If you’re not ready yet for the rain, try the Ellensburg Manastash Metric Century /Half-Century Bicycle Tour this. The ride promises Autumn colors, mountain scenes, historic towns, and no rain. Hopefully not bone-dry woodfire smokey! like our ride in Mazama.
When she’s not cycling, adventuring, knitting, cooking, and ranting, the crazy biker chick blogs and has some words for motorists.
I ride my bike year-round as my main means of transportation. My bike is not a toy. I don’t aspire to be Lance Armstrong. I’m not too poor to afford a car. I choose a bicycle because its healthier for me, and healthier for the city I live in. I’m not riding in the middle of the lane to slow you down or thwart you. I’m just trying to do the same thing as you - get from point A to point B safely.
A reader wrote in to ask a well-timed question about riding in the rain.
Don’t laugh but what do cyclist do when it rains? I’m asking because I would love to get rid of my shitty car and get a bike but I’m worried about the rain here in the bay area.
– Joe, Manning Web and Graphic Design
Good questions – the best of all possible worlds is full fenders, often with a mudflap (especially if you ride with others), and a rain cape/poncho. If full fenders won’t fit your bike, there are lots of options, including those easy-on fenders.
There’s a tremendous amount of rain gear out there – jackets, rainpants, booties to cover your shoes, gloves, helmet covers. See my post here on riding in the rain in Seattle. I ride hard in the ride, training, and a cape (especially not Gore) is too hot. Windtec (or similar products) are the best because you’re going to get soaked not matter what and what you want to do is stay warm, but not hot.
You still may be a little wet, but you can usually address this either by keeping a couple of towels at work or by finding shower facilities at or near work. When I use to commute, I found a little-used shower in my building, intended for use by operations personnel if there was a multi-day disaster. My commuting partner and I stashed soap, washcloths, and towels at work, used that shower, and found a utility room so we didn’t even have to lock the bikes outside. Also, if a shower isn’t available, use alcohol and cotton rounds - wipe down with alcohol and that should be enough to get you through the day.
So as Byron and I are talking today bemoaning the fact that all the major companies’ offerings all pretty much look the same and offer the same value, I mention that it is actually good for the industry as it allows more specialized and boutique companies to bring new things to the forefront as people are not having their needs met from the cookie cutter offering of hte major bike companies.
Small builders can much more easily do one-offs and custom things since that is really their business anyway. I was out riding Critical Mass this past friday night and ran into David Wilson, an old friend that I knew was doing some framebuilding. He told me that he had opened up his own frame shop and was doing some really interesting stuff. I definitely had to check it out since he was riding along on a Borracho! He has fashioned a cargo bike using some very interesting engineering (check out the steering on this thing!). He was always an innovative guy and has a true passion for cycling. Seeing him do his deliveries on this very inspirational.
I love that the industry still has a place for small builders with great ideas. Let’s hopw that we get to see more and more of this type of thing. Plastic bikes from plastic companies are great for some people, but its guys like David that keep the soul of cycling alive.