Ride in the rain or lose a season to the weather?

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Anonymous's picture

It may be easy for me to say this, having grown up in England, but I've come to the conclusion that the best way to endure this weather is to actually go and ride in it.

I got back from a Nyack and back at mid-day (the A20 Intro to Racing ride) and it was fine. The rain was warm and pleasantly refreshing, and I've already washed down my bike and am ready to relube.

Now I know there are plenty of you out there who are going to tell me it's not safe. To some extent I agree, especially with large, inexperienced groups. I know roads can be slick, especially in the city with all those painted white lines. But you can adjust for the conditions, to some extent, and make sure you wear extra bright clothing for visibility.

I never once felt like I was in any danger because of the weather this morning. But I fully respect others who think it is unsafe and have had bad experiences or crashes due to the weather. And please don't think I am advocating that the all class ride should go ahead, regardless of the conditions. Given the wide experiences of the various groups that are likely to take part, it would be irresponsibile to proceed with a 'come hell or high water' attitude.

And I aprreciate that leaders of listed rides have a responsibility for others. But I think it might be safe for small groups to go out independently of listed rides that get rained out, especially if you've already decided to set aside a day for riding in any case.

Given there is a strong likelihood we could be stuck in this weather pattern for quite some time, I think people should try and get out, rather than opt for staying at home all the time. Go at a slower pace and take extra care on the corners. We are only enduring what the people of the west coasts of Scotland and Ireland and the Pacific Northwest get every year. It's ironic that the Pacific Northwest is enjoying the weather that we should normally be getting. But I guess they deserve a break once in a while.

Whatever you do, take care on those roads and feel free to shoot me down in flames if you so choose.

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

Point well stated and well taken Anthony.

Riding short distances in the rain is fine. So what’s the big deal about longer distances. My ultra-cycling friends ride their 200Ks, 600Ks, 1200Ks rain or shine. And they still live!

But, me, I prefer getting wet from the inside out. Sweat! Riding in the rain gets your entire body wet and cold. I like my knees warm to hot! Rain obscures the vision, with or without glasses. The front wheel gets your feet and lower legs wet and gritty. The rear wheel gets your bottom and back wet and gritty. If you are too close to another rider’s rear wheel, you get sprayed. In the face! Cars and trucks throw up spray more like a hose. And sometimes the hose-spray is blinding. Puddles (how deep?) are another problem. Do they hide potholes??

There always seems to be more debris in the rain. Trees shed leaves and make the slippery roads worse. Drivers and peds, rather than slowing, accelerate to get out of the rain sooner. Peds are alarmingly less alert in the rain, heads down or tucked beneath an umbrella. And those white lines.

OK, you make it home. You and your bike are dripping mud, grit, water, leaves. Inside you leave all the muck as a trail, unless you stay outside and wipe the bike and yourself down. Another pain. And a bike wipe is usually insufficient – you need to wash your steed, get the grit off of the paint, gook out of the cogs and the fork and brakes, etc. Then let it dry. Then re-lube. Then let that dry.

As I sit here looking at the rain this Saturday afternoon, 3:00 PM, I’m glad I’m dry and glad I did 75 hard and fast miles on Thursday and Friday in the sun and have a somewhat of a tan. Yes., I have yellow Gore-Tex pants and jacket with a hood and brim. If I really have to, I can ride in this incessant deluge. Not today!!

Regards, John JP

Anonymous's picture
Just had to (not verified)

THIS WEATHER SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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