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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    680

    Question Commuting & Being Seen

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    I know there are several threads about commuting and several threads about clothing...I am hoping to get a combination of info about commuting in various conditions...

    Now that the sun is dimming sooner...what are your solutions for being seen?
    Reflective clothes -- what kind?
    Blinkies -- what wattage?
    Rain -- is just a jacket enough when you are wearing cycling shorts? and you can change at your destination?
    Do you decorate your bike with reflective tape?
    Do you wear a helmet cover or a skin type hat?

    So many questions...give me your best advice on commuting in any condition...
    (I am planning on commuting rain or shine, snow or not...and I am working on a Christmas list...I thought it would be responsible of me to include things i will need on my quest to a car free life...)

    Thank you in advance....I can't wait to see all the stuff I can add to my list
    I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    3,099
    http://www.rei.com/product/47942637....HP_CYCLING_TOC

    I just ordered this from REI. I also have leg warmers in the same IllumiNITE material. I have a Cateye Halogen headlight on the front, a blinkie on the back and my backpack has reflective bits all over it. I'm probably going to add reflective tape to my rain pants this year just as an added precaution.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: "Yeah Baby! What a Ride!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    North Andover, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    1,643
    Did you see the photos that newfsmith posted in this riding in the dark thread?

    She commutes year round, even in nasty weather here in the northeast...
    www.denisegoldberg.com

    • Click here for links to journals and photo galleries from my travels on two wheels and two feet.
    • Random thoughts and experiences in my blog at denisegoldberg.blogspot.com


    "To truly find yourself you should play hide and seek alone."
    (quote courtesy of an unknown fortune cookie writer)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    DuPage Co IL
    Posts
    865
    Just on the light front, I've been feeling pretty safe with a Planet Bike Alien Sport 10W and a Cat Eye TL-LD 1000 tail light. I've also got a Performance Viewpoint headlight for backup in case of battery failure. I can confirm that the tail light is blindingly bright and has two rows of lights that you can independently control with all sorts of blinking patterns. I attached it to the back of my Brooks saddle with a some metal Erector set pieces because the little metal strips would bend to the shape of the saddle!

    I've got one of those reflective vests for summer and winter commuting and the reflective leg bands. My bike has those sticky reflective shapes all over it, as does my helmet. It's colder up here, so I wear a mesh Headsweats baseball style cap over fleece earwarmers (and a fleece skull cap or polypro balaclava when it's below 45) with my reflective helmet on top. The baseball cap brim is really helpful when it's raining and the rain drips off the end of the brim instead of directly in my eyes - it means I can keep my bike glasses on. This arrangement seems to make more sense to me than a helmet cover.

    I've got full fenders, a goretex hooded jacket (and I pull that hood up underneath the baseball cap when it's raining) and cheap rain pants but no shoe covers yet. I'm still wondering about these - when I tried them on at the bike store, they were like delivering a baby, trying to get my feet in them. I wear a size 10 and I was trying on a size 12 and it was still tight as hide.

    I've got to rave again about the wool base layer. I can wear it for a week and it doesn't stink (I know, gross!). I sweat alot, even in the cold, so having a base layer that doesn't chill right down to icicles at the traffic lights is so nice. And because I sweat, I've got to change when I arrive at work so I wear all biking clothes and tote my civvies with me in a pannier on a back rack that is not waterproof but everything is in plastic bags inside.

    So now I'm wondering about:

    shoe covers
    waterproof gloves and reflective strips on the gloves for visibility when signaling
    a groovy jacket like CorsairMac's with pit zips

    There's always some new toy, isn't there!
    Last edited by nuthatch; 10-15-2005 at 05:36 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    8

    keeping feet dry

    I have been commuting a couple of days a week, and on two occasions got caught in a fairly light rain. It did not seem too bad until the water ran down my legs and filled my shoes! I am looking for some cheap waterproof pants to wear on top, but I wonder if that will be enough to keep my feet dry. Shoe covers might keep the shoes dry on the outside, but I don't think they would solve the problem of water running down my legs. I like to keep my pantlegs narrow, because of no chain guard, so then they would not fan over my shoe and shed the water away from my socks. Any wisdom?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    724
    Maybe some shoe covers, Terry makes one that repels water and they should come up high enough that if you wore a rain pant with an elastic ankle to go over them it might work. Just a thought. I hate the rain.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    146
    Quote Originally Posted by nuthatch
    I've got to rave again about the wool base layer. I can wear it for a week and it doesn't stink (I know, gross!).
    Do you wear wool tights too? Where did you purchase your baselayer items?

    /s

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    39

    on a smaller budget

    I do not know how to drive, so I have depended mostly on my bike rain and shine. I got myself to school every day in the rain with an Eddy Bauer rain suit. They sell them at target for cheap and it is a pant and jacket, both big enough to put over your civilian-regular clothes. They have reflective tape on them and they are truly waterproof. However, they are not stylish like Corsair's outfit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Norwood, MA
    Posts
    484

    keeping feet dry

    I think I have tried just about everything to achieve dry feet. Basically, it is my belief that if you are not wearing rainpants to direct the runoff from your legs over the top of the waterproof sock/shoe cover/totes/ etc, in heavy rain you will wind up with water going down the tops and being trapped by your cover of choice. In the summer it is warm enough that that is not much of a problem, squishy, but not hypothermia inducing. Spring and Fall rains are different. My favorite solution is wool socks topped with either plastic bags for that "classic Fred or Freda" look; or a pair of Sealskinz socks for that $45 look. Both are worn with SPD sandals. The sandals may get soaked on the ride to work, but at least they are dry when I get ready to head home. I've worn that combination in the rain at temperatures down to 40F. Using the sandals for commuting spring thru fall works well for me. Now if I just could get the cleat to work on my road bike...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    DuPage Co IL
    Posts
    865
    Quote Originally Posted by sydney_b
    Do you wear wool tights too? Where did you purchase your baselayer items?

    /s
    I haven't got wool tights yet, just the wool tops. The first one was a SmartWool Microweight short sleeved crew (these are available right here at TE) and the two I just ordered from CampMor are Duofold long sleeve 100% Merino for $19.95 each (a deal). I haven't worn the new ones yet but I expect they will be great as well. I'm just really sold on the comfort of wool!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    680
    Thanks for the input...I am taking notes!!!

    So how is the Illuminite quality? I was looking at the Jacket/vest combo for year round reflectivity...

    and newfsmith...where did you get all that tape? Love the tail-lights brightness!!!!

    I still have a couple months to get all this stuff and a bike...the input is extremely helpfull!!!!
    I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    3,099
    Quote Originally Posted by bouncybouncy
    Thanks for the input...I am taking notes!!!

    So how is the Illuminite quality? I was looking at the Jacket/vest combo for year round reflectivity...
    so far the leg warmers have been most excellent. I've worn them in the rain and some dirty, damp conditions one morning and didn't notice any issues. They helped to keep my legs warm too, and they pick up light like crazy! I can't wait to get my jacket (due today!) I could've used the vest this AM!
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: "Yeah Baby! What a Ride!"

 

 

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