Thursday, September 17, 2015

Biking In The Rain (Seattle)

"Your bike was extremely dirty. I didn't even realize the rims were white until after we wiped it down." That's what the guy at REI said when I brought my bike in post PROS - which was weird since I had washed it well. Or so I thought. I had, according to my interweb search, washed it with diluted dish washing soap - apparently a HUGE no, no as I'm supposed to use something called Simple Green. I don't know if my memory is fading or what, but I really don't recall biking being so fussy when I last biked. Clean this. Grease that. Fenders here and there. Waterproof socks or shoes or whatever.

One would think that biking in the rain is more or less self-explanatory but alas no. What did people do before Goretex was invented? Get wet? Were people more waterproof before? But ya know, once I get a thought in my head, I can't let it go very easily so I started searching for tips online. Biking in the rain for dummies type tips. Really. One would think that the below is self-evident, but surprisingly some things are so obvious that they somehow aren't. Here is a collection of nuggets I picked up along the interhighway:

  1. Stay dry
    • Bike under large trees or find a pedestrian with an umbrella. Then bend down, pretend like you're adjusting your socks or tying your shoes and ride slowly under their umbrella. 
Dorky for one, please?

  1. If not dry, at least stay warm
    • Space heaters are great!
  2. See and be seen
    • Highly recommended: Plenty of bright lights AND reflectors to the front, rear, and sides of yourself. Much like a christmas tree.
  3. Be aware of slippery roads
    • Watch out for banana peels.
  4. A clean bike is a safe bike
    • After your ride, take the bike with you in the shower.
  5. Stay safe
    • Bike brakes are much less effective when wet, great excuse in court when you explain why you hit the pedestrian or fellow biker.
    • Beware of bike-eating puddles!
Why are you holding an umbrella?

  1. Pack a bus pass or bus money/beg for money
Ps! I'm seriously hating on REI at the moment. It might be a great store to get a good bargain at, but if you're after customer service and knowledge, don't bother. I find them to be extremely pompous and judgy.

Pps! Where do you hide your boner in spandex?

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