Friday, April 17, 2015

7 Things About Biking in the Rain

I live in a city that gets A LOT of rain. I often jokingly hashtag my photos #Raincouver & the statistics bear this out: 164 days with rain per year. I also bike rain or shine, & have been doing so for over 15 years, so I consider myself somewhat of an expert of the topic of biking in the rain. I had some thoughts recently while riding in the rain that I thought I'd share with you:
  1. Getting soaked, then changing into warm dry clothes, maybe having a hot shower to warm up, reminds us of the modern conveniences/luxuries we take for granted. I don't think it's good to be too comfortable all the time & getting wet when you're on the way home from somewhere isn't really that bad in the grand scheme of things. I'll admit that getting drenched on the way TO somewhere really does suck though.
  2. It rains a lot here, as I mentioned above, but it doesn't necessarily rain all day. Often the times you actually need to be out & about, it's not coming down. & you feel like you won a prize or got away with something because you dodged the showers.
  3. Rain does increase the chance of rusting & means you should probably do a bit more upkeep on your bike, but I'm terrible at this...
  4. My kids don't mind getting wet. I assume it's because that's what they're used to & I don't make a big fuss about it. I dress them appropriately (muddy buddies, gumboots, maybe sunglasses if it's really driving rain) & they're fine.
  5. Even when it's raining quite a bit, if you have a longish coat & wear gumboots, you won't get that wet on shorter rides. My knees get a bit of a sprinkle, but not enough to justify changing my pants.
  6. Just like when you're driving a car, it's worth being a little more careful in the rain. The roads are especially slippery immediately after it's started raining & there's a thin layer of water & oil on the roads.
  7. Not going out because you don't want to bike in the rain is also cool. Staying in a cozy warm house on a rainy day & hanging out over a lego set, or a movie on the laptop is nice once in a while.
What about you? Do you ride in the rain or are you more likely to drive or bus when it's precipitating? Got any good stories about getting soaked on your bike?

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  1. We only get about 144 days of rain here in gothenburg Sweden. Still, you learn to allways expect it and bring or wear the right stuff!

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by! 144 days of rain... but how many of SNOW? Do you still ride in that? Not many chances for #VikingBiking here in Vancouver. This past winter we had a tiny bit of snow on the ground for a few days & I think that was it.

    2. Hello! Snow usually isnt a big problem here, we only get a few weeks of the stuff usually. Im OK with snow and ice; studded tires and im usually upright. My worst weather is the heavy chilled rain and wind we get instead of snow in jan-feb.

    3. I will have to get something a bit more protected for my daughter when summer is over. She loves riding in front in the bulldog seat, so Ill have to find something good. (She is about the same age as your daughter)

  2. I've only been riding for almost a year and find that having great gear helps a lot. With the mild winter, I rode more than I expected! I didn't know how much rain gear was going to cost me and after shopping around you can spend upwards to $300 for a Gore Gortex rain jacket (which I passed on), it's hard to find items that are well made and affordable.

    I ended up getting a North Face jacket for $130 and a pair of clearance MEC snowboard pants for $165, but wish I found out about this set sooner. Once a year, Costco sells WetSkins rain suits and it comes with a hip length jacket and pants. I wish they sold them in the fall when it was raining heavily, I have only worn it a handful of times and I'm impressed by how well it works. The water beads up on the jacket and I like that the pants are flexible enough to pedal in (versus the snowboard pants).

    The same colleague suggested I try the lighter weight Paradox waterproof rain suit for spring/fall showers also from Costco. At $60 and $40 respectively, a fab deal for cyclists who don't want to invest a lot of money on rain gear.


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