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Rain riding

Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Rain riding

Old 06-16-19, 05:01 PM
  #26  
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Light rain or on and off showers and I’ll still ride. I’ve ridden in heavy cold wind driven rain before and have no desire to to that again. Temperature above 50 if rain, above freezing if not, although I’ll go out in the 20’s if the paved trail near me is snow and ice free.

High winds will keep me from riding more than temperature or rain.
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Old 06-16-19, 07:09 PM
  #27  
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I donít, because there is no need for me too. If itís raining, Iíll jump on my floating smart rollers and ZWIFT or do some structured training on them. I can get a lot more doing it that way in a controlled environment vs. trying to do it outside dealing with traffic and stop signs. Riding floating smart rollers never leaves me wanting in terms of not being able to ride outside because I am riding my bike. There is no artificiality of being locked in to a stationary trainer. I can drift left or right and the bike can float forwards and backwards underneath me when I get out of the saddle or the onset of a lot of power in the saddle. If itís not raining but there is a possibility, and there is a group ride I want to be on, Iíll use my old bike. I have a lot of friends who think outside miles are better than inside miles and they ride their bikes in the rain and they get nothing out of the ride other than being outside. You do need to keep on top of maintenance regularly riding in the rain.
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Old 06-16-19, 07:35 PM
  #28  
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Zero problems riding in the rain, not even a factor in my decision to ride if it's above maybe 65F. I enjoy it at times compared to maybe 95F and 90% humidity. Thunderstorms I may or not go but they are usually quick and isolated. Where I ride changes with rain. I am very picky about the space and traffic on that road and will always skip sharing a lane in almost all cases. Luckily where I live there are a lot of options including wide open MUPs and I can use them in stead.
Never understood fenders in a heavy rain, you are as wet from above as you can get, how much less saturated can you be with a fender? Most of the summer my clothes is as wet as it can get from sweat. Rain would be better. Maybe you get less road splashed grit on you but it washes right off just the same in your post shower. Commuting yes, not a work out ride.

Last edited by u235; 06-16-19 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 06-16-19, 08:11 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by moto367 View Post
So what are your "rules of thumb" for deciding to ride in the rain or not? Silly question I know...
We've had a ton of rain here this year and it's hampering my ride time. When I was younger I'd just go. Being older I find my motivation level dropping with less than ideal conditions. Is it age or pussitus? I'm thinking the latter. Anyway, when do you all decide that the rain is too hard, too wet or whatever to go ride in?
Simple, avoid it at all costs. I simply won't go out in the rain or if its forecast and likely, its just too dangerous. Nevertheless, when I would commute and had no driving alternative I'd leave home well ahead of time and "creep" to work. Its the only time I'd ride on the sidewalk.

For the record, "rain" means many things to different people depending on what region you live in. I mean there are northwestern misty "drizzle all day rain". And then there's mid-western and southern rains where the rains are mini hurricanes.

Believe me when I say you do not want to get caught out in the open when a southern-style thunderstorm hits. Flooded streets within minutes, where you have no idea what's beneath those waters. Or a bus or semi passes you and the spray in your face or waves knock you over.

You get to work covered in rancid street spray with squish shoes and socks. You'd better have the ability to shower and change clothes lest the biological fermentation from the rain water will send you workmates scurrying for refuge as far away from you as possible. The last thing the workplace "commuting cyclist wants to be known for.

Last edited by KraneXL; 06-17-19 at 10:36 AM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 06-17-19, 02:36 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Simple, avoid it at all costs. I simply won't go out in the rain or if its forecast and likely, its just too dangerous. Nevertheless, when I would commute and had no driving alternative I'd leave home well ahead of time and "creep" to work. It the only time I'd ride on the sidewalk.

For the record, "rain" means many things to different people depending on what region you live in. I mean there are northwestern misty "drizzle all day rain". And the there's mid-western and southern rains where the rains are mini hurricanes.

Believe me when I say you do not want to get caught out in the open when a southern-style thunderstorm hits. Flooded streets within minutes, where you have no idea what's beneath those waters. Or a bus or semi passes you and the spray in your face or waves knock you over.

