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Riding in the rain yesterday defeated me

Old 03-13-20, 01:41 AM
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RMoudatir
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Riding in the rain yesterday defeated me

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.

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Old 03-13-20, 03:17 AM
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Kabuki12
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I used to ride in the rain back when I was in my twenties. My wife and I lived on a sail boat in Channel Islands Harbor for twelve years and did not drive a car for about two years. It could be brutal, but we were young and it was our life style. We had really good foul weather gear but still the wet would get to me. Now in my mid sixties , I live in an area where it is sunny and dry most of the time and have no desire to ride on rainy days. Joe
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Old 03-13-20, 03:23 AM
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These days I'm pretty much an all weather cyclist. I haven't worried too much about rain until recently but this February was the wettest on record over here and I got thoroughly drenched three times. The first time I didn't have any waterproofs with me and, as you said, got really cold. The second time I had some waterproof over-trousers (sorry, pants) with me but I didn't think it was going to be that bad. By the time I realised it was raining really hard and the road had turned in to a river it was too late ... and I got really, really cold AGAIN! By the third time I'd learned my lesson and pulled on my waterproof over-trousers before I left. It made a huge difference. I have a windproof jacket that actually keeps the water out pretty well so the top half of me was fine. My tights, however, are useless in anything other than the slightest shower so the waterproofs made a huge difference. In addition, they covered the tops of my overshoes so I was getting very little water in the shoes. The result was that I arrived home more-or-less warm and dry. I now carry those over-trousers whenever I think it's likely to rain.
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Old 03-13-20, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RMoudatir View Post
I hardly ride in the rain but today 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.

That was hypothermia. You actually reduced your core temp with the evaporating water.

If you're going to ride in the rain, invest in a poncho.
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Old 03-13-20, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by RMoudatir View Post
This ride was miserable, I don't know how you guys ride in rain all year long. I'll take freezing temperatures any day.
For me when it's cold and raining it's only commuting rides and the "how" is that it's only 30-40 minutes. I stay warm enough from the effort even soaked (I have no real rain gear), for that short a time, but an hour or more is a different story.
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Old 03-13-20, 05:32 AM
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The same as above, down to the detail.
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Old 03-13-20, 05:37 AM
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I agree with you. I've ridden in temperatures down to the single digits F (-10 to -20C), and I've skied (and sledded, walked to school, delivered papers...) in weather down to the -30s F, but the coldest I've ever been was during a ride where I got caught in heavy rain with temperatures in the low 40's F without a wind barrier layer. Like you, I finally made it home and got into bed with every blanket we owned, shivering violently for over half an hour.
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Old 03-13-20, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
I agree with you. I've ridden in temperatures down to the single digits F (-10 to -20C), and I've skied (and sledded, walked to school, delivered papers...) in weather down to the -30s F, but the coldest I've ever been was during a ride where I got caught in heavy rain with temperatures in the low 40's F without a wind barrier layer. Like you, I finally made it home and got into bed with every blanket we owned, shivering violently for over half an hour.
I think people grossly underestimate how much body heat they lose to wind evaporating water even at relatively warm temperatures.
It can actually be dangerous as your level of consciousness starts to be impaired.
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Old 03-13-20, 07:27 AM
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I don't ride in the rain. My glasses will get all wet and I won't be able to see where I'm going.
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Old 03-13-20, 07:30 AM
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I am strongly considering taking my MTB out for a spell today on the local roads. Done it before. Problem is I hate having to do a thorough cleaning afterwards. The bike, clothes, towels and me. An hour ride turns into two hours of work.
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Old 03-13-20, 07:39 AM
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I avoid it
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Old 03-13-20, 07:40 AM
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I deliberately rode in the rain once, almost 30 years ago. That was enough for me. I've also been caught in a rain with substantial lightening. No thank you.
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Old 03-13-20, 07:58 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I think people grossly underestimate how much body heat they lose to wind evaporating water even at relatively warm temperatures.
It can actually be dangerous as your level of consciousness starts to be impaired.
Been there. Done that. During a tour I got caught at 7,800 feet with a crappy rain shell. (I got a case of weight weenie fever when packing the day before I left for the trip.) Started to rain heavily just as I started the long descent. Temperature felt like the low 40s. Maybe even upper 30s. Fortunately, much of the descent was a pedaling descent. I had to hammer as hard as I could to generate body heat. My hands were like blocks of ice. Fortunately, I didn't need to use the brakes. I could have ridden passed a dozen moose in the creek next to me and never would have seen them. My only objective was getting off the mountain. Looked forward to the few points where the road ticked up so I could generate even more heat. By the time I got down into town, where it was dry, I had a headache was somewhat confused. My decision making was definitely impaired. Finally remembered where in town the local motel was and made it there. Took me a long time to raise my core temperature even with the heat blasting and taking a hot bath. Walked to dinner a couple of hours later and was still chilled and somewhat lethargic thinking-wise.

I'll never again go into a situation like that without adequate rain gear. I am planning to ride that same pass again this June. Hope the weather is nicer.
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Old 03-13-20, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Been there. Done that. During a tour I got caught at 7,800 feet with a crappy rain shell. (I got a case of weight weenie fever when packing the day before I left for the trip.) Started to rain heavily just as I started the long descent. Temperature felt like the low 40s. Maybe even upper 30s. Fortunately, much of the descent was a pedaling descent. I had to hammer as hard as I could to generate body heat. My hands were like blocks of ice. Fortunately, I didn't need to use the brakes. I could have ridden passed a dozen moose in the creek next to me and never would have seen them. My only objective was getting off the mountain. Looked forward to the few points where the road ticked up so I could generate even more heat. By the time I got down into town, where it was dry, I had a headache was somewhat confused. My decision making was definitely impaired. Finally remembered where in town the local motel was and made it there. Took me a long time to raise my core temperature even with the heat blasting and taking a hot bath. Walked to dinner a couple of hours later and was still chilled and somewhat lethargic thinking-wise.

