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  • Winky

    Great tips, especially the first one about simply embracing the rain. Learn to love it. But I also think that a waterproof jacket and rain pants are far from essential. I rarely wear a jacket, and don’t even own rain pants, and I am commuting nearly an hour each way all year round in all weathers in Vancouver. I find waterproofs too sweaty, too hot and too flappy. Oh, and my experience is that shoe covers do not keep your feet dry, but they do keep them warm. It’s quite easy to stay warm enough, but don’t imagine you’ll stay dry on rides over 15 minutes, no matter what you wear. And it’s a cruel joke when manufacturers label their gloves “waterproof”. I guess they mean that once the gloves are full of water, it won’t leak out!

    • Anne-Marije Rook

      The waterproof gloves I have actually do keep my hands dry from the rain (though they get sweaty). Shoe covers though, I will agree with you. Eventually, the feet do get wet.

      • Winky

        Yeah, see, I’d rather have wet hands than sweaty hands. As long as they’re not too cold.

  • Arjan Hulsebos

    The mental preparation is important. I’ve done 100km rides in foul weather without a hitch, but a couple of days ago, when the weather was not that bad in the morning, but it had turned into a drizzle at 5 degs C, I skipped my usual 1h ride, and rode the 2km from work straight to home. I wasn’t prepared for that.

    And when you’re out riding in some nasty weather and it gets a little rough, just look around and ask yourself “who else is riding out here?” Almost always, no one is, and it proves that you’re the toughest cookie around. It does wonders for your morale.

  • scottmanning

    Really? You say embrace the fact you will get soaked and then suggest a rain jacket or booties? I’ve yet to find either that actually keep you dry for more than 20min since your neck and your legs pipe water straight into them. Then there is the swear accumulation I the jacket. I agree though – embrace the wet, but beyond that, forget the annoying jacket and just focus on keeping warm – Marino wool all the way!

    • Eat More Lard

      I used to have an Altura jacket (PBK branded) that was just awesome, never let water in, breathed pretty well despite being quite heavy looking. There was something about the cut that allowed good air flow and was 100% waterproof. I’ve ridden 4 – 5 hours in the rain and it has kept me dry. I used to enjoy riding in the rain in it – there is something invigorating about it when you know that the tools you have just work. Unfortunately, I left that jacket on a Vline train one time and never got it back :(

      Agreed on the booties, though. Eventually, your feet just get wet! Never tried the waterproof shoes. Do they really keep the feet dry?

    • Paul Jakma

      Won’t keep you dry per se, but they can help keep you warm.

      +1 on merino for still being thermal when wet, if you have a windproof layer over it (though I’d go for 100% merino rather than sportwool, just on sportwool still being pongy). For overshoes, thick neoprene is great. Shimano Pro’s thick ones are the thickest and hardest wearing I’ve found.

  • Derek Maher

    Great subject Anne -Marije.
    I am not a great fan of wet weather, However when I do brave the elements. Warm upper base layer first. Fleece lined padded cycling tights. Long sleeved jersey. Then water proof jacket with hood keeps your head dry and warm plus stops water running down your neck. and water proof trousers.
    Neoprene shoe covers with trousers covering their tops. A Velcro strap on the trouser bottoms keeps them snug over the boots and stops water getting in. Gloves I expect to get wet but as long as my hand don’t freeze its okay. Plain glasses are a must.

    • Winky

      It would need to be snowing for me to be comfortable wearing that much stuff.

      • Derek Maher

        True the clothing weighs a bit but I stay dry Winky. Soggy chamois are not my thing also having a hood on my jacket gives me protection from heavy rain or hail which can sure sting.

        • Winky

          It’s the self-generated heat and the sweat that gets to me if I wear too much. I need to be cool to be comfortable. Oddly, I don’t mind riding in quite hot weather, though.

  • Jessy Vee

    Great article! It’s true – the first few minutes are the worst… The idea that you have to leave your comfy bed and head out into the cold and wet is really offputting, but some of the most fun rides I’ve ever had were when the rain was pouring.

    But, a note on number 6: Have bus money and your phone handy.
    My friend was out on a ride and broke her derailleur hanger. She tried to jump on a bus, but they refused her. Trains and taxis are fine, but buses just don’t like cyclists. :p

  • pauldr

    Do you wear a rain jacket as well as the Gabba Jersey?

    • Anne-Marije Rook

      For really bad days, yes

  • jules

    who wouldn’t want to ride in the rain? or hail

    • winkybiker

      I recall crouching in a ditch with my arms over my head and face trying to avoid a hailstorm on a ride home from work years ago. I ended up pock-marked with bruises. It bloody hurt.

      • jules

        in the case as pictured above, I just lost feeling in my hands and had to thaw them out in front of a heater. when the feeling started coming back, it was in the form of quite a lot of pain!

        • Winky

          Yes, that can be nasty for sure. I used to suffer from that when sailing and windsurfing in the winter.


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