Author Topic: WET Bike Ride!  (Read 11871 times)

CentimentalFreedom

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WET Bike Ride!
« on: May 26, 2014, 10:59:54 AM »
Hi Mustachians!

Today, I rode my bike for the first time to work! Google maps laid out a nice biking path for me and it was pouring rain! What was supposed to be a 21 minute bike ride (according to Google Maps) ended up being an hour for me... I have a few questions that I was hoping that everyone would help me with. I'm in New Brunswick.

1. Part of the trip requires me to be on a non-biking path main road. Am I allowed to bike on the side walk? or am I supposed to be in the lane pissing the other drivers off?

2. Is there anything I can do to keep my feet and legs dry? They were wet seconds into my trip.

3. Will I ever be able to make it up those hills!!

MichaelR

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2014, 11:19:14 AM »
1. I bike in the road in traffic. Takes some getting use to and not ideal. Not sure if it is stoic or stupid. Use the sidewalk when it makes sense.

2. I bike in shorts and if it rains I get wet.

3. Yes. Depends a lot on your age how quickly those muscles adapt. I am in my 40s and it took months.

Keep up the good work!

frugaliknowit

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2014, 11:40:30 AM »
Where I live, it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk (subject to a fine).  Learn about roads that are comfortable to ride (any with bike lanes?).  Generally I prefer one-lane wide roads where cars are used to bikes (depends on your community).

You can purchase "foul weather gear" on-line or through bike shops.  Personally, I don't ride in heavy rain.

Much of hilling is technique, some of it is strength/power (both muscular and cardio-vascular).  Use your gears.  On a long rolling hill, I "gun it" as I approach the bottom of the hill, then start downshifting gradually about half way up.  You can read techniques on-line.  Experiment and be patient.  On super steep short hills go as slowly as you need to in very low gears.  If you start panting, slow down or you will be forced to fail.

dweebyhawkeyes

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 11:55:41 AM »
Part of the trip requires me to be on a non-biking path main road. Am I allowed to bike on the side walk? or am I supposed to be in the lane pissing the other drivers off?

I think it's awesome that your trip even includes a bike path! Congrats. I'd say use your discretion... Depends on the size of the margin, speed of the cars, amount of traffic, and amount of broken glass. I usually ride in the margin unless any combination of those things requires me in the road or on the sidewalk for safety. The only thing I highly recommend is to go fewer than 10 mph on sidewalks. Respect pedestrians. As far as if you're allowed, you should definitely be checking out your rights on a bicycle on the govt. site for your area. Then you'll know if you legally have to wear a helmet, what lights you need, etc.

And you'll always be pissing drivers off no matter how lawfully you ride haha! Have compassion, if you were trapped in a giant metal box you'd be pissed too.

2. Unless it's very cold, I prefer to get my bare skin wet and wash it off once I reach work.
3. Yep, you'll get there. I even have a fancypants electric pedal assist but don't find myself turning it on much any more.

data.Damnation

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2014, 12:07:29 PM »
Are there pedestrians on the sidewalk? Where I bike, there are sidewalks but I've never seen anyone walking on them, so I bike on the sidewalk. I also don't like in a very bike friendly area, so if there were bike lanes and cars that had respect for bikes, I might think differently.

GuitarStv

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2014, 12:13:40 PM »
Hi Mustachians!

Today, I rode my bike for the first time to work! Google maps laid out a nice biking path for me and it was pouring rain! What was supposed to be a 21 minute bike ride (according to Google Maps) ended up being an hour for me... I have a few questions that I was hoping that everyone would help me with. I'm in New Brunswick.

1. Part of the trip requires me to be on a non-biking path main road. Am I allowed to bike on the side walk? or am I supposed to be in the lane pissing the other drivers off?

2. Is there anything I can do to keep my feet and legs dry? They were wet seconds into my trip.

3. Will I ever be able to make it up those hills!!

1.  Cycling on the sidewalk is less safe for you.  If you can, it's better to cycle in the road.  That's why it's illegal for people over the age of 12 to cycle on the sidewalk in NB.

