Thursday, September 30, 2010

How To Bike Commute In A Downpour or Swimming To Work

If you're anywhere near the east coast this morning and you rode your bike to work your workspace probably looks something like this.

When it's pouring out and it's still in the low 70's a rain jacket will only last a short time. Yes that first bite of cold rain in the morning sucks but if your wearing a rain jacket you'll be soaked with sweat after the first hill. I would usually rather be soaked with rain than sweat.

I spent a about 10 minutes in the parking garage drip-drying and wringing out socks and such. Then I proceeded into the office to begin the transformation from dirt bag who fell in the river to working professional type guy. Having a sink with a tall spout helps for cooling me down fast and rinsing the nasty out of my hair.

What also helps is an REI camp towel. They are highly absorbent, quick drying, and small enough that you can leave them in your bag year round and rarely notice them.

Once I've made myself all classy again I move into gear drying mode. There is NOTHING worse than having to put wet bike clothes on at the end of the day. I usually "borrow" additional fans from coworkers and set everything up to dry, checking the clothes throughout the day. Shoes take the longest to dry so I usually stuff them with paper towels to drastically reduce drying time.

Got any tips and tricks for commuting in the soaking rain?


Kevin McDermott said...

Old newspapers wadded up and stuffed into wet shoes will also work quite well, and you won't get as much of the hairy eyeball from the rest of the folks who actually want to use the paper towels.

Just make sure you doe the crossword puzzle first... it's much harder after it's wet

Unknown said...

if it's still warm, I say ride sockless. Alternatively, ride barefoot but bring socks with you so when you ride home, you can put them on and have a buffer period before your wet shoes start to bother you.

Anonymous said...

I've got a pair of waterproof socks at work that only get used if my shoes are still damp from cycling in. Just bought a pair of Shimano MW80 (allegedly waterproof) shoes, so my days of wet foot based misery are over. Maybe.

Rootchopper said...

I'm actually thinking of buying some old fashioned rubber overshoes. We used to call them rubbers before puberty hit and rubbers took on a new meaning. Hard to find these days though.