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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #1
Here's my situation. I'm going to drive or ride 2.5 hours to a conference on Thursday, and return on Saturday. The weather will be unseasonably perfect for riding those blue highways and country roads on Thursday-Friday. Here's the bummer: there's a 40% chance of light rain showers (with temps in the low 50s) beginning Friday night around 10:00 and continuing through the day Saturday.

I don't have a bike cover yet, but would probably get one on the way to protect the bike at night in the motel parking lot. I don't have high tech rain gear either, but I have clothing that I think would keep me reasonably dry/warm in light rain.

Question: Would you take the bike and enjoy the first two days, even if it might mean riding 2.5 hours home in a cool rain? Or would you decide that, discretion being the better part of valor, it would be safer to drive a car in the rain and easier on the bike too, so keep the bike parked in the dry garage and wait for a better day?
 

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Charlie, unless you have some kind of rain suit, I would say leave the bike home. Many, many years ago I got caught on my bike in a rain storm about 3 hours drive from home. I didn't have a rain suit and it was summer time. I was soaked to the skin and just about froze getting home. I took a hot shower and after about 3 more hours in bed with the electric blanket on high, I finally started to feel warm again. I bought a rain suit the next day and haven't travelled without one since.
 

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Gnarly Jokester
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1,796 Posts
I would get a quality rain suit that is not only waterproof, but breathes.
I like my Frogg-Toggs, repels water, is breathable and has velcro
around the neck for a tight fit, elastic around the sleeves and ankles,
a hood and a cover over the front zipper. It is also very light weight.

Never thought I would find a rain coat I liked, but my Frogg-Togg's is
near perfect and not very expensive.

Listen to the Weather God, 40 pct is a better than 1 in 3 chance that
there will be measureable rain in the rain gage.
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
Looking at the radar, it does look like there may be scattered showers, but not too bad.
I know there's been plenty of times I wanted to take the bike somewhere, but didn't due to 'possibilities' of weekend rain, only to have beautiful skies for the entire weekend.:doh:

I'd say go for it, but then again, I've been known to sometimes go out for a ride just because it IS raining.

I've never been one for any rain gear that was more than $30 or so.
I seem to usually end up melting it on the pipes at some point. I now use tiny bungee straps around my legs and my $25 Wal-mart specials are holding up just fine. :smiley_th
 

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Geek
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872 Posts
I don't ride in the rain. I ride for fun, not for life. Rain is not fun.
 

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Premium Member
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In my younger days, I went on too many training rides or raced (bicycles) on too many rainy days. I always felt horrible, and it took forever to get my core temp back up to something resembling "normal."

I am now old and wise...and don't rebound from such adventures well. I'd leave the bike at home, take the car, and save your riding for better weather (ESP if you don't have proper rain gear).
 

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Premium Member
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It's tempting, but without the right gear, that trip back could ruin the whole deal.

Jon
 

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Uber Member
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1,280 Posts
i've been cought quite a few times in rain without my gear (texas weather go figure). trust me it turns into a total nightmare.... Hypothermia is a real risk if themps are 85 and below.....prime example, get your finger wet, then blow on it... now imagine that all over your body, and at 70 mph?

My suggestion, order your rain gear, and a quality rain cover for the bike that folds up small (my neilson rigg is wonderful, both raingear and bike cover...). And if there is any doubt how well the rain gear will work, then it wont. riding a bike has some unique leak points, the crotch being one of them. another is the neck line, and then you have the arms, and legs..... always be better safe then sorry. Also make sure tires have plenty of tread....
 

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Premium Member
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For me the determining factor would be riding daylight or dark. In daylight if it started to rain, I'd pull into somewhere to wait it out, cover my bike and stay dry. I have raingear on my bike at all times but I still avoid riding if the rain chances are good. In four days, the chances of rain could go either way, but if you're planning on riding in the evening or after dark, with rain chances, I wouldn't risk it. There's nothing worse, in my mind than riding in the rain after dark. Plus, if the temp is in the 50's and raining, it's going to be DANGED COLD on the bike, especially if you get soaked.

Last December my buddy and I took a chance on a day ride that was round trip about 250 miles. There was a 20% chance of rain. That afternoon while we were still at our friend's house in Mico, it started sleeting. We both had rain gear so we jumped into it and headed out. We rode the 125 miles home in a light rain all the way back and of course it got dark early so it was NO FUN. We went slow and stopped for hot coffee twice. I was fine, but my skinny best friend on his goldwing nearly froze to death. It took him hours to warm up. It just took the fun out of that trip and turned it onto an adventure.
If we had been smart, we'd have got a motel for the night, or not gone at all.
 

