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Old 07-26-09, 11:54 AM   #1
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Rain train

I usually only would go out on the dry days, having a new bike and all. Just not that courageous, or what have you. Yesterday it was sprinkling a little, I had just recorded a 90 minute training guide (like a spin class) for my 2.2 mile loop and wanted to do 10 laps. So I went. During the 10 laps we had weather come and go, sprinkling, downpours, dry periods. There were 3 main take home messages from this episode:

1. I wore a sleeveless jersey. Great idea when it's raining (unless you skid and fall, you could get more abrasions that way). The water on the short sleeves kind of pulls at the shoulders, so I was glad it was sleeveless.

2. Handling and braking were fine, despite my fears. However, I was on a loop, a multiuser path with a restricted bike/run lane. So competing with cars and mandatory stops were nonexistent. I'm not so sure I would have enjoyed it as much on the streets competing with traffic etc and the rain on top of it.

3. Back splash from the rear tire went all the way from my seat pack to the back of my helmet! The soil and grease from the road washed out OK but I didn't expect that.

A cool sight: reflection of blue sky appearing after clouds clear, when it quits raining, reflected on the wet road. (Of course things seem unusually pleasant after about 20 miles on bike, but still..)

Overall I will probably not omit training in the future with light rains if I can use this path.

What have been your experiences with training in the rain?
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Old 07-27-09, 12:24 AM   #2
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Avoiding lane markers, metal surfaces and any kind of smooth surface is a good idea. They instantly become ice like. I also do slower turns.

and make sure the destination is home because the back wheel gives you a very nice shower . Unless you have fenders of course.
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Old 07-27-09, 12:28 AM   #3
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Fenders with mudflaps on both are a very, very good idea. The mudflaps ideally should come to about 2" above the ground. You won't melt. Traffic is no biggie. Run blinkies at both ends. You have to allow an extra 20'-30' braking distance in a real rain to allow the pads to clean and dry the rims. Some tires have good grip in the wet, some don't. Grip in the dry doesn't foretell. Wool socks are great. Waterproof clothes are worthless unless it's really cold - like 33.
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