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? canceling overnighter?

Old 09-10-19, 02:51 PM
  #1  
baldilocks
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? canceling overnighter?

I have long read of your various tours and though it would be awesome to do. I finally planed a bicycle overnight-er, just to get my feet wet, and the weather isn't cooperating. My plan was to go to a local campground, set up a tarp tent, then go to a mountain bike trail that is in the area. Then I would come back and shower, eat and eventually sleep. Next day I'd pack up and come home. I got everything packed and ready to throw on my bike. I actually bought very little for it, so I can see if I'll enjoy it before spending a lot on it. Depending on what weather site I go to, it's suppose to either Thunderstorm one or both days. I'm so frustrated. Part of me thinks I should just go and hope for the best. I have needed a vacation for a long time. Not sure if I can delay the date at the camp site. Keep looking at the forecast hoping it will change. What would you do.
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Old 09-10-19, 03:14 PM
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I wouldn't get stopped by a forecast for a thunderstorm. that is usually a brief affair. I would go anyway and take other toys with me too just in case I couldn't bike. I mean I ENJOY just camping so I would bring one or two tents or setups and mess around with them, making fire, listening to podcasts, nap in a hammock, bring a guitar etc etc ...
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Old 09-10-19, 03:55 PM
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When you are trying something new, and for you bike touring apparently is new, I think it makes sense to put it off for another week to a better weekend when you would enjoy it more.

I have been bike touring for years. My last bike tour, forecast was for a couple inches of rain during the day on my first day of travel. I had flown to another country for that trip and was staying at a hostel. Staying at that hostel for one additional night and postponing my start date by a day was an option that I took, and all next rainy day when I was indoors looking out through the windows, I felt so good about my decision to stay dry for that day.
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Old 09-10-19, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by tourist in msn View Post
when you are trying something new, and for you bike touring apparently is new, i think it makes sense to put it off for another week to a better weekend when you would enjoy it more.
+1!
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Old 09-10-19, 05:27 PM
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If you want to get your feet wet why would you cancel because of a chance of a thunder storm.😂

Seriously...Dig into the forecast. Scattered or widespread? % chance? Brief or all day?

As an old friend and ride leader used to say: “If you listened to the weather man you’d never ride your bike.”
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Old 09-10-19, 06:07 PM
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Will you melt? Pack a rain layer and a warm layer, easy.
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Old 09-10-19, 06:34 PM
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I'm going with the view that given its your first try at this, you might as well have a nice time, and a nicer weekend sounds like a better time.
I admit I'm biased and don't like riding in the rain, but then lets be realistic, only you know the weather forecast for rain, for temperatures and all that jazz.

but hey, we aint your mom, do what you think is best.
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Old 09-10-19, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post

As an old friend and ride leader used to say: “If you listened to the weather man you’d never ride your bike.”
That's about the size of it. Just take sunglasses & rain gear. 😎 And if it does rain, just remind yourself, rain's better than snow, hail, or sleet. 😁😉
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Old 09-10-19, 10:12 PM
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If it was a long trip (week or more) I would say; do the trip. But being an over-nighter, if you have a normal work week job you can do those anytime. Riding in the rain sucks, but staying in a tarp tent for reasons other than sleeping is worse.
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Old 09-11-19, 03:07 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by baldilocks View Post
I have long read of your various tours and though it would be awesome to do. I finally planed a bicycle overnight-er, just to get my feet wet, and the weather isn't cooperating. My plan was to go to a local campground, set up a tarp tent, then go to a mountain bike trail that is in the area. Then I would come back and shower, eat and eventually sleep. Next day I'd pack up and come home. I got everything packed and ready to throw on my bike. I actually bought very little for it, so I can see if I'll enjoy it before spending a lot on it. Depending on what weather site I go to, it's suppose to either Thunderstorm one or both days. I'm so frustrated. Part of me thinks I should just go and hope for the best. I have needed a vacation for a long time. Not sure if I can delay the date at the camp site. Keep looking at the forecast hoping it will change. What would you do.
A) Find a weather site that shows you hour by hour forecasts. Quite often, on the prairies, there's a thunderstorm at about 7 pm for an hour, but the rest of the day is fine.

