A Nice Day for Rain

Hell froze over today. My dog pooped in the rain. He never poops in the rain.


What about riding your bike in it? I had the pleasure doing that last week and I can't say that it was all that terrible. Don't get me wrong. It was not great, but I wasn't nearly as miserable as one might expect.


On Friday, the climate flopped from forty-something degrees to coldish, sweeping rain. By the end of the day my feet were soaking wet. I might have been fine just riding my bike, but lest we forget, when I get to my dog walkie appointments (I had seven walks that day), I have to walk around for 30 minutes after I park my bike. Fortunately, the rain didn't start until I was about to embark upon my last two dog walks. That was only minutes after I got my flat tire fixed--the second flat of the week, by the by.  (Insert sound effect here.)


Pre-rain hissy fit, Friday's early afternoon weather was wonderful. It was that breezy Spring weather that brings everyone out of the woodwork. I saw so many people on bikes. I had my first flip flop wearer sighting that day, too!  (WTF?) I saw plenty of girls in cute skirts and tights on bikes and guys riding around in their short sleeve t- shirts with their tattoo sleeves exposed.  I probably looked overdressed because I had on a rain jacket, but I sure was glad to have one that's still got its rain-proof properties. (Thanks, Nikwax!)


So, it's raining again today in Chicago---really it's just that drizzly, pissy rain that isn't terrible for bicycling. Some people might not mind being out there at all. It's not pouring buckets or anything like that. Even still, I am not riding today. I did put in two days this week. Yay me! For a minute there, I thought I was completely falling out of the habit. I hope to ride again this week. Just when I thought it was about to be Spring, it looks like there might be some snow flurries in the forecast for tomorrow. I cannot help but feel like the weather is conspiring against me. (Insert sound effect here.) I've got plans for Saturday night that include an evening ride that will likely keep me out into the wee hours.  It's supposed to be really windy.  Not fun! (Insert sound effect here.)


I sort of like riding in the rain. I have a story about riding in the rain during the Tour de Farms that might inspire you. What a storm that was! (Insert sound effect here.) I dealt wth my share of rain while training for that ride last summer. Nearly every weekend while we were on our fifty mile rides, water fell from the sky like diamonds. You can't complain about that on an 85 degree day. It was so refreshing!  I guess that's not really the case with early Spring rain.  It can be cold and... what's the word? Yicky.  If you're thinking about doing it, just take it easy on your turns and try not to put yourself in a position where you have to stop too quickly. I think you ought to turn on your lights, too. You know, if you're wearing the right gear, it's probably not that bad at all.  It can't be nearly as bad as pooping in the rain.


P.S. Hey...what do you know? It cleared up just now. Let's hope it sticks so that I can ride around again today.



Image: Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1940. (I love this photo!)



rainy riding

Even after the rain has gone or slowed considerably the roads and trails are wet. Fenders are an important component when riding in inclement weather [during and after]. Without fenders the front tire especially will act like a hose directly water spray at your feet. Once your feet are wet you're miserable unless it's 95 degrees F out.

Other than the fenders an important component of rain comfort is avoiding a rainsuit and using a rain cape designed for cycling. It allows a lot more ventilation. It's always annoying to be protected from rain only to perish from sweat within a "breathable" rain suit. I have a photo of an old cape type riding apparel so that it won't look like advertising:


we heart fenders

I know I heart fenders, anyway! I've decided that my roadbike now looks nude without them. 

Hi Steve--knew that was you from your link!

My feet are going to get wet unless I wear waterproof footwear.  I'm heading out in tall rain boots today. They not the best option, but certainly better than Chucks. I don't have a poncho but those girls in the photo on this blog have a way of making them look rather fun!