4 years ago10,000+ Views
The weather in Southern California has been wet and rainy the past few days. Rain here is as rare as snow in Florida. Not really. But the way people seem to loose their minds and stay indoors you'd think that was the case. It just means that if you don't mind getting wet, it's a cyclists paradise - just think of it as cycling but with constant external hydration. :D ---------------------------------- Some safety tips for cycling in the rain - 1) Know your path - Regardless if you are riding a trail or on the street, knowing the terrain and therefore being able to anticipate issues BEFORE you approach them is key. In trail riding you should be aware of any areas that may wash out or be dangerously unstable. In SoCal there are mudslides and washouts with each storm. So don't take risks. Stick to places you know. 2) Watch your speed. Sure you can take a certain downhill run at 40mph and have plenty of room to brake when you hit 300ft from the bottom - but in the rain everything changes. Your bike - if using rim brakes - you'll need a much greater distance to stop due to water on your rims and brake pads. A good rule of thumb is 2/3 - remember to go 2/3 the speed you'd normally go and you need 2/3 longer distance to stop safely. 3) Leave your carbon rims at home. Carbon rims with any type of rim brake in wet weather can be extremely dangerous. If you have a second set of metal rims - use them - or don't ride. 4) Disc Brakes - are amazing in the rain but be careful, especially if you are trail riding and getting mud all over your bike, hubs, and brake discs. Particulate matter when caught between your disc pads and disc rotors will cut down the life of your pads and rotors and they are the major contributor to that annoying sound called brake squeal/howl. 5) WATCH OUT FOR TRAFFIC!!!! Cars are just as impaired by rain/wet conditions as bicycles. Most motorists have a difficult time paying attention to the road as is, add rain to the mix and as a cyclist you have to be extra aware of the traffic around you. FINAL WORD - riding in the rain can be a blast! But make sure you take the proper steps to protect yourself and your equipment. Nothing is worth harming your health.
@troygreene84 - I feel for you! I'm originally from Nashville, TN - and riding in the winter there can be a miserable experience - you can have sleet and snow and below freezing weather. I lived in Savannah, GA for 25 years and did a lot of my more intense cycling there. I used to ride 60 miles/day 4 days a week... and there you mainly have 40 degree wet winter days. Which to me I'd rather deal with freezing and dry than cold and wet. :D I love Southern California - I've been here almost 10 years. It's a cyclists paradise really. The odd variable here is the wind. I've taken 2 spills in the past 20 years. Both here, both within the past 2 years. One was a thoughtless jogger with headphones on running out in front of me and I had the choice of laying myself and my bike down in some grass (it was a bike path on the side of a hill with no where for me to go) or I could have taken him out. I went into the grass. Other than some cuts on my legs, everything was OK. The other was when the wind decided to hit me with a 50mph gust - the weather called for 20mph gusts originally but then it was upgraded - and I was on a Cervelo P2 TT bike with Spinergy carbon mags. That bike weighed 15lbs and the wheels were like sails on a boat. The wind literally kicked the bike out from under me. I got a nice case of road rash and destroyed a bib set in that one. Oh and broke a cleat. LOL. I hope you get nice weather soon and get back to enjoying riding without freezing!!!!
@AnthonyB - Thank you! But I'm curious how this post is "a bit off topic"? I'm sincerely curious as to what you expect from such a post to make it more on topic because I only ever want to share my 35+ years of cycling experience and my passion for the sport... Thanks! I only want to be sure I'm adding positive things to this community! :D
The wind is a mountain you can't see the top of. It's punishingly brutal without any hope. I've always been a bit of a risk taker, and it really fuels me in riding. I was out in a particularly heavy downpour, but that's not when I fell. The rain had actually stopped and I was making my way back home. I was taking a corner after a hill. Sliding wasn't a big concern to me as I had fallen before and saved myself from loss of traction before. However, this time was a bit different. I committed to the turn and went in at around 20mph, maybe a little higher. I much have hit a small bump, and the puddle my tire came down on was slick like it had previously had remnants of oil in it. The bike slid out from under me faster than it had ever done before. I was turning left and fell into the turn, so I put my left hand down for impact. I landed with an open palm to the ground, hitting the area where my wrist ends and palm begins. I was only a little disheveled, but I got on my bike and finished my ride home. Of course I was much more cautious on the way back. My arm was a little sore but I chalked it up to just bruising. Once I got home and an hour or so went by I knew something was wrong. My arm hurt worse and worse so I got up and went to the doctor. I had a scaphoid fracture, it's a small bone in the hand. It's commonly called the "skateboarder's fracture" as many skaters break this same bone when falling. The bone itself was small, but it could have potentially lifelong effects on my mobility, unless it healed properly. So I was put in a cast for 8 weeks. Everything healed up fine, and now I am must more cautious about the line I take in turns. If the road is not perfect I will prepare myself to minimize the risk of falling. That all being said, I'm still seeking out the thrill! It's hard for me to grow up when I'm riding my bike, it's just too much fun.
Wow, sorry to hear about you falling off the bike. I feel you on that front. The warmer climates always seem to come with some kind of downfall, and it seems like wind is a killer in SoCal. That being said, anywhere where you ride and where you are happy riding is the best place to be! @JonPatrickHyde
@TeamWaffles - Wow. I've only ever broken one bone from riding - it was my right ankle and I was 18 - riding an old steel-frame Bianchi with clip pedals. I was on a busy street and a little girl on a bike with no brakes - it was her brother's BMX bike with a freewheel and he'd taken the brakes off for some idiotic reason - ran out in front of me. Again - it was a decision moment - 1) hit the little girl - 2) run out into traffic and risk being hit by a car - 3) dodge the girl but hit the car stopped at the stop sign next to her. That guy was not happy when me and my bike hit his car and I rolled across the hood. I had slowed down considerably. But those old Campy rim brakes just didn't slow you down fast enough. The little girl almost got hit by a car in the street. And my front rim and forks were totaled. Luckily the steel frame was fine. I broke and ankle, just didn't know what else to do other than stay strapped into the pedals. When that side of the bike dug into the side of that car - It snapped the pedal off - luckily, again, the crank arm was OK. This happened on a military base, BTW - Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah. I rode the 15 mile perimeter road. The officer driving the car had scene that I really had no choice but to do what I had done. The MP's came and took me to the base med-clinic. I'm sure those kids got some serious alpha charlie when their parents got home. And the guy driving the car never pressed charges or anything. So I feel you about the broken arm. I'm so cautious now when I ride. I just don't take risks anymore. That's a younger man's game. And not a wise one honestly. Besides, it takes 3x as long for me to heal anymore. Getting older has it's rewards - and it's drawbacks!
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