Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Rain, rain gear, dealing with rain?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Rain, rain gear, dealing with rain?

Old 10-26-19, 01:22 AM
  #1  
chrisx
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
chrisx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 916
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 399 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rain, rain gear, dealing with rain?


Sometimes it rains a little more than you expected.
Any thoughts on the subject?
chrisx is offline  
Old 10-26-19, 03:00 AM
  #2  
bikenh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,218
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 128 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
I don't ride set routes. I plan from one day to the next and I watch the weather forecast in detail so I know where the rain is looking to fall around the area where I am riding. I plan my route for the next day/couple of days to ride around the rain so I stay high and dry. If I get myself into the situation where I have to deal with the rain than I take the day off in town. On my 8300 mile trip back in 2015 I only had two days off for rain. I had other days off for time with family or I had three days off, one would have been off for rain, unexpectedly due to being in the right location at the right time for something I was wanting to see...I took the three days off in town and was able to see it.

The more rigid your schedule the more disruptions you can expect to occur. Hence why I always plan one day to the next and let the conditions dictate what I do and when I do it.

If I was caught up in something like the photo you showed, I would head, quickly for higher ground
bikenh is offline  
Old 10-26-19, 05:16 AM
  #3  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 1,622

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 255 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 34 Posts
I'm in the "get wet but stay warm" school. I don't spend much on rain gear, but I pay close attention to the layers under it. Sometimes that means putting on wet clothing in the morning if you're tenting, about two minutes of shock until you warm up.

Some days are just "Type II fun."

I commuted many years in Seattle, year round. Not huge volumes of rain, mainly mist and damp. The big thunderstorms where I grew up in the Midwest are pretty awesome sometimes. I've crossed some flooded side roads, and some concrete fords in the Northwest, ferried the touring bike and packs separately a few times, but never tried to cycle through a flash flood. That's not even Type II fun.
andrewclaus is offline  
Likes For andrewclaus:
Old 10-26-19, 06:43 AM
  #4  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,673

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 222 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 13 Posts
Not all rain is the same...

Cold rain brings with it need to keep warm, avoid hypothermia. Growing up in CO, I used to experience more cold mountain rainshowers - but now in other parts of the country also have places with much warmer rains.

A deluge isn't quite the same as a light rain all day long. When I lived in OR, there could be intense rain showers but more often it was a light rain all day long. In other areas there were more often an intense but brief thundershower.

Thunder and lightning bring with them extra cautions as does hail.

Flooding risks are also different. Semi-arid regions seem to have additional risks of flash flooding. It happens in other areas too, but often the ground can take a good amount of moisture before it saturates and only then does flooding risk increase. In this part of TX, there are drainages that can have beasts of raging flood torrents and have no stream flow much of the year.

As far as cycling and rain goes, it really depends on the types of rain in how I react. I've done a bit of everything. Sometimes taking a day off to let remains of a post-tropical hurricane pass through WV or five inches of rain in Lompoc CA that closed roads. I've also just ridden through some more intense rain or across small flooded sections of roads.
mev is offline  
Old 10-26-19, 07:10 AM
  #5  
Wilmingtech
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Rt 12 Washington USA
Posts: 382

Bikes: 2013 Ridley Helium, 2017 Blue Pro-Secco EX, 1987 Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 39 Posts
The more new rain gear you buy the less likely it will rain.

Heading into the rainy season here in the PNW, I recently bought a new Goretex jacket for myself and a Black Diamond rain coat for my wife, put the summer bike up and also bought a direct drive trainer for indoor fun over the winter.

The day after I bought all this stuff the rain stopped and the forecast is sunny skies all the way until November....
Wilmingtech is offline  
Likes For Wilmingtech:
Old 10-26-19, 07:51 AM
  #6  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 24,104
Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9621 Post(s)
Liked 1,116 Times in 690 Posts
Embrace the rain. In eventually stops.

Before and after:


indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 10-26-19, 10:41 AM
  #7  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5,572
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 798 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 34 Posts
Nice photos^^

I just adapt to the conditions and ride while on tour. The exception is thunder storms; we usually wait those out.

IMO proper rain gear makes riding in the rain almost enjoyable.




Last edited by Doug64; 10-27-19 at 09:41 AM.
Doug64 is offline  
Likes For Doug64:
Old 10-26-19, 11:02 AM
  #8  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 6,209

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1432 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 61 Times in 51 Posts
Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
...
Sometimes it rains a little more than you expected.
Any thoughts on the subject?
Yeah, when the water is that deep and flowing fast, stay out of it.

I walked around for about 10 minutes to decide exactly where to set my tent. Forecast was for several inches so I knew that tent placement was critical. Fortunately I picked well and stayed dry.

First photo, before the rain.




