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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD
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    1,628

    Commuting through a storm

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    THose of you who do this regularly, what do you do if your commute entails a thunder and lightening storm? Rain I can handle. And good thing as my ride home today had rain starting about 1 mile into it and the rain just kept coming down harder and harder as I rode. It was torrential by the time I rode up to my door.

    But there lightening, that was not so enjoyable. I didn't think it was a short passing storm (and it wasn't), so stopping and waiting for it to pass didn't seem like a viable option. The folks I could call that wouldn't have to really go out of their way - none could have been called today for a lot of reasons.

    On the plus side, I did see a lot of other folks riding home in the storm. So I knew I wasn't alone.

    I figure it wasn't as bad as the day last summer when I was out riding with two friends from work and the last half mile before we get back to the office, I'm third in the line and I look up and then say so that at least the woman who was in front of me heard - "Is that a funnel up ahead?" She said "Yep, I'd start pedaling faster!"

    Just curious what the rest of you do.

    Edited because I said rain I CAN'T handle, and I can handle rain. It's the lightening that I wasn't a fan of. And luckily not a huge cross wind so I wasn't having any trouble with that.
    Last edited by Possegal; 08-10-2012 at 11:33 AM.
    You too can help me fight cancer, and get a lovely cookbook for your very own! My team's cookbook is for sale Click here to order. Proceeds go to our team's fundraising for the Philly Livestrong Challenge!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Yikes- that's scary stuff!! I've only been caught in a severe thunderstorm once. And I set a speed record on my commuter. Seriously, I was out and there was nothing to do but pedal as fast as I could. Luckily, I was only about 1.5 miles from home so it wasn't too scary (but the lightning and hail was a little scary).

    If it looks really bad before I leave for home, I've been known to just wait at work until my hubs gets off and can come get me (usually means hanging out at work for an extra hour or more). Usually when severe weather has hit in the middle of the day, I've had co-workers who have offered to drive me home sans bike (and I'll drive the bike home the next day).
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    1,628
    I did get home in record time. And I had a co-worker ask if I wanted a ride home and at the time, it didn't look like it was going to rain any time soon. Next time, I'll check the weather and be sure, and take the ride if it looks like it is closing in. I tried to get out of there an hour earlier but my lunch started to not agree with me. At one point I was wondering which would have been worse - the storm, or getting sick while riding.

    Oh well, I'm home safe and sound and warm and dry. And it makes for a good story.
    You too can help me fight cancer, and get a lovely cookbook for your very own! My team's cookbook is for sale Click here to order. Proceeds go to our team's fundraising for the Philly Livestrong Challenge!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    This happens to me seldom enough that I kind of enjoy it. If I can't wait it out, I get out there, (crank up the volume), get soaked, and pedal my a** off. I take the shortest way home, and as long as I'm not riding in heavy traffic and it takes less than an hour it's pretty fun Seeing the looks on peoples faces as you swoosh through puddles with muddy water pouring down your face is a hoot

    But I'm not particularly scared by lightning, and I don't commute in very flat terrain where I might be the highest point around.

    Strong wind or heavy wet snow is more scary, and I try to avoid riding in those.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    Possegal - glad you got home safely! That is my biggest fear - even more than getting hit by a car - to get caught in a violent midwestern thunderstorm with high winds and the rest. I mean...I've been pushed into the next lane by 22 mph crosswinds...

    As it turns out I've never ridden in rain outside of an organized ride my first year where it drizzled most of the time but that is it. Glad the storm was ok AND you didn't get sick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    Bicyclists getting struck by lightning is pretty rare. I mean, it can happen, but I don't have much fear of it, and I enjoy watching lightning while I'm riding. I probably should have a little more fear of it. But, I'd rather enjoy the show!

    Sorry I don't have any useful suggestions.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    355
    Like the other posters, I set speed records when this happens to me. Luckily, it's rare. I got one real bad one last year and one semi-bad one this year. I get scared to pieces when it's thundering and I'm outside. I'm not a loud noises person.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    1,628
    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    Bicyclists getting struck by lightning is pretty rare. I mean, it can happen, but I don't have much fear of it, and I enjoy watching lightning while I'm riding. I probably should have a little more fear of it. But, I'd rather enjoy the show!

    Sorry I don't have any useful suggestions.
    But it helps to hear that it is pretty rare. I've been afraid of lightening since I was a kid, so I'm really not a fan of it. But it was nice to get home quicker than usual, and I'm really none the worse for the wear.
    You too can help me fight cancer, and get a lovely cookbook for your very own! My team's cookbook is for sale Click here to order. Proceeds go to our team's fundraising for the Philly Livestrong Challenge!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    Quote Originally Posted by Possegal View Post
    But it helps to hear that it is pretty rare. I've been afraid of lightening since I was a kid, so I'm really not a fan of it. But it was nice to get home quicker than usual, and I'm really none the worse for the wear.
    Yes it does help to know that My real fear where getting caught in a storm is concerned is the high winds and getting blown over - or blown into the next lane in front of a car.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    philly
    Posts
    143
    I've gotten pretty good at reading the weather radar before I leave work, if there's a nasty red/orange cell headed in I'll just wait around for a bit (and if it gets late enough, take the bike on the train heading home). Usually, I just enjoy it, especially in the summer when it's warm. Much of my commute is MUP, so I don't worry too much about dealing with traffic, and I can just enjoy the downpours/lightning (hail is not fun).

    If it's nasty in the morning, I'll usually take the train...getting to work with soaking wet hair is not so fun, and my shoes never dry completely by the end of the day.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    I got to ride home in a sprinkle today. I thought of this thread as the clouds got darker and the rain picked up. Funny how TE permeates so many of my thoughts while commuting...
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Interior Alaska
    Posts
    21
    On days with lightening, I try not wearing my metal helmet.


    On a more realistic response: I dont mind lightening, I just hate hail. We had a downhill ride during a nasty duration of hail that we were not in an area where there was any coverage. My arms stung for HOURS!!
    commuter: a Giant Sedona '97
    road: Giant OCR c3 '08 | 105/Ultegra
    lusting a Sweet Pea A-line for when DH sweeps me out to sea

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ann Arbor
    Posts
    42
    I got hit by a storm a few months back - waited out heavy rain and thunder at work, shot the "gap" between cells only to get hit by hail and heavy winds a half mile from home. The sirens started going off, and i raced, managing to get in the garage just when the sky went dark and dumped huge sheets of rain.

    As it turned out, a tornado had struck the town west of us. There were houses in our subdivision that had roof damage, too.

    I've replayed that day and thought about what I could have done differently. I think i could have ducked into a church basement where there's a daycare on my route.
    2010 Trek Madone 4.5
    2013 Velo Orange Campeur

 

 

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