This morning I woke up and it was raining. Not such a rare occurrence this year in Tasmania, but I’d checked the forecast and it predicted a low chance of rain, otherwise warm and dry. The night before I’d laid out my US POSTAL summer kit, prepped the Trek 5200 and set breakfast. Waking to the sound of heavy rain pelting sideways onto the bedroom window was not what I expected!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve done more than my fair share of wet weather cycling. I’ve been no stranger to cold, rain soaked rides in the middle of a gloomy UK winter, eating 50+ miles of salty Berkshire road grime sprayed off the wheel of the clubmate in front. I’ve also commuted to work pre-dawn through many a downpour. These days, it’s just not fun. I don’t mind too much if it rains part way through a ride, but I’ll rarely set off when it’s raining heavily.
A ride in the rain can be quite refreshing at times.
Maybe it’s also my lack of a proper “rain bike” these days. I’m certainly not taking the Aeroad out! It’s my fair weather speed machine and while it goes like an absolute bullet train, the carbon rim brakes in the wet also stop like one. I bought the Trek 5200 project to be my back-up weather bike, but it turned out TOO good to be “just” the rain bike.
This was meant to be my “rain bike” but it turned out a little too nice!
Honestly I actually don’t mind riding in a little bit of rain! As long as it’s not freezing or blowing a gale and I’m not fighting peak hour traffic, riding in a light rain shower can be super refreshing. It’s the post-ride clean up that’s the real pain. I hate going for a two hour ride, then spending another two hours cleaning caked-on grit and other crud from the bike.
When cleaning the bike afterwards takes just as long as the ride…
I’m lucky here in Tasmania that there’s plenty of dry and sunny days to make up for the wet ones. Plus of course there’s the multitude of incredibly immersive indoor cycling options available now. It’s a far stretch from when I used to hammer away on a basic mag resistance “dumb trainer” in the shed with nothing more to look at than a stopwatch and speedometer.
My flexible work schedule means I can duck out for a ride at short notice most days when the weather is nice – I don’t need to ride in the rain just to get a ride in anymore. Then again, maybe I’m just getting soft as I get older… ;-)
Are you an all-weather cyclist by choice?