Weather Forecasts: Risk/Reward
Who doesn’t mind riding in inclement weather? Who prefers fair weather, only?
On a day like today, where all news services were calling for continued rain throughout the day, I was fortunate enough to dodge the rain this morning and I am pleasantly surprised that my evening commute will most likely have clear skies and warm temps.
I don’t mind rain, especially on the way home. Running through some big mud puddles puts a smile on my face, actually
If its raining when I head to work, I’ll put on rain pants and jacket, and throw dry socks in my bag.
I generally don’t mind the rain, especially if it’s above 50 degrees. I’d prefer it not to be raining on the commute to work (though I survived this morning), and I don’t really mind it for the ride home.
About the only type of inclement weather that will keep me at home is lots of snow.
Ice and freezing rain makes me twitch. Aside from that, it’s all good.
I usually ignore the weather reports and look at the radar myself. I can’t remember the last time I biked in a hard rain. When it’s warm like today though I would ride through anything but a thunderstorm.
100% with your Rsprake. We get *a lot* of rain here. If you’re “not going to ride in the rain” (which typically means “I don’t plan to ride if the forecast says rain”) you’re not going to get much riding done around here.
The funny thing is I think you get more wet from the spray than the rain. I finally got full fenders this year and would way rather have those on than a cape and no fenders.
One of the big changes I see in bikes the last few years is that I am no longer the only bike with full fenders most of the places I go.
I will end up getting cough in the rain a few times a year. Having fenders would help a lot but, my roadbike doesn’t have room for fenders
I don’t mind riding in a light rain. Heavy rain makes for poor visibility, and puddles obscure potholes, broken glass and other debris. I had a scary moment a few months back descending Dallas in a torrential downpour. Couldn’t see a thing, and I didn’t think that motorists could see me either, and getting off the road wasn’t all that easy either. I ended up walking the rest of the way home. Then it stopped raining and the sun came out.
My rule is, if there’s rain in the forecast, but it’s less than 100% and it’s not raining in the morning, then I’ll ride to work anyway.
@andrew Look into the SKS Road Blade Fenders or the similar model from Planet Bike. I actually don’t use the front fender as I find it makes my feet more wet (too short, lack of mud flap) but I consistently get compliments from those I ride with on how well my rear fender works and that it doesn’t spray them.
Any seatpost mounted fender will work on your bike and keep you from getting wet although it sprays the person behind you.
anyone using Crud Road Racer fenders? http://www.crudusa.com/product/27
Yikes! Lotsa responses. I think I’ve experienced enough days of regret that my first reaction now is to bike in every morning. I don’t mind the cold, but add a heavy rain at 35 degrees and I think twice.
I guess the general consensus is nobody minds the weather going home, but most would prefer to avoid a soaking on the ride in if they could. I’d agree.
I’ve reached a point where the weather may affect how far I will ride but not whether or not I will ride. I’ll drive into Squirrel Hill or perhaps the East End and ride the rest of the way when it’s nice. I’ll park at the Swinburne Steet lot at the end of the Eliza Furnace Trail when it’s cold or wet. Even when Snowmageddon hit, my initial response with three feet of snow on the trail was to park at the Swinburne Street lot and walk the rest of the way into town.
I ride unless I feel the snow/ice makes it too dangerous, which is rare. Rain is only water- I have a full change of clothes at work including shoes and socks. Have not soaked my underwear yet, but have that just in case.
Rainy and around freezing is my least favorite, but still ridable.
I did forget to mention I really like seeing my reflection in a thin film of water on the road- makes getting we definitley worth it.
Shadows are nice also- on the jail trail they come up from behind, pass and fade, then there is another one.
For commuting I like it when it’s cold because then my rain gear doesn’t make me as super sweaty underneath. The precipitation doesn’t bother me much when it’s cool enough to wear the gear.
I got the idea to ride in swim trunks in the warm weather rain from quizbot last year. This time of year is hard. Take your pick, get wet from rain or wet from your gear?
Suggestions welcome on a smallish, under-the-seat duffel bag. Working from what rsprake said, being able to shed or add clothing en route, depending on how hot or wet it is, would make riding a lot more fun. (or perhaps for a WNBR, but that’s a topic for another thread *grin*)
If I don’t ride in the rain, I’ll wait for the bus in the rain. That pretty much sets me for riding, except in winter hazard weather. There was more than a week that I didn’t ride this winter.
Today is a perfect example. The rain was supposed to be here by 10am and not stop. Looking at the radar it appears I won’t see any rain until well after I am home.
Whenever it’s rainy and this one co-worker of mine sees me bringing in my bike, she tells the nearest person about the day I interviewed at my current job. She thinks this story is the best thing ever ‘cuz she used to commute by bike when she was younger but doesn’t anymore.