2.  No.  Even with full fenders you're likely going to get your feet and legs pretty wet after a few minutes in heavy rain.  I like to wear shorts and sandals (that strap securely on the feet) for wet warm weather, as you'll dry up quickly when the rain ends . . . and don't get as much crappy wet material rubbing against you when it's pouring down.

Studded platform pedals mean that my feet never slip off in the wet.  Lights on the bike and my helmet make me more visible in crappy conditions.  I usually wear bright colours too.

3.  Yes.  It never gets easier . . . but you do go faster.  :P
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 01:28:09 PM by GuitarStv »

TrMama

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2014, 12:48:22 PM »
1. Riding on the sidewalk is usually a bad idea. Ride on the road. The driver will just have to deal with it. Plus, it's way slower for you.

2. I use clip in pedals and bike shoes. I have some neoprene booties that go over top of my shoes and help keep my feet dry-ish and warm. They're great in cold wet weather. In warm weather my feet just get wet with the rest of me.

3. Yes, it will get easier. You'll get better at using the downhill portion to propel you back up the next hill. Use your lowest gear! That's what it's there for. The easiest way to bike uphill is to ride in a low gear at a high rpm. It saves your legs for the next hill. Don't grind away slowly at a higher gear.

NinetyFour

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 12:54:27 PM »
Keep in mind that in pouring rain, everyone has lower visibility, so you might want to use some extra bright clothing and/or good, strong lights.

justabuhler

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2014, 01:07:32 PM »
The kids and I bike to school everyday (4km), rain, snow or shine, unless its crazy and pouring or below -20.

The kids and I bike on the road when we aren't on the multi use trail, some drivers will freak out and honk, but don't let it get you discouraged, they are just in a hurry to get to the next set of lights.

If its raining the kids have rain gear over their clothes, and sandals with no socks on, i carry their other shoes, and a towel in my backpack for a quick dry before putting on socks and shoes.

I wear sandals too, and have water proof pants and jacket.

You'll adapt to the hills, make sure you drink plenty of water afterwards and maybe a snack bar after to replace those calories that you burned. Also not knowing what you are riding, make sure your posture on your bike and seat is at the correct height, this will help you from over using your legs and body incorrectly.

lb

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2014, 01:24:55 PM »
Great job! You did it!

Now keep doing it. You'll get faster. Shoe covers are nice for keeping your feet dry.

Usually I just get wet then change at work. Keep a dry pair of shoes and socks or carry a light pair with you.

CentimentalFreedom

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2014, 02:18:23 PM »
3. Yes, it will get easier. You'll get better at using the downhill portion to propel you back up the next hill. Use your lowest gear! That's what it's there for. The easiest way to bike uphill is to ride in a low gear at a high rpm. It saves your legs for the next hill. Don't grind away slowly at a higher gear.

I have a kiddy bike that I bought off Kijiji for $12.50. I don't think it has gears...

My neice's bike has gears, do you change it as you go? kind of like a standard car?

prefrontalfinance

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2014, 03:45:07 PM »
3. Yes, it will get easier. You'll get better at using the downhill portion to propel you back up the next hill. Use your lowest gear! That's what it's there for. The easiest way to bike uphill is to ride in a low gear at a high rpm. It saves your legs for the next hill. Don't grind away slowly at a higher gear.

I have a kiddy bike that I bought off Kijiji for $12.50. I don't think it has gears...

My neice's bike has gears, do you change it as you go? kind of like a standard car?

Well, there's your problem. This is what's called a 'fixed gear bike'. Many children's bicycles don't bother with gears, because the manufacturers assume that they will only be riding in a small area that will be mostly flat. Secondly, it may be that the bicycle is too small for you. An improperly sized bicycle will suck up all your energy, instead of converting it properly to power to get you up those hills!

