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?

Previous posts on the rain



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.



Riding the storm out

Just in time for a Fall storm in Seattle, Ibex sent us their Merino Wool ibex_knickers.jpg Knickers. During the course of an 1.5 hour ride, I rode in gray dampness, a squalling storm cell with 40 MPH winds, blindingly-bright sun, and some bonus hail – I was soaked through in about 3 minutes. Merino Wool and Ibex’s Climawool (stretchy, breathable, wool/synthetic blend) is perfect for a wide range of temperatures.

The Ibex knickers feature Climawool over the knees and mid-weight Merino in the back. They also have a “sansabelt” style elastic in the waist, like their shorts.

The knickers were comfortable, fit well, and most importantly kept my temperate moderate. Where my arms were freezing with lycra arm warmers during the squall part of the ride, I was good on the knees and thighs. The weight of the knickers is good for Fall and Spring, but not heavy enough for the Winter. The pad was OK, worked well for my brief ride, commuting, and errands, but I wouldn’t want to ride a century with it.

We’re big fans of Ibex for casual, travel, and cycling wear. For my trip next week to Taipei, I’m wearing mostly Ibex, Smartwool Socks, and Kuhl pants. More on that trip later.

Also check the Ibex Buzz blog for posts about their clothes and the company.



The Uneasy Road to Change

A bicycle caravan – with the theme, “Money or Life” – travels 500 miles across Europe to join protests in Prague against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Caravan/Prague is a feature-length documentary about the caravan and is available now on DVD.



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