The rain and the ride

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?

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Gaz says:

    Hey man, it’s Gowri (Gaz) from uni :) I stumbled on your blog when googling cycling Aus lol! Was wondering over the years how you’re going, figured you were still in the old blighty. Hope you’ve been well. Great read, sounds like you’re enjoying Tassie and the roads it has to offer, it’s gorgeous there. Drop me a line dude, would love to hear from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Gaz, great to hear from you! Shoot me a message with your email and I’ll get on touch! :-)

      Like

  2. idlecyclist says:

    I hate wind! I don’t like rain but like you I can cope if I get started in the dry. Living in the NW of Ireland unfortunately both are pretty common 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes being a smaller island like you, we get a fair bit of wind too. Not quite as much rain as you do though!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. its strange but i think a lot of us dont mind getting caught in the rain but dont want to start out if it is raining.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Same. I won’t set out if it’s raining heavy. I also loathe gusty cross winds. That bike is quite cool actually. The retro thing is growing on me. Now I feel like I need a retro roadie too 🤔. I’m keen to do another sundaze ride with you guys soon. I gotta take Stewart on again for a re-match 😂.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Be careful with retro. Many look good but ride like crap! Remember mine may be retro, but it’s now got modern 11-speed Dura Ace / Ultegra, plus in 2002 it was a top level carbon frame that Lance Armstrong and his team had ridden to four (questionable) Tour de France victories. See you out on the SunDaze soon! :-)

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  5. Wilma says:

    I’ve become an all weather cyclist because I don’t have an indoor trainer. So middle of winter or summer, its up and out riding by 5.30am or 5.45am to be home for work etc. I figure the winter ride is the base for summer when the weather is better to go harder and longer rides. I’ve also become quite adapt to doging early morning wildlife and what routes to avoid from ice.

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