Involuntary Car-Free Weekend: Part 2, In The Rain
The weather here today has been . . . unremittingly foul. So much for the forecast that said we’d have showers in the morning, but a clear afternoon. Not here, it wasn’t. Strong, cold wind from the South, continual rain, and the tang of sea spray in the air. Lovely.
Still, that’s no excuse for staying at home. So I took Daughter down to her drama class on the tandem this afternoon - riding down into the wind. To keep her protected from the elements, we went for full ski gear - including her warm and waterproof over-trousers.
I didn’t need so much insulation (seeing as how I tend to do most of the work on the tandem - or so it seems), but I did need to keep dry. I’d got a new Berghaus Goretex cap last week which is just great, and also a pair of waterproof over-trousers.
Despite the miles I do on various bikes, I’ve never had full-length over-trousers before, so I was a little skeptical when I got them. In the end, I want for a cheep pair of Altura Night Visions (same make as my jacket), and I have to say that I’m impressed. They’re not as breathable as I guess Goretex would be . . . but they were also a third of the price. Basically, they’re great for shorter commutes & easy leisure rides, where you’re not going to work up too much of a sweat. The benefit for me is that on days like this, I look outside at the rain, shrug, and head out anyway, knowing that I’ll stay dry.
Anyway, the ride there was quite tough, with the wind full in the face. The worst bit was when I got to our destination, and pulled on the brakes for the first time in the journey.
Nothing. Not even a squeak, as we over-shot our stop point. Then a gradual slowing down, in time to take the second entrance. This is the problem with bike brakes in the rain - stopping distances get a whole lot longer. Hub and roller brakes are pretty much unaffected, but disk brakes are somewhat less effective when wet, rim brakes on aluminium wheels even less so, and rim brakes on older-type chromed steel wheels are pretty much useless.
Our tandem, Daisy, is about 30 years old, so she has steel-rimmed wheels. The rear, despite two pairs of centre-pull calipers is particularly poor - unlike the front, where the rim has a kind of knurled pattern, its completely smooth. :-/
This may have to change in the very near future!
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 12/13/2008
- Time: 20:22:39
- Total Time: 00:20:00.00
- Calories: 208
- Distance: 4 miles
- Average Speed: 12 mph