow, from 90F+ to well below zero (F). I'm older and wiser (and wimpier) now. I do cycling as an enjoyable activity, and when the weather is bad, it's not enjoyable.
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