Biking in the rain

Having rode over 300 miles in the rain this year, I offer one indisputable fact: you will eventually reach a point where you cannot get any wetter than you already are.

For example, when I did the RSVP this year, it started pouring after the Canadian border. I rode 40 miles in the rain to Vancouver, and was no more miserable at the end than I was after the first mile of the deluge. Actually, as long as I kept moving, I was plenty warm.

I biked to work today, during one of our recent downpours, in order to test the effectiveness of my various rain gear. (And before you say anything: yes, most people I know don’t understand why I like biking long-ish distances in perfect weather and yes it’s okay to question my mental capacity for wanting to bike to work in the rain.)

  • The fenders are essential. I can’t believe how much less crud gets kicked up on me, the chain, and whatever I’m carrying. The local bike shop that I bought them from installed them and spent more time than I expected, but less than it would have taken me.
  • The rain jacket is Gore-Tex lined with all sorts of interesting zippers and vents. I layer clothes underneath it to keep warm. Without layers, it’s comfortable up to 65 degrees.
  • The pants are fine, though the fenders make the biggest difference on my dryness.
  • The neoprene booties work well though I don’t have the fancy illumiNITE (Illuminati?) type. They’re very snug over my shoes, and need holes cut out for the cleats, but my feet stay dry and warm.
  • The CamelBak was wet enough that I wouldn’t feel comfortable carrying my usual array of portable electronics. Do most people wear these under their jacket?
  • The gloves were thoroughly soaked through. I picked up a pair of neoprene lined which should fare better.
  • 3 thoughts on “Biking in the rain

    1. Wear your CamelBak under your jacket. But, make sure you have a large enough jacket. A bike specific jacket with a longer tail works best. Otherwise, while you are riding leaned over, the jacket will ride up and leave a nice opening. More so with the CamelBak underneath.

    2. “I offer one indisputable fact: you will eventually reach a point where you cannot get any wetter than you already are.”

      Ain’t it the truth! If you have never ridden to this point in your life, I highly recommend it. Somehow, the ride changes from being perhaps a slog to being a joy-filled craziness, as you ride along with your mouth hanging open and tongue sticking out (better to catch the rain) and all you can do is laugh.

    3. I am about to go biking in the rain right now. Found your site by googling “biking in the rain.” Well done!

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