Here is a pretty good explanation of basic sizing: http://www.gobiking.ca/bike-fit/index.html

But yes, gear on a bicycle are pretty much exactly like in a car, except there's no such thing as a clutch. They are usually controlled by toggles, with 1 toggle meaning 'shift up a gear' and 1 toggle meaning 'shift down a gear'. Sometimes they are controlled other ways, for example, by rotating the handlebar kind of like on a motorcycle. Low gears are for climbing up steep hills. High gears are for if you want to be able to add more speed when traveling downhill. Flatter parts of the world sell more bikes with no gears or older style gearhubs with only 3-5 options. Hillier parts tend to have more options with more gears - I ride an 18-gear (3 front, 6 back) and a 21-gear (3 front, 7 back). More gears can make it easier to get up and down hills of different slopes, as you can fine tune to match the difficulty.

If nothing else, get a bike that is the right size. Then think about gears/no gears. Then think about riding style.

A more upright posture will be more comfortable on your back and put less pressure on your groin, but will reduce your power while pedaling, meaning slower speed and more difficulty on hills. Here is an example of a rider on a 'cruiser' bike, see how her torso is almost completely vertical, while she is able to comfortably hold the handlebars and pedal? http://www.freeenergystore.com/BCFull2.JPG

An intermediate posture will be a mixture between comfort and efficiency, most mountain bikes and what are called commuter or 'hybrid' (because they are hybrid between road and mountain styles) bikes will offer this kind of posture. The back will be leaning forward, somewhere around 45 degrees. This is a typical 'hybrid' style: http://bustedknucklebikes.com/wp-content/uploads/shutterstock_1574132661-450x299.jpg

Some commuters like what are called road bikes. These focus on speed. They have narrow tires that are fast on paved surfaces, but poor on dirt or gravel and more vulnerable to flats. They often have 'drop' handlebars, to allow an even lower torso and more efficient pedaling. These are very powerful to climbing hills, but if not fitted properly, can be tough on the wrists, back, and groin. An example: http://cdn2.coresites.mpora.com/twc/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ruby6.jpeg

I hope this little primer will help you figure out what to do. Rain can be overcome! Hills can be overcome! Having the right tools helps.

Here's photos of people being drenched in water (I've been there) :) https://www.flickr.com/photos/bikeportland/sets/72157636056592224/

m8547

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2014, 08:28:45 PM »

2.  No.  Even with full fenders you're likely going to get your feet and legs pretty wet after a few minutes in heavy rain.  I like to wear shorts and sandals (that strap securely on the feet) for wet warm weather, as you'll dry up quickly when the rain ends . . . and don't get as much crappy wet material rubbing against you when it's pouring down.


Full fenders help a lot though. They are great for wet roads or light rain, and they keep the gross road water off of you.

GuitarStv

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2014, 05:25:48 AM »

2.  No.  Even with full fenders you're likely going to get your feet and legs pretty wet after a few minutes in heavy rain.  I like to wear shorts and sandals (that strap securely on the feet) for wet warm weather, as you'll dry up quickly when the rain ends . . . and don't get as much crappy wet material rubbing against you when it's pouring down.


Full fenders help a lot though. They are great for wet roads or light rain, and they keep the gross road water off of you.

Hell yes!  Fenders effing rock!  Without a front fender you might as well be licking the road as you bike along, because every bit of gross water is going to fly up and into your nose, mouth, and eyes.  They just don't do too much for keeping your feet dry in my experience.

Silverwood

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2014, 08:01:16 AM »
I almost never bike on the road. Even if it's 50 km/hr speed limit most are speeding. Bike lanes in this city are a joke.

I am a very polite sidewalk peddler.  I'll pull over to the side or  stop or bike on the grass.