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Search Goddess
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2,002 Posts
Ordinarily I would say.. take your bike.
However after my husband's accident in the rain Sunday.. unless you are experienced in riding in the rain, I'm tempted to tell you, don't do it.
However, I have cussed myself out several days when I decided not to take the bike into work because of 30-40% chance of rain only to see a gorgeous day slip away from me!
If you decide to go ahead, give yourself a big travel window if possible. That way you can pull off, and wait it out if needed.
Also invest in some rain gear cause if you get wet, it will take some time to get dry. Being wet with the sun going down is not pleasant riding.
 

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Once Banned
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Hey Dianna, those travel trailers have brakes? I know it wouldn't have helped in Starr's situation, but it got me wondering. If I had brakes on my wagon, I never would have bent the first license plate on Fluffy.
 

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Search Goddess
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You were pulling a wagon with your bike??
 

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Uber Member
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i am with dianna on the experiance too.... what i would do if i were you is when it rains and you dont have to go somewhere, take her for a spin... get used to it.... its a whole different animal. your back end slides more, braking is different, and high speeds can be well interesting.... that way when you do have to drive in it... you are prepared...cause u never know when a light rain will turn into a total downpour. and if your out on the open highway.... shelter is the next gas station, and you have to know how to make it there....

Ride safe!
 

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Once Banned
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Dianna said:
You were pulling a wagon with your bike??
Sure. That's the only way the cops in Lowell would let me give kids rides in our neighborhood. They said I couldn't have anyone under 9 on the bike, but I could pull them behind me in a wagon, as long as I kept the speed under 35. It's when I had to stop for traffic light at 71B that the handle slammed into license plate. Bent the plate and the holder. I hadn't given enough thought to stopping at higher speeds with a bunch of kids in the back. Too much mass for them to slow the wagon down by dragging their feet. I'm glad I used 15 feet of rope, 'cause if they had hit the bike at 30mph it probably would have messed it up worse than just a bent plate.
 

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cegodsey said:
Sure. That's the only way the cops in Lowell would let me give kids rides in our neighborhood. They said I couldn't have anyone under 9 on the bike, but I could pull them behind me in a wagon, as long as I kept the speed under 35. It's when I had to stop for traffic light at 71B that the handle slammed into license plate. Bent the plate and the holder. I hadn't given enough thought to stopping at higher speeds with a bunch of kids in the back. Too much mass for them to slow the wagon down by dragging their feet. I'm glad I used 15 feet of rope, 'cause if they had hit the bike at 30mph it probably would have messed it up worse than just a bent plate.
never heard of such a law before....
 

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Search Goddess
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The age restriction is the only truth to ernie's post.
Even Arkansas will not let you tow something with just a rope.
Busted again ernie!
 

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Once Banned
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Actually, our subdivision had an undeveloped second phase with a bunch of good dirt. And I had a wagon. After two trips hauling by hand, I decided that I had to be more creative. And when I stopped the first time, the wagon started to go past me, but the rope caught the plate and bent it. So I had to be creative in my stopping as well.
 

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I can almost picture it now
Cegodsey towing a wagon full of dirt...going too fast....slowing down for his driveway....the trailer passes him.....he gets spun around backwards....out of desperation he puts it in neutral.....the trailer picks up speed down a hill and pulls him for miles as he screams from fluffy for help..... passing the local cops at the dunkin donuts....the officers look at each other in confusion and pour out their coffee....last seen Cegodsey and fluffy were somewhere in Texas
to be continued
 

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Once Banned
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That's pretty close to it. Except everything starting at getting spun around backwards. I realized my dilemma before I slowed down too much. Had I not, getting spun around backwards would have been the least of my worries. It probably would have been more like, "get this thing off me!" Followed by the sound of sizzling skin, and an aroma of fried pork.
 

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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Back from the Trip

I'm back from the trip. I drove my car. It was absolutely beautiful on Thursday as I meandered eastward on highway 52 along the Ohio River, and I wished I could have been riding. But I must admit that I was glad when I drove home, exhausted from the convention, in the comfort of my car while outside it was windy with light rain and temperatures quickly dropping into the mid-40s.

I'll be riding tomorrow in the 30s, but it will be dry and I won't be going nearly as far!

I do enjoy reading everyone's posts ~ the shared wisdom and experience along with the stories. This time I found particularly helpful your suggestions about rain gear (some of that came to me by e-mail).
 
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