It was July, and the rain was NUTS. I knew I had to look nice for my interview (luckily, I don’t wear make-up and have easy-to-fix hair), so I put on a pretty dress, sweater, and a scarf. I put all my rain gear over it and stuffed the dress into my rain pants, and threw my fancy shoes in my pannier. I was SOAKED when I came in, shook hands with the Exec. Director and my future supervisor, and then ran to the bathroom and quickly did the whole wet-to-dressy transformation. Everyone in the office was really amazed by it and couldn’t believe how dry/nice I looked when I came out. Oh, the wonders of bike commuting!
I have mixed feelings in situations like this, because on the one hand it feels nice when people are impressed by me riding every day in the rain, snow etc… but at the same time, I wish people didn’t treat it as such an impossible thing to do, like that only people with a special “something” can do it.
In general, I try to time my ride to avoid the rain, and bring extra underwear, shoes, etc. if needed. My commute to work is fairly short, so I’m usually fine as long as I’m prepared with a few things. Same goes for riding to run errands. Waiting for the bus in the rain is always more frustrating than it’s worth, especially when I look at my fellow bikey citizens riding by like it’s no big thing. I’ll won’t ride if it seems like the snow/ice is too hazardous, which doesn’t happen often.
I always check weather.com’s hourly forecast. If it says there is a >30% chance of rain during my estimated ride length, I make sure I have rain gear w/ me.
Worked well last night, when I left (5PM) it said “Showers” from 5-7 right before I left. It was sprinkling at the time, so I threw on my rain gear and spent the whole time in the rain.
I actually enjoy riding in the rain, its the stopping that sucks since that when I notice that I’m cold and wet.
Last night convinced me that I finally need to break out the waterproofing spray I bought. My jacket was pretty soaked through by the time I got home.
I’m disappointed that I worked from home yesterday, as I didn’t get a chance to try out my brand new rain cape (thanks netviln!).
I had a jacket, but I didn’t wear it… the rain was nice yesterday.
Anyone wear glasses in the rain? Any suggestions? I don’t mind getting a little wet but not being able to see is kind of a bad thing. I used to wear contacts but I can’t anymore so I don’t have any experience with this.
I’ve heard rain-x, I might give it a try…
Glasses eventually become a liability in the rain. They get so covered in grime that they have to come off at some point. A hat will help a lot (keeps the spray out of your eyes) as will a fender (same thing).
I have contacts that I sue when I swing dance, sometimes for musical performance, or social events. I don’t see well enough with my contacts to be comfortable driving at night.
On the other hand, on a bike in the rain, they are WAY better than my glasses.
In hard rain, I take my glasses off sometimes. Even though I’m on the edge of being legally blind without them, I see better.
I wear glasses in all conditions. I keep my head down to minimize spray and such. My only problem is fog at low speed/climbing wearing my balaclava in mid-thirties and rain-type weather. Thought of wiping anti-fog solution on them, but never do…
The spit(saliva) trick used by scuba divers works somewhat well to prevent lens fogging, in my experience.
Of course, then you’ve got dried spit all over your glasses, but nothing’s perfect.
Fenders and a baseball hat under my helmet when it rains keep them pretty clear. Do not look straight up or straight down.
I’ve got a set of waterproof panniers and take a complete change of clothes with me to work every day (save for the shoes…those I leave at my desk).
With that, I ride whatever the weather.
I love riding in the snow. I was out of the country for Snowmageddon, but there were plenty of other opportunities to enjoy the snow this winter. The best parts are when my co-workers see my helmet on my desk and say, “You rode in THIS?!?” and when my by-the-book, stickler-for-the-rules boss orders me to leave early so I can deal with the snow in the daylight. I don’t tell her that I use the extra time to take a longer ride
I hate the rain when it’s 35 – 45…parts of me are hot and other parts or me are cold and all of me is damp and unpleasant no matter how I dress. It still beats driving, though. I guess I prefer that it doesn’t rain, but it doesn’t stop me from riding if it does. I look at the weather every morning before I leave, but it’s mostly so I know what to wear and what to pack.
I only started bike commuting last summer and went full-time in December, so I haven’t gone through a thunderstorm yet. I’m looking forward to it, though…there’s just something about being out while the wind picks up and those first few drops begin to fall.
Mattre: have you tried wool for the cold-and-wet? One of its specialties is damp-yet-warm.
As others have said, as long as it’s not thundering or 35 degrees, rain is usually no problem and can even be pleasant.
But my worst rain-related memory is one cold night I was on the walled-off path/sidewalk along Second Ave near the end of the jail trail. I knew that during heavy rain, there’s a large puddle that forms on the road, but for some reason I thought I would get lucky. Nope.
Just as I turned the corner and headed east on 2d ave., a car coming the other way drove through the puddle sending a giant wall of dirty, icy water straight at my face, body, and bike. (I’m assuming it was dirty, but in truth I couldn’t see a thing.) It hit every part of me, though luckily it didn’t knock me off. The whole event seemed so ridiculous — like something out of a lame comedy — that I actually kind of grinned. And when I got home I found that my rain jacket, combined with rain pants over booties, kept me pretty dry on the inside after all.
Still, sometimes I can almost taste that. And I’ve resolved to get better at my timing in similar situations.
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