Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
..I've got a kick-a bike that doesn't care about no rain!
..there's less fair-weather d-bags around clogging up the paths.
..people think that I am crazy, which only adds to my allure.
Well, being soaked in sweat isn't comfortable, either.
But if there's a shower waiting for me at the end, I don't mind.
I keep it simple. In the heat of summer, just shoe covers to keep the water out.
In cooler weather, shoe covers plus goretex helmet cover, waterproof gloves, waterproof vest or full jacket, and some "rain legs". Most important thing in winter is staying warm. Yes, you sweat like crazy under a waterproof jacket, but you do stay toasty warm.
Ha, I actually do like riding in the rain nowadays. Warm clothes, full mudguards, wide grippy tyres, low gearing, and a Carradice rain cape, and it's actually pleasant.
Downside is that you can't help radiating wet weather induced smugness due to being so completely sensible and prepared, every sopping wet cyclists with a mud streak up their back will scowl as you cruise by. But why Bear Grylls it when you can Grant Peterson it!
Rain? I rode home on THursday as I always do - around 15km and 90 minutes. FOr half the trip it drizzled.
Being Perth it was not cold, it was not windy and I returned home with a slightly damp but body-temperature singlet. Rain is a lot like that in Perth (when we actually get any).
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .
I don't mind the riding in the rain bit.
The three things I do hate are:
The first five minutes as you get wet and your shoes fill with water
Trying to peel your socks off
Getting that greasy black road grime from your ankles to your knees off
Good things about the rain are the lack of traffic on the bike paths and it's easy to get a bike rack at work.
Bad things are your socks getting wet from the top down. Maybe I need to buy some gaiter-like contraption?
I like riding in the rain because:
- my bike is built for it
- the temp is constantly above 30 so rain is a relief
- the bus takes an extra half an hour if it rains
Colleague at work: "It rained today, did you ride?"
"What do you do when it rains?"
"I get wet."
I did a big back pedal coaster brake skid in front of two colleagues leaving their carpark in the rain, big thumbs up with my free right hand, great work I thought, however I don't get the impression they think I'm hardcore. I probably shouldn't have rung my bell to get their attention first =P
I prefer the stripe to the look of mudguards on a bike. The stripe washes out, the mudguards are there to stay!
Try a fourth-
Putting those same damp clothes back on for the ride home
So I fitted new mudguards on the weekend - did that make me responsible for Melbourne's rain last night? Oh well, they worked well. Also got to test the waterproofness of the new Ortliebs
I am just about to ride my newly-built wet weather bike on this wet and showery day. I am excited to have a rain bike again. Dual suspension, odd tube shapes, no mounting bosses, and tight wheel clearances make most modern bikes mudguard free zones.
I had to buy more tools to build this bike - tapered headtube, BB90, tubeless tyres. I found that having to tape the rims was a bit of a pain. The first go felt really bad, but the tyre held pressure, no worries. The second was a bitch. The tape somehow split halfway through the job. Then, just as I was finishing up the second go my fingernail caught the tape and cut it. Now I only have enough for one more try - success! The tape had only 10mm to spare.
The mudguards were the most difficult things to install. Rainrunner brand guards are really nicely made fenders but the rear stays are too short. I ended up slipping the eye of the rearmost stays through the next stay and slid the ends up to effectively lengthen them. I then used zip ties and bodged it together. The front guard is also bodged to the shockie. Wrapping the fork with a cut inner tube and using an 8mm zip tie with 4mm zips to bind it all together works better than I thought it would.
I honestly don't mind riding in the rain up here in Brisbane, it's only that my backpack gets soaked if I'm not prepared for it. If I'm prepared, no probs - and keeps me a bit cooler in the summer months.
Well, since I park in the bike rack - which is undercover but in close proximity to the fabrication department of my work - it washes the dust off. Like it did today.
Plus, it pays to see the surprised looks on people in cars (which sadly adds to the danger, but anyway) who literally don't expect anyone to be riding a bike in the rain.
If only they knew what the Dutchies got up to..
The adrenalin kicks in as its all so much more dangerous, cars battling to see out of their windscreens, hoons lighting up their cars on the wet roads, my brakes take longer to engage, the rain hinders my vision. Its just awesome.
I,m not quiet. I just dont plan murders out aloud.
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