B) It's just an overnight and at a campground. It's not like you've booked a 5* hotel or something and are going to be out $300 if you don't go. Even if you let the spot go and book a spot next weekend, you're only down, what, $30?

Does that help you make your decision?
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Old 09-11-19, 03:26 AM
  #11  
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Thanks for all the replies. Still trying to figure it out. It would be more challenging if it were raining. If the forecast looks bad, I could always walk into work tomorrow. We will see.
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Old 09-11-19, 03:35 AM
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I'd say that it is your call so you can be as picky as you choose to be, but in general thunderstorms are often brief and scattered throughout the area, so they often may not even hit everywhere. You might look at the hour by hour forecast before deciding. The chance of a thunderstorm might mean you never go anywhere in some parts of the country or at least it seems that way at times.

On the other hand if you aren't in a hurry you can probably pick a really nice weekend for your first trip. Whatever you decide, have a good time when you do go.
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Old 09-11-19, 05:32 AM
  #13  
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are you comfortable being uncomfortable?
if you are not, you may never enjoy long distance cyclo-touring.
can you become comfortable being uncomfortable. yes, you can. if you don't think so.
i hate cycling in the rain. but i hate not cycling at all even more. so I would go. I think the first time I was heading out for an S24O, it started to rain, so I turned around and went home. It really didn't rain much and I would have been fine.

2 cents worth less than half.
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Old 09-11-19, 06:12 AM
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there are soo many interferences into a camping weekend year round. Holidays, birthdays, superbowls, anniversaries etc etc ... I've learned to take ANY free time away from work and use it.
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Old 09-11-19, 06:21 AM
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Regarding the comments on rain and whether it is miserable riding or camping...

Riding in the rain isn't really all that unpleasant unless it is torrential or unless it is cold and you aren't dressed for it. Lightning isn't a good thing to be riding in. Thunderstorms can be torrential and include lightning. The good news is that they also are generally somewhat brief and can be waited out. So the riding part to my way of thinking isn't really the bigger downside. If it is just a bit of rain riding in it isn't that bad. If it is a torrential thunderstorm maybe complete with lightning strikes, you can generally wait it out.

Camping in the rain... Camping can be a pretty sucky if you don't have your equipment and skills dialed in. If you wind up with wet gear (like your sleeping bag) or water dripping on you when you are trying to sleep it will be miserable. Is that likely to happen to a well prepared experienced camper with decent gear? No. Could it happen to an inexperienced camper with unproven gear? Sure.

Personally, I tend to stay in the tent later on rainy mornings reading or something if it is a hard rain, but I still have rolled out and ridden every morning on my tours no matter how hard it is was raining and never really minded the ride in the rain.

I only remember a couple times when the rain got pretty miserable on any of my tours and in both cases the wind was blowing hard and it was cold along with a hard rain. Both were in the middle of a long tour (coast to coast in both cases), so riding every day was a well established habit by then. In either of those two cases I'd still ride both times if I had those days to do over. I look back on them as character building experiences and just part of touring. On the other hand, if every day was like that I wouldn't tour.
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Old 09-11-19, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by baldilocks View Post
Depending on what weather site I go to, it's suppose to either Thunderstorm one or both days...What would you do.
Here is what I do. It depends a bit on the specific weather forecast, e.g.
* if it says "40% chance of thundershowers, 0.1 inch accumulation", then I just go and hope for the best.
* if it says, "80% chance of rain, 0.75 inch accumulation", then unless I have other constraints, I'll cancel a weekend overnight.

I frequently do these sorts of short weekend overnights here in TX during the cooler months. Reservation times on TX State Parks are so long that I reserve a weekend before knowing specific weather forecast.