After most of the rain fell, even where it looks dry the grass is tall enough that you can't see over most of the area there is an inch or two of standing water.



Stayed there three nights, the first day it rained and the second day was too windy to make headway so I decided to sit tight instead of riding in the 40 to 70 km/hr winds.

Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 10-26-19, 12:30 PM
  #9  
KC8QVO
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 492

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 110 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post


That is nearly identical to my set up - disk trucker, fenders, and a full set of Ortlieb's. Good stuff!

I have been hypothermic in rain with air temperatures in the 70's backpacking and riding. You wouldn't think it, considering how much of a workout you can get doing either activity, but the truth of it is being stuck in a lot of rain and staying soaking wet wicks away body heat and you can get pretty darn cold. Been there done that. I am fairly thin and get cold easily anyway, so maybe that is just me. In any case, don't take getting wet lightly.

On the other hand, I've been on trips where it has been 80-90 degrees and had thunderstorms. Getting wet then was an absolute blessing to cool off. As long as I'm not stuck in the rain for too long I don't really mind it at those temperatures. Mid-70's or below - yea it gets to be another ballgame entirely.

If being in the rain for a long period of time (several hours, half your riding for the day, or more), regardless of what the air temp is, I'd say its time for rain gear. The warmer it is the more you will sweat inside and deal with getting wet on the inside anyway, though. So it is a trade-off. In that case, it may just be worth it to wait out the rain.

One, perhaps unconventional, idea is face protection in the rain. I wear clear safety glasses or sunglasses when I ride 90% of the time, mostly to keep bugs out of my eyes. The clear lenses can help in lower light/cloudy weather, but can also do a lot to shield your eyes from the rain when riding. You might think this is a bit awkward of an idea, but on open boats I wear face shields when I am caught out in the weather. It's no fun getting face-blasted with rain going 20-40mph. The shields actually work quite well. You may be able to use the same theory for better face protection when riding, though just to keep the water off, I doubt anyone is going to be going fast enough to get face-blasted by rain drops on a bike.
https://www.harborfreight.com/safety...sor-62995.html
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 10-26-19, 03:19 PM
  #10  
chrisx
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
chrisx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 916
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 399 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by bikenh View Post

If I was caught up in something like the photo you showed, I would head, quickly for higher ground
Rained real good for about 1 hour.

Flat as flat can be around here. Rain every afternoon for a week. The day before the photo was a lot the same.

Plan around the rain. Never seen anybody ride 1,001 kilometers in one or two days. They had enough hail to cover the ground 1,001 kilometers south of here the same day. Higher elevation.

88% wool socks could help if your feet are wet all day long. Not very comfortable though.
chrisx is offline  
Old 10-26-19, 04:46 PM
  #11  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 6,209

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1432 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 61 Times in 51 Posts
Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
...
One, perhaps unconventional, idea is face protection in the rain. I wear clear safety glasses or sunglasses when I ride 90% of the time, mostly to keep bugs out of my eyes. The clear lenses can help in lower light/cloudy weather, but can also do a lot to shield your eyes from the rain when riding. ...
For me, it is 100 percent of the time that I have some form of eye protection. It is an old habit, I drove a lot of miles on motorcycles.

I prefer yellow lens over clear, but I do agree with you that most other cyclists that have neither should consider getting a pair. I just posted a photo with my yellow ones at this link at another thread, the second photo at that post shows the yellow lens on the glasses.
https://www.bikeforums.net/21181381-post2.html
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 10-26-19, 05:51 PM
  #12  
bikenh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,218
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 128 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
I wear 70% or so wool socks year round, day and most of the time night time as well. I love them. I don't wear anything else anymore for sock wear. I found the idea here on BF many years back, I think over in the winter riding forum and gave it shot and have never turned back. I had no trouble wearing them even down in FL in July during the 2015 bike trip, they were very comfortable. I was shocked how well they worked. My feet weren't hot and during the winter months with the same socks my feet aren't cold.

I have ridden quite a few times in 40 degree rain and I find anywhere from freezing to around 40 degrees as some of the nicest rain to ride in. It is generally light rain and not downpours. I find that as long as I keep myself moving I'm fine even with very little on. It's when you stop that you quickly cool down and need the extra layers. When I say a 40 degree rain I'm talking a NH 40 degree rain and not a CO 40 degree. The difference being in NH a 40 degree has the rain starting to fall when the temperature is 40 degrees and the rain continues to fall and the temperature continues to be 40 degrees. A CO 40 degree rain starts when the temperature is 70 degrees and then the rain starts and the temperature plunges to 40 degrees as the cold front moves through. I've ridden a CO 55 degree rain. I was fine while I was on the bike but the second I stopped I froze my butt off. It took forever to warm back up, even on July 4th weekend in Ohio.

