Real Life in the Rain

In the interest of full disclosure, I must show that my cycling lifestyle is not all red bows and ruffled dresses. Sometimes there is cold rain, and then I pull out the jeans, sneakers, and trench coat. The worst part of riding in the rain for me is the sound of car tires as they speed by: WHOOOSH! Louder and more intimidating than usual. Better than staying inside, though, and the Wicker Park thrift stores beckoned.

Rainy Oma

Rainy Oma

10-1 sneakers 10-1 rain

As some of you requested, we will have a full “how to” on riding in the rain. Look for it in the next week or two.

Happy October!

  • http://bikesandthecity.blogspot.com/ meligrosa

    Here in SF it rains, but not too bad. And it doesn’t snow.
    Lsat year rain was weak. 2-3 years before it rained for 40 days straight in march. I’m happy that the rainy season has arrived. but not too worried about it at all.
    stay dry my luv (+Oma)! :D

  • http://beingtotallysweetinchicago.blogspot.com Ira

    Off the bike, I love rain, but while riding it is my least favorite element. Looking forward to your post.

    • http://wereonaroadtosomewhere.blogspot.com Adrienne Johnson

      I use a shower cap on my seat. It has silly pictures on it. Works really well, though.

      • http://lovelybike.blogspot.com Lovely Bicycle!

        Hmm, great idea!

      • http://www.slowbikemiami.com Daniel M. Perez (Slow Bike Miami)

        I wish I could find some plastic rain seat covers like they have in Europe. Especially some you could brand and distribute.

    • http://thechaicyclist.blogspot.com spiderleggreen

      I guess I have some work to do on improving my sea worthiness. Sometimes, I don’t really care about getting wet. Freshen’s you up. It also could be a substitute for my morning shower.;)

      Sometimes the threat of rain,plays into gambling nature, when I try and see if I can out run or evade the showers.

    • http://levieenvelo.blogspot.com John . Dublin Ireland

      I wear Spec’s/Glasses and they are a real Nuisance in the Rain. They get Steamed up as well as Water Droplets on them,all I can do is Rub the Water off with my Fingers like a Windscreen Wiper on a Car. The Top of me stays Dry owing to the Gortex Jacket but my Legs usually gets Drenched. I just keep on going and ignore the Rain. I have a Pair of Meindl Waterproof Walking Shoes,they are very much like Trainers no real difference but the Water still Wets your Feet if Heavy enough. I must get a Pair of Wet Weather Overtrousers.

    • cratedigger66

      I had a ride in the rain today, and I went to 3 garage sales.

      I used a heavy duty plastic bag from the library as my Brooks cover. It is heavier weight than the grocery bags I used to use, so it doesn’t seem a leakage prone and it rolls up nicely under the B17. A side advantage is that it hides the Brooks as was mentioned above. Even in nice weather I see it to camoflage my ride a bit when I lock it up.

      Here is a quick post on my escapades http://bit.ly/6BlJl

      Have fun on the cocktail ride, there are some nice rides this weekend, but unfortunately I have other plans already booked.

      -RB

  • http://www.rideofsilence.org/chicago E A

    I enjoyed half of a dry commute home — then I entered into a downpour for the final few miles. Lovely. ;-)

    Luckily it was still in the upper 50s so it wasn’t so bad. Rain when it’s 40s or below = BRRRR!!!!

  • http://lovelybike.blogspot.com Lovely Bicycle!

    I use that same glamorous saddle-cover setup in the rain. I do have a nice Brooks saddle cover that came with my bicycle, but I do not use it for fear that it will announce “This is an expensive bike” and attract bike thieves.

    I know what you mean about the noise of passing cars. The drivers tend to get crazier as well – more honking at each other, more dangerous maneuvers, etc. The first time I rode in the rain, I was totally unprepared for this and it freaked me out!

    • http://clothedmuch.blogspot.com Elaine

      Wow!!! Good for you for riding when it rains! I would’ve been too discouraged to do it…. :)

      • miss sarah

        Holla to enclosed chain guards, fenders, and do you have drum brakes?

