Commuting – likely to get wet only 7 times in a year…

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  • Commuting – likely to get wet only 7 times in a year…
  • I worked this out about 10 years ago for riding on the Mendips, using local weather observations. For night riding twice a week, we were likely to get rained on (note, theres still plenty of water on the ground) only 7-9 times in the whole year, which surprised me.

    I’ve not done it since, but generally weather patterns have got wetter, so I expect it’s more that that now.

    Premier Icon sirromj
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    In south east coast, 4.2 miles/20 min 9-5 commute 5 days a week I doubt it has even been seven times I’ve been properly soaked. Plenty of times forecast has got me dressed up for it and it let me down in fact, quite aggravating, breathable never is breathable enough when this happens.

    philjunior
    Member

    In Glasgow it’s certainly more than that. It doesn’t sound too wide of the mark for London but I would still prefer not to arrive at work drenched 7 times a year- particularly if I still commuted in office clothing.

    Premier Icon miketually
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    I’ve commuted by bike five days a week for almost a decade, about 20 minutes each way. My (Aldi) waterproof trousers live in my bag, but only rarely get taken out and out on. It’s only a handful of times that I’ve got wet enough to change my socks.

    I do live in the sub-tropical north east of England though.

    Clearly don’t live in South Wales. 100mm of rain a month on average. 70 in May to 140 in December.

    Out of the last 20 commutes I’ve been soaked 4 times.

    Once I had to call in my LBS to buy a water bottle to put my phone in to stop it from getting ruined.

    Premier Icon richmtb
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    In Glasgow too.

    I’ve been drenched far more than 7 times this year and that’s with me driving when its been really wet.

    Think this little factoid is widely optimistic for the western parts of these isles

    Premier Icon prawny
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    Not for me either, I started commuting again at the end of November and I reckon I’ve had more than 7 wet rides since then, let alone the rest of the year.
    That said, it’s not been wet enough for the £150 waterproof jacket that I don’t own though. It’s just not been cold enough to justify doing anyting other than getting wet.

    The original source for that fact is (I believe), Richard Ballantine’s Bicycle Book

    I thought the only bit anyone ever remembered about that was killing dogs with sticks, or choking it with your arm?

    Having seen all the caveats, what proportion of people cycle commute between 8-9 and 5-6? I work shifts so that’s me out anyway, but my early turn starts at 8.00 so I’ve left the house by 6.30, and there’s always cycle commuters out as I get nearer Oxford by 7.00ish.

    amedias
    Member

    I commute 5 days a week, and I regularly ride both days at the weekend as well, I get damp regularly, wet occasionally (a couple of times a month maybe?) and totally soaked through about 4-5 times a year, but with hindsight it’s mostly the weekend rides, its quite rare for me to get properly rained on on a commute, lots of standing water and drizzle but rare for a proper soaking from above.

    South West FWIW.

    Having seen all the caveats, what proportion of people cycle commute between 8-9 and 5-6? I work shifts so that’s me out anyway, but my early turn starts at 8.00 so I’ve left the house by 6.30, and there’s always cycle commuters out as I get nearer Oxford by 7.00ish.

    Unless you have evidence that it’s more likely to rain at a certain time of day, then the time you leave is irrelevant. The probability of it raining during the two hour long periods in which you commute is the same as for any other two hour long periods.

    sweepy
    Member

    I thought the only bit anyone ever remembered about that was killing dogs with sticks, or choking it with your arm?

    The bit I remembered was the emergency stop of last resort- Pull the front brake hard and sharply twist the handlebars through ninety degrees.

    whitestone
    Member

    Technically I’m on fixed hours but in real life it’s a sort of flexi-time as my boss isn’t too strict on absolute timekeeping (he sits next to me so I can’t get away with anything! So long as I do the hours he’s not bothered), I can vary my commute by a few tens of minutes either way.

    If it’s chucking it down in the morning then I’ll get the train to work, sitting at work knowing that you’ve got to put on soaking biking kit isn’t the best thing. 🙄

    Premier Icon burko73
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    I thought it was a bit optimistic…

    Good suggestions ref full length mudguards though. Sprays not rain once it’s hit the road already!

    mrsfry
    Member

    Not in my world 🙁 do you chaps live in the tropics ?

    amedias
    Member

    well it’s been pissing it down here this morning, but with a water proof jacket and decent full length guards I’m now sat at my desk dry as any other day, apart from slightly damp shorts hanging up behind me you wouldn’t know it was raining by looking at me.

    does that count as ‘gettign wet’?

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Have you lot any idea what ‘on average’ means?

    Premier Icon pictonroad
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    That’s not far off for the south coast. It’s not often I get wet, it only matters on the way in anyway. 🙂

    Premier Icon richmtb
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    Have you lot any idea what ‘on average’ means?

    Living in Glasgow i’d get wet on average a lot more than 7 times a year

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    On average across the whole country…

    Premier Icon richmtb
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    Countrywide averages aren’t much use for working out whether the weather will warrant wearing a waterproof

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Last winter / summer I’d say I got soaked less than 7 times riding in 5 days a week.

    I got soaked to the skin at least double that just this month riding to work.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    I thought the only bit anyone ever remembered about that was killing dogs with sticks, or choking it with your arm?

    I remember a lot of total bollocks in that book including how to roll harmlessly across car bonnets like a seasoned stunt professional… 🙄 I guess being written in the 80’s things were very different then!

    As statistics go, it’s a bit vague really. What counts as “wet”. Actually getting heavily rained on or a bit of spray off the roads? Did he get the figure by simply counting the number of times there had been rain at those specific times of day (commuting times) and then extrapolate?

