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Riding in the rain yesterday defeated me

Old 03-13-20, 02:09 PM
  #26  
ironwood
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There is a saying among cyclists in Denmark: "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing."
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Old 03-13-20, 02:16 PM
  #27  
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I like to carry something I call a "bus pass". Completely waterproof and I'm warm and comfortable the whole trip.
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Old 03-13-20, 03:14 PM
  #28  
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That's why I prefer windproof hardshell rain jackets, like my Shimano Storm Jacket. And, with thinner jackets like the Pearl Izumi Select Barrier jacket, I'll take wind resistance over rain resistance.

I'm gonna get wet under the jacket one way or another, from rain or sweat. But if the jacket is windproof, I'll still be warm and wet. If it's not windproof, I'll be wet and chilled.

My most effective cool/cold weather jersey and jacket combine a wind resistant front and breathable rear, but those are best for reasonably dry days -- misting rain at worst. For rides that may vary from a high of 70 to lows in the 50s, I'll wear a Pearl Izumi Pro Pursuit wind jersey, with a long sleeve baselayer underneath. It gets soaked with sweat but I'm still comfortable because the windproof front blocks wind chill.

Same with this off-brand Outto jacket, with wind resistant soft front and breathable fabric elsewhere. It's been comfortable down to the 30s with appropriate baselayers. My baselayers get soaked when the weather warms up, but I'm still comfortable because it's protected from wind chill.
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Old 03-13-20, 04:09 PM
  #29  
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When I commuted in Toronto Canada part of my route home was on the Bayview Extension from Rosedale Valley Road to River Street and this section of Bayview often flooded (and still does) when it rains heavily. Rosedale valley road near Yonge street would be blocked off by the police as would be the flooded portion of Bayview.. They'd let me ride that route anyway. I had rubber coated bib-rain pants and rubber coated rain jacket. I'd tie a plastic bag over my shoes and lower rain pant legs. Then I'd ride home. On Bayview in the hollow near the park I'd often be riding in water up to my waist whilst seated on a 23" frame 700C wheels road bike.

I'd be warm but sometimes sweat and/or condensation would make me pretty damp. I remember well the adage, "You're either wet and cold or you're wet and warm but either way you're wet."

Cheers
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Old 03-13-20, 08:16 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by RMoudatir View Post
I hardly ride in the rain but yesterday I did a 2.5 hour ride, it was pouring pretty hard but just 55F and a few minutes into the ride my softshell jacket got soaked through and an hour later I am shivering uncontrollably like never in my life. My whole body felt so stiff and tired from shivering and I had a hard time using my hands from the stiffness.

This ride was miserable, I don't know how you guys ride in rain all year long. I'll take freezing temperatures any day.
Given where you live, I don't imagine that you have a ton of experience with riding in cold wet conditions. Wet isn't a big deal, you get wet. Cold isn't bad if you are properly dressed. However, cold+wet is awful especially when temperatures get close to freezing which was not even close to where you were for your ride. 55 F isn't all that cold if you are properly dressed even in the wet. My coldest ride ever was a commute home at about 1 C, just above freezing in a cold rain. My gloves were soaked and my fingers were numb. The rain was freezing on the ground creating slush. However, I was well enough dressed that my core was well protected and it was only my hands and feet that suffered. Keep your body warm, after that, make sure that your hands are ok. Other than that, all I can say is: don't ride in the rain if it is colder than you are used to
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Old 03-13-20, 09:08 PM
  #31  
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Some scary experiences on long brevets, in Kentucky of all places, taught me to carry gear for rain and 10 degrees colder than forecast. I've continued that practice now that I live in the PNW, and it's turned what would have been dangerous situations into ordinary bike rides.

Wool plus a wind stop layer can go a long long way. Add the right bits for hands, feet, and ears, and you're pretty good. Add an emergency layer in storage, and you should be able to ride through about anything. A foil emergency blanket prepares you for catastrophic events.

When I have to stop for a mechanical in cold/wet conditions, the first thing I'll do is don my emergency layer. It may take a few minutes, but makes a huge difference.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:22 PM
  #32  
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And wool; wear wool layers. Wool has the amazing property of keeping you warm even when it's wet.