        !

        • http://www.dfwptp.blogspot.com Steve A

          Our intrepid blogger does, however, still look the very picture of optimism. Perhaps the polka dots on the helmet help.

          I use a similar saddle cover. If I happen to forget, I get a substitute from a local Starbucks. Just ask for a plastic bag.

          Interesting the observations about motorists in the rain. Maybe it’s that we get less frequent rain in Dallas/Fort Worth, but I think motorists show me even more consideration and care than usual which is the opposite of how they treat each other. Maybe I look more miserable in the rain than y’all. Looks are deceiving, however, our rain usually isn’t nearly so cold as further north so it’s quite pleasant other than the wet feet.

        • http://www.theriverotter.blogspot.com Suzanne

          Yes! For awhile I thought you lived in some kind of alternate universe where the weather is always perfect. I confess to being a fair-weather bicyclist since I have not been able to solve some of these problems for myself, but the shower cap is an excellent idea.

          • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com dottie

            The weather in Chicago has been nice this summer, but go check out my entries from January, February, March and April :)

          • http://sheridesabike.com Karen

            Yup. Biking in the rain. Pure glamour.

    • jdubble

      I turn my brooks saddle cover inside out to use it, so it doesn’t scream BROOKS at passersby, but it has lots of little cracks in it after 1 year of use, thus defeating the waterproofness.

      So I just ordered one from Rainy Peak Cyclery, custom fit for the B68 since it’s nigh impossible to find a waterproof cover for a saddle that wide.

  • http://www.slowbikemiami.com Daniel M. Perez (Slow Bike Miami)

    Ah, so it’s like Miami all year round. :-)

    • http://www.bikecommuters.com Ghost Rider

      Ha…at least you (and me, here in Tampa) have mostly warm rain to contend with. Riding in cold rainy weather stinks!

      • http://levieenvelo.blogspot.com John . Dublin Ireland

        I wear Spec’s/Glasses and they are a real Nuisance in the Rain. They get Steamed up as well as Water Droplets on them,all I can do is Rub the Water off with my Fingers like a Windscreen Wiper on a Car. The Top of me stays Dry owing to the Gortex Jacket but my Legs usually gets Drenched. I just keep on going and ignore the Rain. I have a Pair of Meindl Waterproof Walking Shoes,they are very much like Trainers no real difference but the Water still Wets your Feet if Heavy enough. I must get a Pair of Wet Weather Overtrousers.

      • http://www.slowbikemiami.com Daniel M. Perez (Slow Bike Miami)

        Amen to that. I guess you count your blessings where you get them. :-)

  • http://mplsrad.wordpress.com Tad Salyards

    Call me crazy, but I love riding in the rain. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because the number of cyclists drops 90% and makes me feel “hardcore?”

  • Felicity

    The first time I rode my bike to work in the rain, my hand got so cold that I couldn’t feel the brakes! Now I always wear gloves :-)

    • Scott

      I have had good luck with the Patagonia rain pants — they keep my legs totally dry but do not have that terrible elastic ankle and waist band problem like cheaper rain pants that I’ve tried. I find that a good hat is important too — two rain favorites are the US army field hat and the Harris tweed cap from Orvis.

      Felicity, I use thin wool gloves (icebreaker and smartwool have good ones) when it’s raining. My hands get wet but stay warm.

      I would really like to try the Carradice rain cape, but I can’t find anyone who will ship one to the USA.

      For those days with sub-40 degree rain, I use an oil skin duster from Filson. I may look like a cowboy, but I stay warm and dry.

    • Scott

      I tried the waterproof hat from Outdoor Research, but the brim was too soft and kept blowing up, thus letting my glasses and face get wet. Riding around the city with water on your glasses is so ill-advised. I do not know how people with helmets do it.

  • http://www.nerdy-foodie.blogspot.com Sarah

    I’m looking forward to your guide! I tend to walk to work on those days in my wellies, but its a much longer trek than with my bike.. but it keeps my underwear dry for the workday. I guess there are tradeoffs haha