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Got caught in a drownpour yesterday
Last Post 06/27/2014 02:35 PM by 79 pmooney. 11 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:1110

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06/26/2014 01:21 PM
No, that isn't a typo.  Many local earthworms would testify if they could.

Rode the 10 miles home yesterday starting in very light rain but seeing a black cloud ahead.  Rain gradually built up.  About 3 miles to go and it was raining hard.  Last two miles the skies opened up.  Good test of my brakes.  The concept of squeezing the brakes and having dry rims in about 10 feet and semi-normal stopping power?  Yeah right!  (My Shimano dual pivot/Tektro V-brake levers required a very firm squeeze - 3 fingers - but were very predictable and it felt like I could get more stopping power than I had traction though I saw no reason to test that.  THis is my "rubber down" year.)

Got home completely soaked.  Squeezed a lot of water out of my socks and gloves.  Had to dry my wallet.  Got in the shower clothed.  Got no wetter, just warmer.  Bike is clean!

I had a lake in my driveway over the drain.  Drain was completely clear but there was no flow through it.  Obviously the neighbor storm run-off was totally backed up.

The cool thing was that I could see.  Can't say my glasses were clear.  Hardly mattered since the air in front of them wasn't.  But the visor did do a really good job of keeping water out of my eyes so keeping them open was easy, even consciously surprisingly so.  Of course, I could tell nothing about what the road surface was.  It was just a frothy white moving mass.  I slipped on a manhole cover I never saw.  Thankfully these were very familiar roads and there was zero traffic.

I put fenders on before I left hoping that they would satisfy Murphy.  Worked for the trip in town.  Coming home, they made no difference in my or the bike's ultimate wet or cleanliness but I suspect my headset and BB are saying thank you for being spared the wheel pressure wash.  (Like all good fenders, the front has a deep flap.)

It will be interesting to see if my chain picked up any rust.  I've been using the new plastic stuff for that chain (the 1/8" chain on the good fixie) because it stays so clean and I change wheels and cogs on the road often.

Ben
Keith Richards

Posts:733

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06/26/2014 02:13 PM
A cycling cap is ALWAYS on my person in the summer in DC expressly for summer downpours.

Makes ALL the difference in the world.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
thinline

Posts:150

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06/26/2014 04:13 PM
From "The Rules":

Rule #9 If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period. Fair-weather riding is a luxury reserved for Sunday afternoons and wide boulevards. Those who ride in foul weather – be it cold, wet, or inordinately hot – are members of a special club of riders who, on the morning of a big ride, pull back the curtain to check the weather and, upon seeing rain falling from the skies, allow a wry smile to spread across their face. This is a rider who loves the work.

79pmooney

Posts:1110

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06/26/2014 05:12 PM
thin, I have a new rule I am trying to honor for at least this full year, that "rubber down" one. I;ve done my quota of crashes, including crashes from poor weather. (Hip bursitis for 18 months from hopping a downed limb knowing there was a car behind me and having the front wheel land on a branch of it I couldn't see before the hop. Last several hard crashes happened in good weather but servede a very real reminders that my body doesn't take as kindly to them as it used to.

That said, I did do a ride a couple of years ago and hit crosswinds so strong I had to stop a half dozen times, lean into the wind and wait out the gusts. They were probably hitting 40+ at the road, 50 at tree height. I was glad I wasn't sailing. It did occur to me that maybe being out there wasn't entirely smart. Was kinda fun!

Ben
Keith Richards

Posts:733

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06/26/2014 06:13 PM
When I was younger I LOVED racing in the rain. Separates the players from the suckers quick.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
THE SKINNY

Posts:393

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06/26/2014 09:50 PM
the hot and cold part i've got. rain here is scary and dangerous. lightning don't play.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
Oldfart

Posts:469

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06/26/2014 10:19 PM
I don't head in the rain on purpose but it's not so bad if I'm already out. Particularly with rain gear. Off road rain is actually better than just muddy and wet. The dusty rocks are clean and more grippy. I tend to just ride instead of slowing for puddles. One needs good sticky tires though. Maxxis 3C or something like that is almost mandatory. I also wear my fenders. Goretex shorts and knickers and various jackets. Fenders off road are more trouble then they are worth. Sticks damage stays and suspension makes them a challenge to set up and actually still do something. Those little Mucky Nutz fender bender are actually quite effective for what they are.
79pmooney

Posts:1110

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06/26/2014 10:50 PM
Keith, my first "real" (open) race was 105 miles in rural Maine. Started raining around 10pm the night before and never stopped. My rain recollections were of thinking that if I turned right into the Kennebec River that we followed for miles, I wouldn't get any wetter. Got a big scare when I moved over onto the slightly lower median strip of cobblestone in the closing miles and realized the orange thread tires I was riding were really slippery in the wet and I had to get back up onto the pavement. There were a few elevated heartbeats 'till I got back on the road.

After the race, I joined a line of racers relieving themselves in the park behind one very small bush. As we peed, we joked about what make tires tasted best. My BB bearings and several others ran on pure water lubrication for the last several hours of the race. Clean as a whistle inside.

Ben
SideBySide

Posts:166

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06/27/2014 02:39 AM
The Kennebec river! I lived in Bath for three years in Jr and Sr High School. I put in a few miles in the area on my bike.
79pmooney

Posts:1110

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06/27/2014 03:13 AM
SideBy, the race ran from the Maine-Quebec border along the state highway, through Jackman (where most of us spent the night before),over the hill and down to the river, along the river, then up and into Bingham and to Skowhegan. In downtown Skowhegan we turned left, up a tough hill, along that back road 12 miles then up and into the finish in Waterville.

Riding along the Kennebec is a deceptive concept. The river has fully developed "S" curves in that region. The road follows the outermost portion on an "S", then continues straight up a tough Maine hill, down the other side, along the next "S" and repeat. Many times.

Ben
SideBySide

Posts:166

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06/27/2014 01:38 PM
That's a pretty good ways for a first real race. That brings back a lot of memories.
79pmooney

Posts:1110

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06/27/2014 02:35 PM
We just had another 90 seconds of drownpour. I got to see it from inside, nice and dry. The roar, the white frosted pavement. Let up to a volume of 3 (1-10), surged to 7 and is now down to 2. (In Portland, 0.01 on that scale qualifies as rain. That's how we get so many rainy days. But it can rain very hard, just rarely does.)

Ben
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