Riding in the Rain in Seattle

This is an updated and republished post from 05.

RainLast weekend was quintessential Seattle weather in October. Stunningly beautiful one day and rain the next. I mostly welcome the rain, it cleans the air, the city, and signals that Fall has arrived. The Fall is the time of year when I spend hours of my weekends riding the city, the suburbs, and country. When you ride in Seattle, you’ll need a rain bike and the proper gear.

My rain bike is a custom Davidson — it’s a touring/road bike with long-pull brakes and eyelets for mounting fenders and clearance. The frame material is titanium, for all-day riding comfort and the geometry is relaxed.

New for 07, I’ll also ride the Modal, a concept travel bike that’s equipped with Hed’s carbon commuters Jet 60 C2.

Lots of Skins in Vegas

skins_tights.jpg You expect to see lots of skin in Vegas, and the booth babes at Interbike, but I was surprised by Skins technology for several reasons. First cause I got a condom in a Skins wrapper and thought, “condoms at Interbike, well … cyclists and safe sex, cool, maybe it was an Africa project or something.” Nope; just clever marketing. Second, I kept trying to compare Skins to performance underwear, like micro-climate stuff or Lycra Power. Nope; finally, when their Director of Communications said, “stop, just check it out, try the glove box,” and I was impressed. So was the rest of the hugga contigent at the show.

Skins is Gradient Compression performance equipment that aids in recovery and performance and it’s a “got to try it” thing. Like the guy I met at the airport who had worn them non stop since stopping by the Skins booth (have not yet investigated the smelly factor) .

Committing to the Rain

It takes a big commitment to ride in the rain; especially in the city, where the risks go up, the flats go up, the hazards increase, and it’s just downright dirty and gritty. The other cyclists I’ve talked to are dreading the rainy season.

In Seattle, rain is a fact of riding and commuting, but training takes a big commitment and I’ve got to work myself into it. Last week, I added one fender to a bike as a start and on Sunday night, I prepped the rain bike (we ride rain bikes here, special just for the rain). And the first ride of the Fall season was in a storm!

How do you get through a rainy ride or winter weather in your area?

Bike Washing How to from Belgian Kneewarmers

After a few days of early fall rain my folder is filthy. Sure, mounting a front fender would have helped, but I didn’t do that. Instead I have to wash my bike. Belgian Kneewarmers ran a great set of tips for all late/early season cyclists on just this topic: Strong enough for a cyclocross Hard(wo)man, gentle enough for… me.

Modal Progress

modal_progress.jpg I stopped by the shop to replace a sticky cable housing during the Fall storm ride and discovered that the Modal concept bike had been tack welded together, wrapped in plastic, and awaiting the Ti welder.

Learn more about the Modal and check the Paragon dropouts.

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