I'll never again go into a situation like that without adequate rain gear. I am planning to ride that same pass again this June. Hope the weather is nicer.
Godspeed, Indyfabz, godspeed!
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Old 03-13-20, 08:38 AM
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It's hard to believe but you can get hypothermia even in summer if the rain is very cold. The first sign of hypothermia is uncontrollable shivering. When the shivering stops and you're still out in the rain or cold, then you are in VERY SERIOUS trouble.

Cold rain is why I carry a waterproof/windproof jacket and pants and full-finger gloves if it looks like it's going to rain sometime on my ride. It's amazing how quickly hypothermia can strike in a cold rain even in summer.

Glad the OP is okay.

Cheers
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Old 03-13-20, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Godspeed, Indyfabz, godspeed!
There's a purdy waterfall heading down south. I stopped, snapped one photo, and kept moving.

Not my photo:

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Old 03-13-20, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
It's hard to believe but you can get hypothermia even in summer if the rain is very cold. The first sign of hypothermia is uncontrollable shivering. When the shivering stops and you're still out in the rain or cold, then you are in VERY SERIOUS trouble.

Cold rain is why I carry a waterproof/windproof jacket and pants and full-finger gloves if it looks like it's going to rain sometime on my ride. It's amazing how quickly hypothermia can strike in a cold rain even in summer.

Glad the OP is okay.

Cheers

I'm not going to look it up now, but wet people have died from hypothermia at amazingly warm air temperatures just from the effects of wind and that's without the added airflow of bicycling.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:16 AM
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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.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:36 AM
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I wouldn't deliberately go out to ride in the rain. I was caught in the rain last summer in a 120-km ride with friends. Air temp was in the mid-25's Celcius, but when you're wet it feels really cold at speed.

I commute in the rain. But that's only a 20-km ride. I have a change of clothes and a dryer at work. And it's usually not raining on the way home. I wouldn't ride for fun in the rain. It'd be no fun at all.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:50 AM
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Warm rain is fun -- at 85F or so, it's free sweat, so you don't have to concentrate on drinking so much.

Cold rain can be miserable. But properly clothed, it's tolerable, if not pleasurable. I did a 300k (IIRC) brevet where it rained for the first 150 km, and was down near freezing. Base layer, warm jersey, waterproof jacket, polypro skull cap and tights were enough to keep me going. After the first half, the sun came out, it warmed up, and the rest of the ride was enjoyable.

Keys were probably the core clothing, rain jacket, and the polypro that dried quickly every time the rain let up.
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Old 03-13-20, 10:50 AM
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Here in one of the two rain capitals of the USA, it rains about 8 months a year. It does occasionally get into the high 20s, but not often, and when it does it is almost always dry. I find those days a cakewalk. We have had zero snow so far this winter. Could snow this weekend, though.

All that said, we have many, many days of lowish 40s/high 30s and lots of rain. Very common. It is just unbelieveably cold when it is like this, esp. if it is windy. The key for me is to try to stay as dry as possible wiht the appropriate gear, as mentioned above. I find feet particularly important--I wear some Showers Pass waterproof socks that do help a bit. Sadly, though, if I am out for more than 2 hours or so, it is just super hard to ultimately win the warmth war. Even if you think you are warm enough, you may discover when you return home that you were, in fact, not. I have had the experience of not coming in soon enough and then shivering--inside--for a couple of hours. More than once. I misjudged how cold I really was.

So, this type of rain plus high 30s/low 40s can be quite dangerous, in my experience. I really don't generally recommend people to be out in it for more than maybe 2ish hours or so, unless they have killer rain gear and some prior experience successfully doing it in that gear.

Weather is weather. You get used to what you have where you live, usually.People in Phoenix hike Camelback in July all the time. People on Oahu know when it is dangerous to be out on the water. They know how to do it and not die. Like most things in life, it seems like local people are the go-to folks on what is safe and what is not wherever you happen to be.
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Old 03-13-20, 10:52 AM
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I don't mind riding in the rain so much, but I hate spending an hour to clean up the bike afterwards.
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Old 03-13-20, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I don't mind riding in the rain so much, but I hate spending an hour to clean up the bike afterwards.
Look up Pactour or maybe Lon Haldeman's bike wash on youtube. No more than 15 minutes, half of which is finding the bucket and the right brush and then putting them away when you're done. (Second bike is only 5 minutes extra, FWIW.)
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Old 03-13-20, 12:16 PM
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Raincoats can be unreliable. It's good to have a contingency plan in case your raincoat fails as it's impossible to gauge how long the water resistance will last under any given rainfall until it's too late. Even good coats can unexpectedly wear out over time.
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Old 03-13-20, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by EviLDORK View Post
Raincoats can be unreliable. It's good to have a contingency plan in case your raincoat fails as it's impossible to gauge how long the water resistance will last under any given rainfall until it's too late. Even good coats can unexpectedly wear out over time.
Well, some maybe but there are good ones. I rode the Bike Tour of Colorado when it rained every day, used a Showers Pass jacket, it was pretty good. It kept the wind chill tolerable.

When I did a lot of backpacking I was taught that 55 was the temp. to watch out for as you dont think its cold but if you get wet and have a 12-15 mph wind chill, hypothermia can set in and you dont expect it.
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