Author Topic: touring in the rain?  (Read 1145 times)

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Offline Kittery Rider

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touring in the rain?
« on: February 18, 2014, 01:22:09 pm »
All, curious about riding in the rain.  Do you stop and take cover if possible, or ride through it  Throw on rain gear?  Do you sweat in rain gear and get wet anyway, like when I backpack?  What about rain covers for shoes?  Just wondering what I will need to purchase.

Thanks!
"Too much of everything is just enough"
                 Jerry Garcia

Offline John Nelson

Re: touring in the rain?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2014, 02:58:05 pm »
Yes, I ride in the rain, mostly because sitting around in the rain can be pretty boring. I might take cover from time to time when there's a lot of lightening or hail, or when the rain is so hard I can't see where I'm going, but cover is not always available.

As to how I cope, it depends a lot on the temperature. If you tour in the summer, a lot of the time it's okay to just get wet. But if it's cold, I might start adding rain gear. If you're climbing or otherwise working hard, you will likely still get wet even with rain gear on. There's not much you can do about that. Pick your poison.

I don't consider rain covers for my shoes worth the weight and trouble. But I do take waterproof socks. Of course my feet still get wet from the sweat, but somehow it feels better to me.

Online RussSeaton

Re: touring in the rain?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2014, 03:38:55 pm »
Keep in mind rain limits visibility.  For car drivers.  So you are harder to see on your bicycle.  If you ride in the rain on the road, turn on all blinking lights and wear a yellow rain jacket.  Yellow jacket is for visibility.  Not to keep water off you.

As for whether to wear any rain gear while riding.  Temperature decides that.  If its cold, then wear all the clothes you have.  Being wet and cold is bad.  If its warm summer rain, nothing extra is needed.  No matter what you wear, you will get wet riding in the rain.  If its cold and wet, then try to get as little wet as possible.

Offline bogiesan

Re: touring in the rain?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 12:21:25 am »
Practice. Learn to ride in rain and wind by getting out and doing it. You quickly learn how to cope with the conditions and learn how to decide when it's time to go home or find cover or grind it out. You also quickly discover what kind of clothing or gear works and what was a waste of money. Do all of that experimentation close to home.
Also a good idea to practice setting up camp in wind and wind-driven rain. You quickly learn how not to let your tent get destroyed, how to keep your gear under the fly till the thing's up, what's important to keep dry and what can get soaked.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline indyfabz

Re: touring in the rain?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2014, 09:53:34 am »
Practice. Learn to ride in rain and wind by getting out and doing it. You quickly learn how to cope with the conditions and learn how to decide when it's time to go home or find cover or grind it out. You also quickly discover what kind of clothing or gear works and what was a waste of money. Do all of that experimentation close to home.
Also a good idea to practice setting up camp in wind and wind-driven rain. You quickly learn how not to let your tent get destroyed, how to keep your gear under the fly till the thing's up, what's important to keep dry and what can get soaked.

Yepper. Although I will say that there are certain places at certain times of year where you can pretty much count on needing wet weather gear that will keep you warm, such as the western section of Northern Tier route starting in late May. In addition to several days of cold rain, it snowed at Rainy and Washington Passes and a few days in Republic and on the east side of Sherman Pass during my first trip that way.

Part of what you will need to feel comfortable depends on your tolerances.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: touring in the rain?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2014, 08:53:55 pm »
I ride in it unless it's too miserable.  I have several times waited it out under overpasses.  I do carry shoe covers for most of my rides because they often include mountains of the NW.  I used them in wet snowstorm in Montana in June!
May the wind be at your back!

Offline driftlessregion

Re: touring in the rain?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2014, 01:46:55 pm »
It also depends on your schedule-are you able to take a day off or do you have to catch a flight in x days?
I almost always wear a raincoat unless it is over 90 F. Too easy to get cold if wet. 80 degrees when it starts raining can become 65 degrees in minutes and then you are both cold and wet.

Offline DaveB

Re: touring in the rain?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2014, 07:09:20 pm »
One time to definitely get out of the rain is during an electrical storm.  Find a suitable shelter (NOT under a tree) and wait it out.  Wet is one thing, fried is quite another.

Offline windrath

Re: touring in the rain?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2014, 08:14:58 pm »
Kittery -

As many mentioned, you are gonna get wet from the rain or from the sweat.  I like to put on the rain gear because, even though everything gets wet, the biking clothes don't get dirty from road spray.  I find cleaning/washing is easier in that case.

I did not find that shoe covers help much for dryness, but again - it helps keep the shoes from getting trashed from road spray.

As the one gentleman said - Get out and ride in it.  I have ridden through every storm - except one along the St. Lawrence Seaway because it looked really, really nasty.  My friend and I hid out in a DOT building and actually hid under a snowplow blade because we thought the building might collapse from the straight line winds.  :)

Good Luck.

Offline PeteJack

Re: touring in the rain?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2014, 08:04:33 pm »
Be aware that you can get very cold, hypothermic even, descending in the wet. Even if you are not feeling cold at the top of a long descent in the rain it's advisable to be wearing something wind/waterproof as you come down to prevent evaporative cooling. I found this out the hard way coming off Washington Pass with a leaky jacket