I had one experience with mild hypothermia and I hope to never do that again. The ride was much longer than my husband and I were used to and I was badly under-dressed; the sun went down and the temps dropped to the mid 50's, and we barely made that last three miles. When we dragged our sorry butts home we climbed under all the covers and shivered for an hour. Gruesome.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:39 PM
  #33  
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Hypothermia.

One really good way to help recover from mild hypothermia is to breath in warmed air. I have a device that I made that heats air and then the person breathes in that air through a long flexible hose. That way the INNER core of the body is being warmed without pulling more heat from the outer core of the body. A danger in treating hypothermia by warming the outer core of the body is that the brain thinks the inner core is being heated up when in fact it isn't.

Hypothermia once uncontrolled shivering has stopped can become deadly very quickly.

Cheers
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Old 03-13-20, 10:49 PM
  #34  
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four rain rides in the last four days. temps have been in the upper 50's-low 60's, wind/wind gusts here and there
but nothing crazy or sustained. rocking a lightweight, foldable windproof + waterproof jacket along with (underneath)
arm warmers, two merino wool layers, a medium weight, full-zip jersey and bib shorts. regular gloves and a cycling cap
along with wool anklet socks round it out. some coolish moments (mostly around the neck/face/ears) but never jetsons'
style "jane, get me offa this crazy thing." all that said, i probably wouldn't be as comfy with a simple 5 degree drop in temps.
ime, most rain rides in socal will be above 55 degrees unless it's really early/late or you're in the mtns/above 3,000 feet.
yes, i definitely get "steamed" riding while rocking this ensemble but at least my core/torso is never cold.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 03-13-20 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 03-14-20, 02:23 AM
  #35  
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Seems like I should have wore my merino wool base layer. I just wore a regular cycling jersey with a soft shell jacket and regular bib shorts thinking the base layer would make things worse soaking more water and making me colder. I've ridden an overnight century with rain and just a jersey and it wasn't anywhere near as bad as this shorter ride.
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Old 03-14-20, 09:22 AM
  #36  
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Ugh, I feel you. I came outside yesterday at 1545 and looked at two weather apps; 50 and cloudy is what they showed...no rain. It didnt look that way. By the time I started to commute home it was 38 and hailing then rained for 35 minutes. I got a slow flat and was too cold and bummed out.

Had to call the wife taxi.

Im a fair weather cyclist. Theyre not real good with weather predictions here in the UK. Pisses me off.
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Old 03-14-20, 11:30 AM
  #37  
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Every time I go out in rainy weather with temperatures around 40-60 F, my Yoda Dad appears and starts yelling useful advice: "Moderate temperatures are the worst danger for hypothermia! People think cold weather is worse, but in moderate temperatures, they're not prepared!" (Dad was a Green Beret medic and had all kinds of useful advice for survival.)

I've experienced the same problems with softshells and conventional cycling jackets, even with wool layers, and eventually ponied up for a really good packable rain jacket (Gore Shake Dry). That thing is permanently in my commuter bag, and if there is even a chance of moderate temps and rain on a road ride, it comes with me. Waterproof rain booties and rain pants or knickers help as well, but everything else will usually make it so long as the core stays warm and dry.
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Old 03-15-20, 03:46 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
This is why proper gear is important. It need not be expensive, but it needs to be appropriate. I lived and commuted in Seattle for 3 years. There were very few days I didn't ride my bike to work, and that was only if there was actual potential for ice being present on the roads.

Cold and wet conditions are when layers are important. The air between the layers provides much of the needed insulation and reduces loss of body heat. Having a breathable, but not porous, outer shell is key, otherwise the cold water itself becomes your biggest enemy.
Seattle rain gear must be legit! The layer is what I've found to be most important, almost like a wet-suit.
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Old 03-16-20, 11:35 AM
  #39  
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Living in Coastal Oregon, rain is a way of life. So unless it's really raining I ride, heavy drizzle doesn't stop us. The best thing I got was a rain poncho that goes to the knees. To keep it at the knees I safety pin it to my pants. Works great but only if I get the pins low enough, otherwise the knees get wet and cold like they did last week. The nicest part is it folds up into its little pouch pretty easily. Dries overnight and has yet to soak thru, It pulls right over my helmet. No rivers of wet down my back.
And a hot shower or bath will warm you up the fastest. With a hot drink, tea or coffee? I got mine at Amazon for under 30 bucks. No overheating either as the air can get under the poncho-so I wear it over an appropriate coat for the temp. It won't keep you warm, just dry. And I picked one in bright vivid colors so I am seem more easily. I really don't care if I look like a tick with tiny head and big body. LOL
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Old 03-16-20, 11:36 AM
  #40  
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Classic signs of hypothermia

