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Rode in 39 degree rain today. How do Belgians do it?!(9 posts)

Rode in 39 degree rain today. How do Belgians do it?!Tig
Feb 8, 2003 1:19 PM
Seven other ride-starved lunatics and myself braved 39 degree, 15 knot winds and rain this morning. Having not ridden more than 2 days a week the last few weeks can drive a sane rider into stupid weather situations.

It was barely raining at the start so we decided to go for it. The rain never got heavy, but lasted the first half hour. The wet roads and car spray caused water to slowly seep into out clothing layers, especially in the gloves and tights for me.

After warming up I felt surprisingly good. However, my fingers were starting to suffer halfway through the ride, even through 2 glove layers (I'll try my old water-proof kayak gloves next time!). By a relatively short 22 miles, the pain in each fingertip was really getting to me. At least my neoprene booties and wool socks helped me from suffering the same frozen foot syndrome some others had. The rest of me felt OK.

We were thinking how tough Belgian spring races must be, and how those guys can hammer so fast and for hours through similar conditions AND over pavé! The clothing selections we had weren't much different than pro riders use. I guess I'm just a wimp!
Sounds like it was not as bad as you thought ...Humma Hah
Feb 8, 2003 1:47 PM
... it would be, except for the glove issue.

I'd say that's typical. Even though I commute in temps down to 15F, and will do it against 25 mph headwinds, sometimes simultaneously, I still dread the idea when I'm inside a nice, warm building thinking about going outside. But once on the bike and warmed up for a couple of miles, it is almost NEVER as bad as I imagined.

A couple of pointers on the glove thing ...

Gloves that are too tight cut off your circulation and make your hands cold. Be sure your gloves have a loose fit, even when wrapped around the bars. Gloves with very thick insulation may actually be colder if the insulation bunches when you hold the bar.

Mittens are warmer than gloves. If you can stand to operate your brakes and shifters in mittens, they'll probably help. I keep a pair of lightweight nylon mitten shells and polypro glove liners in my kit, and switch to them if my primary gloves get wet.

On the cruiser, I use foam grips, which are fatter (so I don't have to bend my fingers as much) than wrapped bars and insulate me from the metal better -- might look goofy but you could probably fit foam grips on a roadbike for the winter.
Live in Wisconsin for a change!mazobob
Feb 8, 2003 2:15 PM
We ride in the winter, in the rain and all weather all year long! The secret is your clothing! For a great deal call 1 800 BIKEMAN and ask for Davis. Tell him the Wisconsin bikeman sent you! I bought some mittens from him last fall called hot palms, they have kept me warm down to 10 degrees! They even have zip vents for temp regulation. For tights consider the Pearl Izumis' they're great with light thermals down to 20 degrees. Caution:::When you ride colder than 20 degrees you will get shrinkage issues with your willy!
I can handle cold <i>or</i> rain, but not <i>BOTH</i>Tig
Feb 8, 2003 3:09 PM
I can layer for temps down to about 20 degrees and still stay comfy. I like to ride in the rain when it isn't too cool or visibility isn't dangerous. Mixing them together is a challenge though!
But memorable ...Humma Hah
Feb 8, 2003 3:25 PM
... The experience of riding in a moderate to hard rain at temps a little above freezing and without proper raingear is an experience that'll be long remembered.

And not eagerly repeated.

Commuting in college, where the alternative was walking, I did it all too often. You'll wonder if you'll ever be warm again.
Beer, lots of good post-ride Belgium beer :-) Op uw gezonheid!js5280
Feb 8, 2003 4:06 PM
they train in San Diego? :-) nmDougSloan
Feb 8, 2003 8:27 PM
because they're Miserable Fat Belgian Bastards nmcyclopathic
Feb 9, 2003 7:31 AM
Hee-heemickey-mac
Feb 9, 2003 9:07 AM
I Love Python.