Thursday, October 1, 2009

Here Comes The Rain Again

San Francisco is finally having Summer. It will last for the month of October, if we are lucky. Then the fun starts- rainy season! All of us face rain challenges differently. Last year was the first year I have deliberately chosen to ride in the rain and by far the greatest challenge was what to wear.

I didn't take it too seriously to be honest. I tried true rain gear, and for heavy rain it worked to keep the rain out, but it sure keeps the sweat in. I figured out pretty quick the best thing to do was limit my exposure by making sure my trips were as short as possible.

After a while, I decided to dump the strict rain gear and just go with quick dry for days when the rain wasn't too heavy. My nylon skirt and nylons proved to really do the trick as they dry in minutes. My regular old rain boots work fine for pedaling.

Some days I had to wrap myself up like a giant rubber Christmas gift.

Sometimes I just got caught in it unprepared. Not a big deal.

This is not a comprehensive report on how to deal with rain, just my silly take on it. How do you do it? Do you hang it up when the clouds get dark or do you hit the road, hermetically sealed against the elements? I know that this year my greatest challenge will be how to ride with Declan on the back- how do I keep him dry enough to not be cold? how do I keep him entertained enough to not whine the whole way home?


  1. I love your striped tights!

    I have two outfits for rain: One is a goretex jacket plus Rainlegs. I don't believe in hi-tech "breathable" fabrics for a nanosecond, at least not when it's warm which is when you need the breathability. But this jacket has nice big pit zips which make all the difference. The jacket and rainlegs can be stuffed and don't take much space. My rainlegs leak though... I've heard newer models don't leak so badly.

    Second outfit is a rain cape. Hangs on my handlebar and can be deployed real quick. I roll it up inside the hood and make a knot with the drawcords. Can also be stuffed. May be admired here

    Wool is great. I have some wool shirts I use like t-shirts. They look just as nice as cotton t-shirts and are really comfortable, neither too warm nor too cold. A little pricey though. Cotton just isn't as temperate.

  2. I'm a big fan of the Rainlegs. Oh, and I try to use bike paths to keep away from the car spray!

  3. We have had a bit of a late Summer in Ireland. It suddenly got good for the last three Weeks with Nice Sunshine. Now for the last week it is mostly Downcast with Sun on the Odd Day but no Rain. Now it has been Forecast we will have Rain for the Weekend.

    I have often found that Plastic Rain Gear is often worse than having no Gear at all. If you are going a few Miles ,say about 8 you End up being Drenched in Sweat and Smelling like something out of the Zoo. So I got one of those Gortex Jackets in Red as I do not like Yellow. I used to have Nylon Pull up Trousers for the Wet but they have long since worn out so I will do the same get a Gortex Pair if I can.

    The Gortex Jacket is nice and Warm but extremely Light and has Loads of Pockets and Zips,so it does not Overheat you and you do not feel Cluttered up. The worse thing I have found is wearing Denim Jeans they get Saturated with water and you End up Freezing with the Cold.

    I normally wear Crag Hoppers Hiking Trousers as these are Light and Dry out fast and again they have Loads of Pockets. The only thing wrong with them is they are Wide and Floppy for going along the Hills Hiking.They are OK on the Dutch Bike but on the Raleigh you need Bicycle Clips or else stuff them inside your Socks.

  4. Oh, love it. Your approach is fun!

  5. haha, NICE! I have actually tried to ride with an umbrella in hand during a heavy down pour with strong winds-nutty!

    your blog & style is so cute!

    jess s//

  6. I have one of those obnoxious Columbia high performance rain jacket-ish things which someone gave me as a gift. It's not really my style, but it's great in the rain as long as the temperature isn't too high. That and a pair of wellies are all, so far. My hair usually gets pretty sweaty under my helmet, so damp isn't such a big deal. I don't anticipate riding in a monsoon or anything...

    My main fear about riding in the rain is my brakes - they start failing as soon as the streets get a good soaking.

  7. It never seems to rain when I am riding to work and I just don't care after work. In wet weather I usually carry my NorthFace jacket or my Eddie Bauer jacket. Both have hoods and are loose enought to wear over other clothing. My hair is always a disaster under the helmet so I nearly always wet it down a bit and redo it with a blow dryer that I keep at work.

  8. These pictures make me happy :) Very cute (in a badass way, of course). I take pretty much the same approach to rain. I have a light rain trench that I wear and slap a plastic grocery bag around my purse; everything else is business as usual. Wool tights are great for quick drying.

  9. Um... is that a cup holder on your bike? Please advise on how to get one! Now that I've seen... I NEEDS it.


  10. Miss Sarah- it is from Soma I love having it, but I have to be careful of leakage on rough roads. If I know I will be using it somewhere bumpy, I switch out the mug it came with and substitute a very leakproof but very ugly blue mug that I have : )

  11. Stanley cups have worked best for me. Tuff stuff. Though not mounted, I'd probably brake them within days. And they are very leak proof, they just mostly dont have the nice convenient sippy-wholes, but rather have stains than broken mugs, I guess.

    I love the rain, I not like riding in the rain. Welcome rain season <3

    &those super fly last glasses are rad. miss them.

  12. My dismal downpour outfit is a bright yellow rain pant and a blue cycling jacket from Mountain Equipment Co-op complete with reflective stripes. I like the bright colour and sporty look of the jacket, but my big puffy yellow pants go without comment. At least I'm visible, and with Toronto drivers and short winter days that makes me happy!

    I love your blog it's beautiful!

  13. Pictures please, Kate! Our blog is only as beautiful as our readers make it!

    Meli- The last few days I could have used an unbreakable mug to throw at cars : |

    Dotti- I love my wool tights! I can't recommend them highly enough(especially SmartWool ones. Even for men, they make such a great base layer (you can get footless ones, as well)

    SRB- I find most jackets too warm when I am riding. With all the hills, it has to gwt pretty damn cold for me to need that much covering. On Election night, James and I went riding after the results were called, and it was cold, in the high 30's. Still, I ended up too warm in my coat.

    Opp- I have the same break fear. I make sure to drag them a bit every few blocks so they stay dry. It works well.

    Eric and Bear- I have wanted to try those for awhile. Maybe I will this year!

    L'Homme- Your neck of the woods gets awfully damp! Gortex would be my close friend if I was there : )