You get to work covered in rancid street spray with squish shoes and socks. You'd better have the ability to shower and change clothes lest the biological fermentation from the water will send you workmates scurrying for refuge as far away from you as possible. The last thing the workplace "commuting cyclist wants to be known for.
i wouldn't worry too much about it. workplace hygiene levels aren't as strict/disqualifying as they should be. now if there's someone you're trying to impress at work, that's a different story.
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Old 06-17-19, 05:03 AM
  #31  
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As a former bike racer I made it a point to ride in the rain for two reasons. First, it provided me time on task training for wet weather riding/grip. Second, it was a chance to get quality training miles when many of my opponents wouldn't ride. There was one point in my "day job" career where I rode a bike at work and we didn't have a choice; you worked, you rode. The same went for cold, snow and ice; "don't ride faster than you're willing to fall" was what I drilled into co-worker's heads when it came to slick conditions. Just this weekend I rode about a hundred miles with @RobbieTunes in the rain. In some ways it's better than a sunny day, you have the world all to yourself for the most part. I look at this way, one day I won't be physically capable of riding my bikes anymore, I don't want to regret all the miles I missed because I didn't want to get wet. If you don't ride on the bad days, how will you appreciate the good ones?
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Old 06-17-19, 06:57 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Just this weekend I rode about a hundred miles with RobbieTunes in the rain. In some ways it's better than a sunny day, you have the world all to yourself for the most part.
So true. It rained here all of last Saturday night/early Sunday morning - stopped around 5 a.m. I went out at 6 a.m. to find empty, quiet roads and a pleasantly damp, misty air at about 62* - wonderful. My apologies to the 10,000 snails I inadvertently ran over.
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Old 06-17-19, 07:25 AM
  #33  
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I prefer not to ride in the rain. But, sometimes you have to. Fund raisers, for example. I've had a few where you make the commitment and, well, you make the ride come rain or whatever.

Like August of 2014, where we all rode 111 miles in some nasty conditions. Cold, wet, windy. Just a miserable day on the bike.
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Old 06-17-19, 09:03 AM
  #34  
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I won't ride in the rain, unless it's a commute, and it's light enough that it won't soak through khakis in a half hour.

Riding is fun. Riding in rain is not fun, so I don't do it. If it's not fun, then the only reason I would be on my bike outside is for training, and I've got a smart trainer in my dry basement now...so that eliminates riding purely for training outside.

Riding with a THREAT of rain is a bit of a more interesting question. If there are expected thunderstorms, but it's currently dry..do you ride? Do you shorten your ride? This is what keeps me up at night

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Old 06-17-19, 10:50 AM
  #35  
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The summer rainy season just started this month in earnest. There is a good chance there will be some kind of rain in the afternoon almost every day. When it begins and how heavy can vary. If it is already raining, then no go. If it looks like rain, but hasn't started yet, then I will ride. I don't mind being caught in the rain as long as there is no lightning. I fact when it is 90 degrees out I welcome some rain. Don't like getting my shoes and socks wet though.
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Old 06-17-19, 10:54 AM
  #36  
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Before biking in the rain I hiked in the rain.

Life on the Appalachian Trail can be wet, I spent three days in the mountains of Georgia in rain, real rain, measured daily by the number of inches that fell that day. I woke in the rain, ate in the rain, packed up in the rain, slogged my miles up and down over and over again in the rain only to set up camp and do it all over the next day. And, yes I also have pooped in the rain (don't ask). It was cold, windy and sometimes near freezing at night. So the though of leaving my warm garage in full kit to put some saddle time in and see the facial expressions of those less enlightened folks stuck in their cars (crazy folk) all the while knowing at the end for me is the warm dry garage and even more comforting dry toilet paper is very welcoming. So I go anytime I can venture out ...safely.
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Old 06-17-19, 11:13 AM
  #37  
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A few years ago, I'd decide whether or not to go out by looking at the hourly forecasts. I found that a) the rain often didn't show up, b) when it did, it usually wasn't that bad and c) I needlessly missed too many riding opportunities during a period when ride time wasn't always easy to come by.

Since then, I'll generally ride on my usual days unless it's already coming down pretty good at the outset; I don't mind getting caught in the rain, but I don't like to set out in anything worse than light rain.

Oh, and I don't ride if there's a credible threat of severe weather, though I'll sometimes squeeze in a quick 20-miler if I think that I can make it back home before it gets too hairy.
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Old 06-17-19, 11:52 AM
  #38  
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Here in the Upper Midwest, I'm actually more likely to ride in the rain when it's the cold, gross rain. During the warm season, there are enough non-rainy hours of daylight to get miles in without dealing with wet weather, and rain is often accompanied by storms with lightning, wind, and hail. During transitional seasons, rain might be the best thing I've got, especially when daylight is limited, country drivers get squirrelly, and snow is coming or going.