GuitarStv

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2014, 08:15:11 AM »
You shouldn't bike on the road for pedestrian's safety, it's actually much safer for you as the cyclist.  Vehicles aren't expecting someone to be moving as quickly as a bike on the sidewalk, so they don't look far enough up the sidewalk to compensate.  Cars are much more likely to turn into a laneway/roadway and either hit you or cut you off (unless of course, you dismount your bike and walk across every intersection/driveway/etc on the sidewalk).

Silverwood

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2014, 08:20:43 AM »
I understand. Really , but I'm not biking on the roads here.

CentimentalFreedom

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2014, 08:47:41 AM »
I ride an 18-gear (3 front, 6 back) and a 21-gear (3 front, 7 back). More gears can make it easier to get up and down hills of different slopes, as you can fine tune to match the difficulty.

How do you keep track of the gears????
Is there a different way to adjust for each?

I didn't realize bikes were so complicated.

GuitarStv

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2014, 09:18:15 AM »
Bike gearing is a little complicated if you've never used it before, but quickly becomes second nature.

The chainrings (gears) where your cranks and pedals attach follow this rule:
- Big gear = harder to pedal, but you go faster
- Small gear = easier to pedal, but you go slower

The cassette (gears) at the rear wheel operate in reverse:
- Small gear = harder to pedal, but you go faster
- Big gear = easier to pedal, but you go slower


If you're just learning, just stick the front on the middle or smallest gear and then ignore it.  Try pedalling around and shifting your rear gears up and down.  Each time you shift the gear it will become a little easier or harder to pedal.  You want to try and make it so that you can pedal without shoving your feet into the pedals too hard and without it being so easy that you would have to spin the pedals a million miles an hour.

The gears of a bike only shift while you're turning the pedals.  More gears just mean that you have more options to set the rate of your pedaling.

CentimentalFreedom

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2014, 11:23:43 AM »
I see....

Maybe I'll mess around on my niece's bike and test it out...

So the gears on each handle represent either the front or the back wheel.... right?

GuitarStv

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2014, 11:27:30 AM »
Yes.  The right side will be for the rear gears (and brake), the left side for the front.

PindyStache

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2014, 12:10:58 PM »
Also, the gears will only change when you are pedaling forward. Changing gears while stopped (especially more than 1 gear off from where you were) is a recipe for a lot of clanking and perhaps the chain falling off or something like that.

William

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2014, 05:30:12 PM »
Ah, I love the idea of starting to bike on a miserable looking day.  That means all other days will be easier! 

Props to you!

Rollin

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2014, 06:23:21 PM »
Hi Mustachians!

Today, I rode my bike for the first time to work! Google maps laid out a nice biking path for me and it was pouring rain! What was supposed to be a 21 minute bike ride (according to Google Maps) ended up being an hour for me... I have a few questions that I was hoping that everyone would help me with. I'm in New Brunswick.

1. Part of the trip requires me to be on a non-biking path main road. Am I allowed to bike on the side walk? or am I supposed to be in the lane pissing the other drivers off?

2. Is there anything I can do to keep my feet and legs dry? They were wet seconds into my trip.

3. Will I ever be able to make it up those hills!!

1.  Cycling on the sidewalk is less safe for you.  If you can, it's better to cycle in the road.  That's why it's illegal for people over the age of 12 to cycle on the sidewalk in NB.


14 times more likely to have a car/bike accident using the sidewalk vs. roadway.

YMMV though

furrychickens

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2014, 08:05:28 PM »
I think I'm going to switch to sandals now that rain is in reasonably warm weather.

I'm also loving the Kool Stop Salmon brake pads for wet rides. Initially my old pads seemed fine in the rain, but I had a couple close calls where I had to drag my feet just to stop in time because they lost grip. The Salmon pads seem great after 200 miles and a few rainy rides. Props to those who recommended them back during the winter.

Fenders are great. Yes, you'll still get wet, but they keep the dirty road water off of you. Non waterproof panniers can be made reasonably watertight with ScotchGuard.

dweebyhawkeyes

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2014, 09:59:34 PM »
1.  Cycling on the sidewalk is less safe for you.  If you can, it's better to cycle in the road.  That's why it's illegal for people over the age of 12 to cycle on the sidewalk in NB.
14 times more likely to have a car/bike accident using the sidewalk vs. roadway.