Originally Posted by RMoudatir View Post
I hardly ride in the rain but yesterday I did a 2.5 hour ride, it was pouring pretty hard but just 55F and a few minutes into the ride my softshell jacket got soaked through and an hour later I am shivering uncontrollably like never in my life. My whole body felt so stiff and tired from shivering and I had a hard time using my hands from the stiffness.

This ride was miserable, I don't know how you guys ride in rain all year long. I'll take freezing temperatures any day.
I have suffered this kind of experience while Laser sailing on the SF Bay. A wind breaker and a wool sweater work wonders.
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Old 03-16-20, 12:11 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by RMoudatir View Post
I hardly ride in the rain but yesterday I did a 2.5 hour ride, it was pouring pretty hard but just 55F and a few minutes into the ride my softshell jacket got soaked through and an hour later I am shivering uncontrollably like never in my life. My whole body felt so stiff and tired from shivering and I had a hard time using my hands from the stiffness.

This ride was miserable, I don't know how you guys ride in rain all year long. I'll take freezing temperatures any day.
While I won't head out into the rain, I also won't curtail my planned ride if the rain starts while I'm out. I quite like riding in the rain, as long as it's not too cold - anything above, say, 70F is OK - regardless of how wet I get, there's always a hot mug of tea and a long shower at the end of the ride. The only downsides are (i) more bike cleaning when I get home, and (ii) drivers - in the US at least - start to get a little squirrelly in the rain - in my experience, I get more close passes and see more cars running stop signs etc - it's like, despite the roof, windows, wiper and lights, some drivers still get a little panicky in any adverse weather.
Years ago I did a Boston-NY AIDS Ride. On the 2nd day, we woke up to pouring rain, which continued unabated for the entire ~100 mile stage, and was still raining when we went to bed that night. At times, the rain was so heavy that the drops ricocheting up off the roadway created an opaque foot-thick "mist", so that you couldn't see the lower parts of the wheels on the road - it was like riding on cloud. My "waterproof" wasn't up to the task - rather, I had to pull out the cuffs periodically to empty out the water that had accumulated in my sleeves. Couple this with the fact that we were riding through hilly CT, so we had rear wheels spinning out on the steeper ascents, and some decidedly sketchy braking on the descents. It was both one of the hardest and most awesome days of riding I have ever experienced (obvious masochist here). Having learned their lesson, the following years the organizers had buses on hand to transport riders through the bad weather stages - that would've sucked so bad.

Last edited by Litespud; 03-16-20 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 03-16-20, 02:27 PM
  #42  
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I read an article by a Danish woman who is a hard-core all-weather cyclist. Her motto was "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing". For those of us who live in sunny climes riding in the rain is a big deal, but in northern Europe, the UK or in New Zealand (where I lived for six years), it is just a fact of life – if you don't ride your bike in the rain, you don't ride.
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Old 03-16-20, 02:33 PM
  #43  
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Riding in the rain and flooded streets was fun, back when I was a little kid in the 70's, riding a $49 Sears bike. But once old enough to buy my own bikes, from real bike shops, I got where I hate it and avoid it like the plague. I've even skipped races back in the day because the rain chance was too high.
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Old 03-26-20, 07:40 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by MilfordJohn View Post
I read an article by a Danish woman who is a hard-core all-weather cyclist. Her motto was "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing". For those of us who live in sunny climes riding in the rain is a big deal, but in northern Europe, the UK or in New Zealand (where I lived for six years), it is just a fact of life if you don't ride your bike in the rain, you don't ride.
That's easy for her to say, up in northern Europe, but riding in rain gear in the humid southeastern US, or the jungles of the Yucatan, and I'm sure she'd change her tune !
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Old 03-28-20, 07:32 AM
  #45  
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If it's that warm I would go the other direction, just ride in shorts. At least I have comfy contact lenses now so rain doesn't mess up my glasses.
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