Try using a ballcap under the helmet to keep the eyeglasses dry. Make a homemade rain bootie out of plastic shopping bag and duct tape. Make glove covers also out of a plastic shopping bag. I use them all the time. You can also make a saddle cover quick and easy out of plastic shopping bags.
bikenh is offline  
Old 10-26-19, 08:23 PM
  #13  
ricrunner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 123

Bikes: Malvern Star Oppy S1 Gravel

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I have got cheap rain gear, so just good enough for a squall, but if I see a storm in advance, I find a place quickly to set up my tent and get inside with the dog. I do this mainly as I don't feel safe riding, due to cars not really seeing my bike and trailer. The lights are okay for day travelling and a little bit at night, but I don't think their much good for heavy rain. Plus I don't like wet feet. I will stay in the tent for the rest of the day, and if it is still stormy the next day, will stay again. I usually have enough food and water on board for my dog and I to hole up for a while
ricrunner is offline  
Old 10-26-19, 08:37 PM
  #14  
Miele Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,467

Bikes: Miele Latina, Miele Suprema, Miele Uno SL, Miele MTB, Bianchi Model Unknown, Fiori Venezia, VeloSport Adamas AX

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 478 Post(s)
Liked 111 Times in 82 Posts
I still remember a time when we were driving on an island in Northern Ontario Canada after a rainstorm. there was a hollow on the dirt road with standing water on it. The driver was just going to drive slowly through it. I got out, cut down a 6 feet tall sapling and proceeded to walk slowly through the standing water whilst probing ahead of me with the sapling. At one point the sapling went into the water to the point that the hand holding it was barely out of the water. that meant there was at least five and three-quarter feet of water there. Had we driven into that we'd have been stuck.

As far as moving water goes, you'd be amazed at just how little it takes to float even a car away let alone a bicycle or bicyclist walking a bike.

Even with Gortex I figure that with exertion you'll be wet. I remember the adage "wet and warm or wet and cold but wet either way. I like a spare set of clothing and lightweight rain gear.

Cheers
Miele Man is offline  
Old 10-26-19, 10:35 PM
  #15  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5,572
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 798 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 34 Posts
We had 35 days of rain on a 3-month tour. After awhile we just got used to it. A women we were talking to told us, "this is the wettest summer since 1974 when I was pregnant with my first son."

This was one of the storms we rode in. This picture was taken at 10:00 am, and that is really how dark it got. I was digging out my raingear and the tent's ground cloth. My wife and I just stood back to back and rolled up in the groundcloth. We've used this technique before, and it keeps you relatively warm and dry. The main storm didn't last too long, but it was intense.



The results of that storm.




This was the first time we wrapped up in the ground cloth. This southern Idaho storm was producing a lot of lightning and we were the tallest things around and riding metal bikes. We left the bikes on the roadside, went down the roadbank, and waited for the storm to pass over.


Last edited by Doug64; 10-28-19 at 10:47 PM.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 10-27-19, 12:41 AM
  #16  
ThermionicScott 
hungry
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 19,395

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 81 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2467 Post(s)
Liked 361 Times in 263 Posts
Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
I'm in the "get wet but stay warm" school. I don't spend much on rain gear, but I pay close attention to the layers under it. Sometimes that means putting on wet clothing in the morning if you're tenting, about two minutes of shock until you warm up.

Some days are just "Type II fun."

I commuted many years in Seattle, year round. Not huge volumes of rain, mainly mist and damp. The big thunderstorms where I grew up in the Midwest are pretty awesome sometimes. I've crossed some flooded side roads, and some concrete fords in the Northwest, ferried the touring bike and packs separately a few times, but never tried to cycle through a flash flood. That's not even Type II fun.
Somehow, I was not aware of the fun scale until just now. Thank you for that!
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 10-28-19, 09:53 PM
  #17  
DropBarFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,947

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 587 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 25 Times in 21 Posts
For heavy and/or cold rain or even snow it's a nice option to have a hood. Helmet covers can still let water trickle down the neck.
DropBarFan is offline  
Old 10-31-19, 10:12 PM
  #18  
tspoon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Stratford, New Zealand
Posts: 295

Bikes: 1990 Paul Dye Hand Built 7 Speed, 1965 Raleigh Sport, Folding 26" Tourer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I'll keep going during rain. In New Zealand you don't get all that far if you stop for rain. Having said that, it's better to take quiet routes if it is wet, as automobile drivers don't seem to alter their driving speeds to suit, or care particularly whether the risk of hitting someone is increased by poor weather.

My rain jacket is a mid price, semi breatheable type, such that you also keep warmish with it on. I recently rode a solid 9 hours in rain, much of it crazy heavy, and was mildly damp by the end of it. It was nice to get in that hot tub though...
tspoon is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.