    It’s not so much riding in the rain that bothers me, it’s the general standard of driving when it’s raining – for some reason it’s far worse than normal.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Countrywide averages aren’t much use for working out whether the weather will warrant wearing a waterproof

    Did you really think that anyone thinks a long term average takes the place of a weather forecast?

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    Molgrips Molgrips quite contrary how does your garden grow?

    If someone painted a wall white would you argue its a different colour?

    A nationwide average is a stupid way to measure someones needs or expectations for cycling so the statement “On average you will only get wet 7 times a year while commuting” is about as useful as “On average the surface of the earth is 16C so there is no point owning a coat”

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I don’t think so. The statement is intended to point out that for many of us in the UK it doesn’t rain as often as we think. My own experience backs this up, as I have an expensive waterproof that doesn’t get used all that often.

    People think the rain is worse than it is, and often cite getting wet as a reason not to cycle to work or wherever. This is generally unfounded.

    This December is an exception of course.

    Premier Icon binners
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    My mum got me this for christmas. Its turned out to be rather too prophetic given our present flooding…

    I live in East Lancs. If you look at a map of the area immediately around my house you’ll notice there are rather a lot of reservoirs. You may be amazed to discover that they’d obviously done there homework, and rather than deposit them there at random, they put them there for a very good reason. Because it rains A LOT.

    I get drenched all the time commuting. I’m not going to dissolve though, am I? If I was waiting for it to be dry I’d ride twice a year!

    Getting wet 7 times a year? pfft! utter cobblers!

    MSP
    Member

    People think the rain is worse than it is, and often cite getting wet as a reason not to cycle to work or wherever. This is generally unfounded.

    I think it is perfectly true if you expect to commute in the same clothes you work in, which is what most commuters want to do.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I dunno.. almost as many people cite not having anywhere to shower and change as an excuse…

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    sweepy – Member

    The bit I remembered was the emergency stop of last resort- Pull the front brake hard and sharply twist the handlebars through ninety degrees.

    WTF is that supposed to achieve? Is it for maximising insurance payouts? Don’t just hit the car- facebutt it.

    ajf
    Member

    Okay checking this theory out in 2016

    First wet rain commute this morning.

    Only 6 more to go for the year 😕

    medoramas
    Member

    From a proper scientific point of view there is 99.9% chance for lovely, sunny day as soon as you leave home wearing all the heavy-duty waterproof gear (the extra 0.1% adds when you fit mudguards to the bike).

    And only try to forget your jacket…

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Subscriber

    I also have a ‘so what’ mentality, it’s water. I’m not going to drown.

    I agree with this, except that I have to admit: yesterday did my effing head in.

    I got so soaked yesterday morning, I might as well have taken a jump in Roath Park Lake (Cardiff) with all my clothes on. Then, after cranking the heat in my office and almost drying off by the end of the day, it was back on the bike for the coldest, wettest ride of my life.

    It was absolutely chucking it down. Water was running of cars and buildings in sheets. I have never seen anything like it, except in storm-based disaster movies.

    I am not too big to admit that, like when I was little and felt scared in the face of the worst thunder and lightening storms (out in the Canadian West), when that much water falls at once, I feel just a little anxious. Like the whole natural order is turned on its head, and there is nothing we can do about it.

    In any case, it’s clearer today – thank God – and I remain undaunted. Psychologically damaged by the rain, but undaunted.

    will
    Member

    Likewise, i’m going to check this out in 2016.

    I commute everyday, time varies between 30 minutes to 2 hours so should be a good enough length of time to test it.

    (London BTW)

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Pfff, it’s way more than that, 7 might be right for “absolute wringing wet through, soaked to the skin” but for just “getting properly wet” you need to atleast double that and “damp” is probably another 20+ times.

    Having said that I’d still argue waterproof jackets are of very limited use for commuting (unless you’re commute is over an hour) something windproof suited to the temperature and a showerproof in my pocket for me.

    trail_rat
    Member

    it hasnt stopped raining here for 5 days…. and its not due to stop entirely till tuesday next week…

    thats more than 7 days already in 2016….

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    IDK, it doesn’t sound that far out in my experience.

    If I had a regular night ride then I’d only miss a few a year due to it actually raining at the allotted start time.

    And even “rained all day” usually only means “rained for about half the actual time”.

    And if you were a fair weather commuter and didn’t ride in if it’s raining in the morning, then 7 days where it rained heavily enough between the hours of 4 and 6 that you couldn’t time your commute home in the dry doesn’t sound so far fetched.

    Not get wet so far 2 days into the year, despite looking out the window 9/10 it’s be raining both days.

    woody74
    Member

    Aren’t those studies trying to say that you will only get caught out without any waterproofs 7 days a year. Most people that cycle to work would have some type of shell jacket. I think when I commuted by bike everyday I only got caught out 3 or 4 times a year. Of course it rained many more days than that but I was caught out without waterproofs. A lot of people that don’t commute by bike think that you get soaked on a regular basis, when in reality you don’t. What is it that cyclist don’t like to spend money of decent waterproofs but are happy to pay £100’s on gortex jackets. If anyone mentions an expensive £100+ waterproof cycling jacket people always reply How much??

    rocketman
    Member

    Purely subjective but I walk to work a couple of miles most days. It’s very rare that it’s properly raining while I’m out definitely less than 7 days/year.

    I know this because when I started walking to work I bought a weapons-grade waterproof jacket and I’ve used it once

    and yes this is in England.

    Jan 5th two non-rainy commutes and counting 🙂

    ajf
    Member

    just wondering if anyone else is statistically going to have a very dry rest of year?

    The only surprise that its above this mythical 7 times figure, is that it took the whole of January and a couple of days of Feb to reach it.

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