Commuting is a different story (rain is fine in that case).
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Old 06-17-19, 01:32 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
Here in the Upper Midwest, I'm actually more likely to ride in the rain when it's the cold, gross rain. During the warm season, there are enough non-rainy hours of daylight to get miles in without dealing with wet weather, and rain is often accompanied by storms with lightning, wind, and hail. During transitional seasons, rain might be the best thing I've got, especially when daylight is limited, country drivers get squirrelly, and snow is coming or going.

Commuting is a different story (rain is fine in that case).
That's the rain I'm referring to. Believe me when I say you'd have to be a crazy man to go riding in that. When those tablespoon size drops start pelting you in the face its no picnic. And once a drop pops you square in the eye your day is ruined to say the least. You're blinded, little to now brakes, slippery handlebar grip and just hold on for dear life and hope you don't hit a pothole or downed branch in the road.

I've seen it so bad that even people in vehicles have to slow down or pull to the side and stop completely -- except for the lunatic that believe his skills are better than everyone elses. An additional, and maybe the greatest, hazard to a cyclist when its raining.

In the summertime, when you see those dark gray thunderstorm clouds approaching you'd better find cover pretty quick. The good news is that generally thunderstorms go by pretty quick, 30-40 minutes. Although I'm known some that have lasted for hours.
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Old 06-17-19, 02:41 PM
  #40  
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Why all the hate on rain?

I mean, not lightning or hail but riding in the rain on a warm summer day is fun.

Even if it is a little cooler then a wool jersey and nice shakedry jacket and wool socks - head out for some fresh air while everyone else rides cartoons on Swift.

The Taiga helmet cover is excellent.

https://www.taigaworks.ca/cart.php?m..._detail&p=1043





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Old 06-17-19, 04:42 PM
  #41  
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I only ride in the rain if it's the weekend. I'm not about to get all kitted up for a ride in the rain after work. It's just not worth it. But when I have a free weekend, I'd much rather get out and ride, regardless of the weather, than sit around all day. In Northern California, we don't get cold enough weather to worry about temperatures, though once in a while, we'll get a really really cold storm that's not fun.

BTW, I have a dedicated bike specifically for wet weather. I would not ride my "nice" bikes in wet weather.
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Old 06-17-19, 06:33 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Why all the hate on rain?

I mean, not lightning or hail but riding in the rain on a warm summer day is fun.
Unfortunately wife and I got caught in, and continued to cycle through, two hail storms while on a non refundable cycling vacation.
Can't say it was fun. But it was an accomplishment to be sure.
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Old 06-17-19, 07:11 PM
  #43  
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For rec riding I'd skip it if it was raining. If there's a high probability of rain I might skip it too, but if I went out I'd take a bike with fenders, and the route would be a more circuitous one where I can b-line it home if it got bad.

For commuting, I'll go out regardless of rain. Seems like this spring has been particularly bad for rain. I feel like I've ridden in more rain this year than any other.
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Old 06-17-19, 07:44 PM
  #44  
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I never start a ride in the rain. If I had a rain bike, I might reconsider that but would never ride in cold rain. I get caught in thunderstorms fairly often in the summer as they pop up unpredictably and there's no way of knowing what might happen over a two hour ride. I don't really mind it, but I riding vintage steel that's had rust issues I worry about the bike. In hard storms, you have to ride in the center of the rain as the right edge tends to puddle too much. This leads to a bit of apprehension over visibility when cars approach from the rear, but I generally find drivers are sympathetic and especially cautious under those conditions.
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Old 06-18-19, 02:59 AM
  #45  
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How much is it going to chuck it down and for how long? But more importantly, what is the wind going to be doing? If it's going to be warm and hammer it down, I will probably still go out. However, sustained winds over 25mph means I will probably stay home.
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Old 06-18-19, 04:36 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by moto367 View Post
So what are your "rules of thumb" for deciding to ride in the rain or not? Silly question I know...
We've had a ton of rain here this year and it's hampering my ride time. When I was younger I'd just go. Being older I find my motivation level dropping with less than ideal conditions. Is it age or pussitus? I'm thinking the latter. Anyway, when do you all decide that the rain is too hard, too wet or whatever to go ride in?
Agreed with your assessment that it's the latter.

Unless you're afraid to take showers for fear that the water is too hard or too wet, why not ride (unless lightning is an issue)?

Rain will neither hurt you nor your bike -- doesn't matter if it's made of steel. The only negative effect is you'll get significantly greater wear on rims and drivetrain components because the grime works like grinding paste. Also more flats because water hides small sharps, makes them stick more readily to your tires, and lubes them so they can penetrate more easily.