I've been wrong once or twice and had a heavier rain storm but those turned out to be OK. It has helped that (a) I can occasionally shift times, e.g. wait to depart until something passes (b) campgrounds sometimes have a covered place where I can pack up before departing (c) once I'm in my tent, all is pretty dry (d) it is rare that central TX has particularly cold rain in contrast to other places I've lived. I've also had multiple weekends where the forecast showers never materialized.

On the weekends when a major front is forecast to go through and predictions are for 0.75inch or more of rain and more a question of "when" than "if", then I'm more inclined to make second thoughts on cycling a rainy weekend.

On weekends when I'm pretty sure I'll cycle regardless of the weather, then I might instead make a motel reservation. For example, I bought some train tickets recently that bring me to Longview TX and three days later back from Texarkana, AR/TX. Only 90 miles but I'll cycle between them unless the weather is horrendous (e.g ice storm), so I have motel reservation as well as train reservation.
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Old 09-11-19, 02:37 PM
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I've decided to postpone it a few weeks. The weather should be better. The main component of this was the mountain bike course that I want to go on. I don't mind being wet, but I don't want to be muddy. As badly as I need a vacation, I think a good vacation will be better. I will save the horrible weather for hotel stays.
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Old 09-11-19, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by baldilocks View Post
I've decided to postpone it a few weeks. The weather should be better. The main component of this was the mountain bike course that I want to go on. I don't mind being wet, but I don't want to be muddy. As badly as I need a vacation, I think a good vacation will be better. I will save the horrible weather for hotel stays.
Well, enjoy it when you do go.

On the muddy thing....

I love to ride the mountain bike on muddy trails and rode many a muddy mile when I lived in the mid atlantic region and raced in MD ,VA, PA, and WV. Mud is really fun. Sadly it is bad for most trail surfaces and usually not advised for environmental reasons.

Here on the Florida panhandle the surfaces seem hold up to wet weather much better at least where I am. No mud though.
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Old 09-11-19, 03:47 PM
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I experimented with a tarp to save weight in my backpacking days. In one outing to the mountains of New Hampshire, it began to rain just as I was setting up the tarp and then rained steadily most of the night. As the camp site was on soft, absorbent forest duff, I was completely dry in a down bag. In another outing in a tarp, I was plagued all night by hoards of hungry mosquitoes. Bring a good supply of bug repellent.
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Old 09-11-19, 05:33 PM
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I respect your decision from both sides of the fence... That being said, if you don't go this weekend, at least go try your bike out on a day trip (this weekend) on a shorter ride. If it rains and you get soaked, see how the gear holds up, and how you are feeling. At some point, you have to commit yourself to the wind and jump into things. You will get poured upon at some point. That's a part of the adventure. Perhaps you could even start the trip and turn back if things get bad, or if things go good, bet the farm and go for the camp ground. Good luck!

Edit- re-reading this, it looks like mud is the big concern. So, the good news, is that if it raining hard enough, it washes off the mud!

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Old 09-16-19, 11:35 AM
  #21  
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Just a general comment on the idea-
If there's a 20% chance of rain, my wife will say "Oh, there's rain in the forecast!" Well, no, there's 80% chance of NO rain. So the comment about the weatherman up there is right on.
I've seen a lot of people skip a lot of rides because it "might" rain.
Meanwhile, my experience is that there are two days a year that are just right for riding. The other 363 days, it's too hot, too cold, too rainy, too windy, too dark or something. And you can spend your life waiting for perfection or just go have fun anyway. If all you ever ride is those two days when it's perfect, you won't be able to ride when they roll around.
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Old 09-16-19, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I've seen a lot of people skip a lot of rides because it "might" rain.
As a former frequent club ride leader that would drive me crazy. Like you mentioned, there will be a 20% chance of scattered later afternoon showers. People would bag and it would either not rain or, like the detailed forecast predicted, there would be scattered showers after the ride was over. After rides like that I would intentionally post ride reports to the club's email list mentioning how those who showed up did not get wet. Then for the next week or two I would run into people who would tell me "Your ride looked really nice. I was going to go, but they were predicting rain." People need to pay attention to the details of the forecast. I swear some people just see rain drops on the graphics and think "washout."
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