View Full Version : Help me decide...do I ride?

09-18-2006, 11:44 AM
I do a half-commute thing. I drive into work with my bike, ride home that night, ride back in the next morning, and then drive home. Repeat.

I have all my stuff and my bike on my car, but I don't know if I should bike home tonight or not. The weather is forcasting rain starting in the middle of the night. The temp tomorrow morning at 6 am is 66 degrees and it'll be dark and rainy. Do I do it? I've ridden in the rain before, but only in the daylight. Is it too dangerous?

My route is a bit hairy in parts (which is why I commute so early...to avoid traffic), but all in all, it's a good route. Part residential, part industrial, part city....

I REALLY want to ride, but I also don't want to be stupid.

What do you all think? :confused:

09-18-2006, 12:40 PM
I would say no. Combining poor road conditions with darkness and poor visibility increases the hazards too much for comfort. Sure you could, but why take the risk? Ride when you can enjoy it without undo worry.

09-18-2006, 12:46 PM
Lots of cyclists commute in dark and rain here in the Pacific Northwest, but they make sure they have serious lights, bright clothing, etc. My spouse is one of those. BIG front light, blinkie on helmet, bigger red blinkie on back rack, etc. If you feel well equipped visibility-wise, it can be and is done in these conditions. It sure is more of a risk. But it is done every day by folks. Not sure I would do it, myself.

09-18-2006, 12:48 PM
I'd say it's a comfort level for you: how well do you know the road? do you know it well enough to feel you can ride it in the rain?.....also do you have a headlight et al for dark/poor riding conditions? If you don't feel comfortable riding in those conditions: don't. The bike won't mind (and less cleanup afterwards! lol)

09-18-2006, 12:55 PM
I do have a good headlight (though I've not tested it's effectiveness in the rain yet) and I have two rear blinkies...one of which is almost blinding! ;)

I don't have much rain clothing...but it's not all that cold here so getting wet isn't a big worry yet. I do have a neon yellow jacket that I'll wear.

The hardest part is that I have to decide today because if I bike home, I will HAVE to bike back. I wish there was a way to 'try it' first...like if I could give it a shot and if I think it's too dangerous, I could just go back. I just don't have that option.

I've got one hour to decide....maybe I'll go check the forcast again...:p

09-18-2006, 01:11 PM
You know what? Just to make yourself feel okay, why not wait and try part of the route in similar conditions of dark/rain on, say, a weekend? (yeah, I know that's not what we would choose to do on a weekend early morning...) That way you could do part of the route in those conditions but be free to quit, go back, say, "I hate this" or "Hey, not bad" in slower traffic conditions too.

09-18-2006, 01:19 PM
Ha ha! Mother nature is on my side!!!

The forecast has changed...it's not supposed to start raining until noon...so I'm all good! Yipee...I get to bike!! :D

Salsa - I'm definitely going to have to do exactly what you suggested! I could even do a night ride in the rain to partially simulate the conditions. Good idea!!

Thanks everyone!

09-19-2006, 04:35 AM
It worked out!

I biked home uneventfully and then back again this morning. I felt a few sprinkles on the ride in, but it never actually rained. YES!

09-19-2006, 06:01 AM
glad to hear you're safe and sound.. except you're at work :)

09-19-2006, 06:54 AM
"You can't plow a forecast, honey."

People bike around here in all kinds of weather - which is oen of the reasons I will. It's not as if cars will suddenly not know what that dayglo blinking thing is. It so seldom rains on my commute that I pretty much ignore the forecast.

... but I am *so* not in North Carolina! the roads here are straight and flat and not very crowded...

09-19-2006, 07:02 AM
Oh, and I forgot to mention that for the very first time ever, I had a near miss. :eek: A woman turning left didn't see me and almost drove right into me! I was wary, and luckily, she saw me at the last minute. I yelled "pay attention" but I doubt she heard me as her windows were closed.

I don't know that I'd have been so lucky if it had been raining!

I think I need to commute even more than I do. There just aren't that many bike commuters here, so when the conditions aren't optimal (rain, dark, etc) then I think that people in cars just don't expect to see bikes. If I have to single-handedly get them used to seeing bikes in all conditions....I will!! :p

09-19-2006, 08:11 AM
Glad you decided to ride. Pooh on that woman, though. (As for not being seen, I've had a conversation with a truck driver who complained that his great big bright green semi was invisible to some drivers. :confused: )

I've noticed that conditions are rarely as bad once you get out in them as they seem from inside a building.

That said, sometimes wimping out is the right thing to do.

Ride safely.