If you ride in everything, you realize it's no big deal which makes all riding even more enjoyable.
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Old 06-18-19, 05:06 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
The only negative effect is you'll get significantly greater wear on rims and drivetrain components because the grime works like grinding paste. Also more flats because water hides small sharps, makes them stick more readily to your tires, and lubes them so they can penetrate more easily.

If you ride in everything, you realize it's no big deal which makes all riding even more enjoyable.
I am always in dust, dirt, mud and water. That's what I bought the bike for, part of riding. It's a tool. Maybe my rear der lasts 15k miles instead of forever or I change a chain every 2-4k? Worth every penny to me for the experience. I can look at other people's bikes

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Old 06-18-19, 08:25 PM
  #48  
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I hope some of the comments are jokes

Rain (precipitation) affects us physically and psychologically; and no one in their right mind would deny the significant change in physics involved while riding a bike (or any mechanical device) during a rainstorm or wet conditions.

Its also #1 when it comes to corrosion and significant damage to ALL materials -- metals, and composites. There's so much information to the contrary of positive, that it could fill a database. Basically, the opposite of some "good for you" statements.



"Of those deaths and injuries related to weather, 46% occurred during rainfall, and fully 73% occurred on wet roads. When you contrast those statistics with the 27% of accidents that occurred during snowy and icy road conditions, it is even clearer that wet road conditions are perhaps the single greatest weather-related accident risk factor today’s drivers face."

Last edited by KraneXL; 06-18-19 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 06-18-19, 08:54 PM
  #49  
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I agree with the Mighty KraneXL---most cyclists aren't smart enough to ride well in the rain. After all, between a fifth and a third of accidents involving cyclists supposedly happened in the rain.

Oh, wait ... those are numbers for Automobiles. So ... more bogus data.

Also ... death and injuries related to weather ... so if weather made you crash, in your car, it likely wasn't a tornado ... Brilliant! Yeah, rain and snow are pretty much All the "weather" which most drivers face .... so yeah, if weather is a factor, rain or snow would be the prime suspects. Not tsunamis, I guess.

As I mentioned in another post, I rode pretty much daily for nearly two decades in the cycling-death capital of the country (at that time.) I rode when I had to, regardless of weather.

You know who else does that stuff? Kids. So if children can handle it, I guess I can be childish.

Yeah, you do have to take the lane a lot more, and you have to be extra cautious around cars, and you can't storm into corners like a racer. But I rode steel rims for quite a while (because they were cheap, and that's what came on the cheap bikes I pulled from the trash and Frankensteined together.) So the idea that no one can stop in the rain ...

Say, who here as never heard of "bicycle racing"?

Racers go downhill at ridiculous speeds, wet or dry. And they do it (for the most part) safely. If no one could stop in the rain, every rainy stage would be postponed or canceled. And there is ample evidence that racers race in the rain ... so ...

Yeah, if people are Afraid of riding in the rain, that is legitimate, and I respect those people for recognizing their limitations ("A good man knows his limitations," Mr. Eastwood told us.) I have had to face my fear-based limitations both in road-riding and more particularly in MTB riding. We all want to be Mr. Macho, but sometimes I would stop at the top of a drop-in and just say "No." I know that if I am afraid enough, I won't have the fine motor control to pull off the descent, and I will crash--I learned the heard (-headed) way. So for those people afraid to ride in the rain---bravo.

But don't try to sell the rest of the world on the idea that it is impossible just because you choose not to do it. Some people even enjoy it. You aren't wrong---and neither are they.

I just missed a week of riding because every day I waited to see if it would rain and by the time it either did or didn't I had missed my window of riding time. No more. I am ready to hit the road regardless.
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Old 06-18-19, 10:06 PM
  #50  
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I live in Portland, OR. October through May, rain is life. Fenders are always installed, rain gear is always in a bag, generator lights are always on, and wool is my friend. Honestly, riding in a light mist or drizzle can be quite nice. Much of the rain here falls into that category.

Commuting and randonneuring happen regardless. For sport/recreational riding, if a ride's planned you pretty much go unless it's super heavy rain - otherwise guys are going to harass you. No doubt there are fair weather cyclists here, but more likely people are into cross, bikepacking, and transportation cycling.

Before moving here, I lived in west Texas for a while. 115F and a sun that's trying to kill you? Screw that, I'll take 45 and rain.
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