YMMV though

I had never known about the sidewalk vs road thing... interesting. I'm not sure where you got the 14x stat but a quick trip to the search engine does pull up a lot of info on this subject. I found this one super informative on the reasons why, in case anyone else is curious: http://ccbike.org/articles/is-it-safe-to-ride-on-the-sidewalk/ Many of these issues can be avoided by dismounting your bike and walking it if absolutely necessary. I've done this going uphill on beautiful summer days (many pedestrians enjoying the sunshine) during rush hour (cars everywhere, acting super aggressive to get home five minutes sooner).

Thanks for bringing it up!

CentimentalFreedom

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2014, 08:08:18 AM »
I had a couple close calls where I had to drag my feet just to stop in time because they lost grip.

I am only "cruising" right now and I'm dead tired. I can't imagine how fast you might be going.

GuitarStv

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2014, 08:57:14 AM »
I had a couple close calls where I had to drag my feet just to stop in time because they lost grip.

I am only "cruising" right now and I'm dead tired. I can't imagine how fast you might be going.

I race the cars.  :P

CentimentalFreedom

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2014, 12:39:40 PM »

Cinder

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2014, 01:57:56 PM »
1.  Cycling on the sidewalk is less safe for you.  If you can, it's better to cycle in the road.  That's why it's illegal for people over the age of 12 to cycle on the sidewalk in NB.
14 times more likely to have a car/bike accident using the sidewalk vs. roadway.

YMMV though

I had never known about the sidewalk vs road thing... interesting. I'm not sure where you got the 14x stat but a quick trip to the search engine does pull up a lot of info on this subject. I found this one super informative on the reasons why, in case anyone else is curious: http://ccbike.org/articles/is-it-safe-to-ride-on-the-sidewalk/ Many of these issues can be avoided by dismounting your bike and walking it if absolutely necessary. I've done this going uphill on beautiful summer days (many pedestrians enjoying the sunshine) during rush hour (cars everywhere, acting super aggressive to get home five minutes sooner).

Thanks for bringing it up!

Seconded on the 'If you are going to bike on sidewalks, dismount and walk across EVERY road you cross"

CentimentalFreedom

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2014, 07:53:27 AM »
Seconded on the 'If you are going to bike on sidewalks, dismount and walk across EVERY road you cross"

Saweet!! I do that already!!

Guess what?!?! I beat my time by 20 WHOLE MINUTES!!! THAT'S RIGHT!! TWENTY! 2-0! The power of running late....

Is it normal to feel shakey after a bike ride?

GuitarStv

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2014, 08:31:06 AM »
Eventually the shaky turns into rubbery and then just a pleasant burning sensation in the legs.  An hour or two after that if I don't get some food in me I start to crash pretty hard.

Ashyukun

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Re: WET Bike Ride!
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2014, 08:34:27 AM »
It's the same as any heavy physical exertion, so yes it is fairly normal- especially when you're just getting started and aren't adjusted to it. Once you've been doing it for a while and your muscles and lungs have adjusted more it should lessen- should also be less prominent when you're not pushing it quite as hard as it sounds like you did today.

As for the gears- I commute on an old Fuji road bike. 12 speed, 2 front & 6 rear gears. I never touch the front gear shifter- I just always keep it on the largest gear and shift the derailleur (small gears on th back) to fit what I need. This does mean I'm not using the 'lowest' (easiest to pedal) half of the gears, but I've never found that I need to go THAT far down (my commute has some hills, but no serious mountains).

Fenders were one of the best investments I've made- but they're only really good against wet roads and keeping the tires from spraying you with dirty water and not against active rain. Since I use clip pedals & shoes I usually just deal with the fact I'm going to get wet.