Monday, October 23, 2006

My weather prediction

Date: Oct. 21 and 22
Total mileage: 49.4
October mileage: 319.1
Temperature upon departure: 43

I should be a weather guesser. Predicting the weather in Juneau would be my easiest job since I worked as a hamburger bun warmer at Wendy's. Why, just now, I pounded out a 195-day forecast that should get us through May 6, 2007. I'm betting on 75-percent accuracy, which is a better average than the NOAA. Our current weather guessers wouldn't dare put out such a report - they probably can't deal with the bleakness of reality. But, I gotta tell you, that one day of partial sun is worth living for.

I installed fenders on my road bike about a week ago, and I was happy to discover that they do in fact dispel road grit with about 95-percent accuracy. It's also nice to have water continuously splashing on me from only one direction - the sky. Someday they'll invent fenders to combat that pesky precipitation problem. Until then, I'll just have to rely on a marginal rainsuit and a helpfully high tolerance for wet feet.

It would be interesting to hold a vote for the absolute worst cycling weather. Although I enjoyed today's ride, I'd have to nominate 35-40 degrees and raining. I've experienced a range of conditions ... -11 degrees and windy, 18 degrees in a blizzard, 107 degrees with heat waves wafting off the pavement. On second thought, -11 degrees and windy is probably worse. But 40 degrees and raining would at least be a close second. There's just about nothing you can do to stay warm, except ride hard - and even the slightest cooldown will make you uncomfortable for miles. It's a challenge. It really is.

But that could just be me, watching my wet wool socks and leggings drip gray water all over the carpet and feeling compelled to gripe about it. What's the worst weather you've ever ridden in?

14 comments:

  1. I just shelled out mucho money for a full out GoreTex coat because we've had nothing but rain down here in southern Ontario recently.
    In a way though, I'm not really noticing the weather anymore. I wake up every day expecting it to suck and I just put A.L.L. my gear on and ride. Bring on spring!

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  2. I'm with you. There's no way to stay warm in cold rain.

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  3. Wet weather with temps in the 30's is the most miserable weather there is. I also do a lot of backpacking, including winter camping, and the same goes for backpacking. I'll go out in -10 degree temps for 4 or 5 days, but I won't go out when it's raining and in the 30's. Once you get chilled it is very difficult to get warm.

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  4. Anonymous10:51 AM

    I go with cold rain, too. Shortly after I got into cycling as an adult, I did a solo, cross-country trip at age 24. I thought I was a tough hombre, slogging across all terrain, tent camping, even eating peanut butter from a spoon, for god sakes.

    The year was 1989. I remember riding through southern Illinois in mid-October. All is well there that time of year, right? Heck no. Rode for 70 miles in 34 degree rain in a thin pair of polypropylene cycling tights, along with a long sleeve t-shirt and semi-rain-resistant cycling shell. Shoe covers? Pfffft! Who ever heard of those then? That's what those Baggies(TM) covering my feet inside my Le Coq Sportif touring shoes were for.

    That was the day I begged to stay at a closed hunter’s cabin for $20-odd, just to stop the convulsive shivering. There was never a warm shower as welcomed as that one. I blew my budget by lodging there for 2 nights.

    Is that, “ignorance is bliss” or “lack of experience can kill you”? Ah, those were the days…. The technical fibers and clothing available today (along with some knowledge and little bit of money) make outfitting for hard conditions so much easier. Alluding to Ed Jesson from your blog, that was unbelievable; how did he survive?

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  5. William Boyd7:20 PM

    Worst Weather? It was so cool. I was on a country road near Lexington, NC when the rain turned into a freezing rain. What I enjoyed so much was sitting up and shaking arms every now and then to watch the ice fly off my sleaves and break like glass on the road.

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  6. yep, I agree. 30 to low 40's, rain, sleet and terrific head wind. That was just this past Sunday.

    Or pick this one. Driving rain, head winds from Hurricane Linda for 60+ miles of the Seagull Century last October. (we are total newbies to the endurance distances)

    Nope, my vote is still 30 something, raining and sleeting.

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  7. Cold rain! Last spring, caught in a quick rain shower at +45F....immediate shivering that wouldn't let up until I took a hot bath....
    Of course, I had only been wearing a tshirt and vest, expecting a short ride on a clear day....

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  8. The beauty of Juneau this time of year is that it's in the upper 30's to mid 40's and raining every day. Until yesterday I thought I had become entirely used to biking in this weather, but yesterday it was raining just a little too hard to be "used to" it. It's getting close to that time of year when I mostly stop biking and think more about running, snowshoeing, and xc skiing. The weird thing about Jill is that this weather is when she'll start biking more and more.

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  9. Christmas Day, 2003. It was cloudy and hovering just above freezing, but we decided to ride anyway. A few miles out the rain started. Then it changed to wind blown, stinging sleet, then back to rain. Then, strangely, hail. It finally settled on snow.

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  10. I've ridden at -58 with a windchill down to -92. The worst though is the cold rain in the low 30's.

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  11. http://shawnkielty.blogspot.com/2006/03/brrrrr-rainy-rain-rain-dance-worked.html that freezing my damn toes in phoenix day ...

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  12. My votes in for cold rain and 30's.

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  13. It kinda looks like the weather the Cardinals have been having during the course of the postseason!

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  14. Two races come to mind, NH in 1989 in the late fall when it was 35 and raining at the start, and halfway up the first mountain (in the White Mountains) it was snow. That's how the rest of the day went. But it was cold at the start, so mentally it wasn't so hard.

    Look at my blog in April. I did a race that started in 73 degree sunny weather, then dropped about 30 degress in 20 minutes and pouring rain. That was bad.

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