Wet weather tips.

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jonnyashworth
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Wet weather tips.

Postby jonnyashworth » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:09 am

Living in the U.K can at times be an absolute blessing for us mountainbikers. Take for example a nice bright dry day riding your favourite trail with a couple of mates ........ It takes a lot to beat that doesn't it!!! I mean it could be so, so much worse..... we could have terrain like Holland. Sure it would be nice to live in the Portes du Soleil in the summer but remember that out there you litterally cannot ride for 6 months of the year.

I would guess that almost everyone who posts on B.R is a serial, all year, all weather rider (ahem well most anyway). See the thing is that (down in Devon) we are going through an absolutely shocking spell of weather at the moment and even though I am dying to go out for a ride I just can't seem to motivate myself to take the bike out of the shed. I'm sure we are all fammilliar with the feeling of facing a 2 hour ride that ends up with us standing in the rain, wet to the skin trying to clean a machine thats more mud than metal, Followed by the innevitable hosing down of all the gear before the Mrs will let it anywhere near the washing machine, Then the problem of drying all the ruddy stuff. Then its on to lubeing the bike etc etc etc.....

I'm sure I cant be the only one who finds a single 2 hour ride can create at least 2 hours work. So I thought I would start a thread up for everyone struggling to find the motivation to grab their bike and ride head on into the windy, rainy, cold, muddy, night and for those who have plenty of motivation to find a few time saving tips.

So if we can try to keep posts short, sweet and too the point... What are your motivational and time saving tips for riding in appauling weather???
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querhoch
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby querhoch » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:43 am

Honestly, if its just too much hassle I either stay at home and play guitar or take the dog for a walk.

jehosophat
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby jehosophat » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:51 am

Many people will along to say how it is a waste and I should use the best bike all year round and so on... But in my case the most motivational factor is having a bike for this purpose. In my case a (relatively) cheaply assembled Kona Kula hardtail with Pace forks, and the very solid and mud-capable XTRM950/1/2/3 era transmission, all bought SH for good prices on Ebay. That plus sealed cables and mud guards makes for a bike I can hose down after a ride, throw a bit if WD40 at, then oil properly the next day without things going wrong. This and some good thermolite 3/4 or full length bibs, and a decent waterproof (Pace in my case - great minimalist bit of kit) make riding in the wet much more acceptable, and having a bike for the purpose forces me to bother to get out there, otherwise why have that bike? Crawling along in mud, decent transmission helps but I don't need the top handling and so on of my carbon full susser, so why give myself more maintenance to do by crawling it through muddy puddles? When it freezes solid I break out the full susser, but for non-technical muddy rides (few rocky sections around here....) I grab the hardtail.

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.blitz
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby .blitz » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:57 am

The only thing I'd say is make sure you ride somewhere interesting.

Hacking along fireroads and double track in the rain is, imho, just crap. Find something interesting something challenging and the weather doesn't seem so bad.

lostboysaint
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby lostboysaint » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:01 am

It's not so much the work on the bike that is currently pissing me off but the lack of real quality riding that is now hidden under several inches of mud and water. There's almost nothing rideable here in Hampshire today, completely awash with mud or, in the case of the South Downs, the lethal chalk slurry (that top 25mm or so of wet chalk that resembles soap and offers no grip). Got away with a reasonable ride around Winchester (Cheesefoot Head etc.) on Tuesday but the relentless rain since will have turned that into a quagmire now. THAT'S what does for my motivation.
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querhoch
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby querhoch » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:08 am

^ pretty much that. where i live theres miles and miles of hills and farm land, but nothing really worth the effort. i can push and ride for about half an hour to the top, but when I get there its either mud or type 2 hardcore paths than the forestry commission has laid down to facillitate ramblers. I can go a little further, meaning a train journey, but it will just be more of the same and I'd be soaked before I even started. There is somethign to be said for this sort of masochistic endurance riding, but not much.I don't need the exercise and it will do nothing to improve my skill levels, so a coffee, some biscuits and a few episodes of Archer will be what fills my day today. I might watch a few vids of freeriding in utah or something, but thats as close to a bike as Im getting.

Stu Coops
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby Stu Coops » Thu Dec 20, 2012 18:01 pm

Know what ya mean regarding the weather but to be honest if i plan three rides through the week i go regardless and when i get back it's through the back gate light hose of the steed then one full bucket of warm soapy water with soft brush, rinse off.

Hose myself off then throw kit in washing machine all done in 30 mins without rushing.
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RockmonkeySC
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby RockmonkeySC » Thu Dec 20, 2012 19:00 pm

I absolutely love riding really gnarly downhill in the rain. Always huge fun. Get a big bike and make the trip up to Triscombe, on the Quantocks.

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jonnyashworth
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby jonnyashworth » Thu Dec 20, 2012 22:45 pm

I always find that i spend ages fantasizing about dry dirt on hot days when it awful weather but then when i actually work myself up to go out I have an absolute blast in the wet. I still hate washing the bike and sorting out my gear afterwards though (even though I love washing and tuning it in the summer)
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Bartimaeus
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby Bartimaeus » Fri Dec 21, 2012 00:22 am

lostboysaint wrote:There's almost nothing rideable here in Hampshire today, completely awash with mud or, in the case of the South Downs, the lethal chalk slurry (that top 25mm or so of wet chalk that resembles soap and offers no grip).

Just over the border in West Sussex we have Kingley Vale which always has some rideable trails - even the chalky ones are 'interesting' rather than lethal... for me it's 3 miles to get there (off-road most of the way) and I pass a pub on my way home. OK, in truth I rarely 'pass' the pub. My buddies are still riding at QE, though there are parts of QE that are, shall we say, "challenging" in the wet.

For motivation I find the best thing is to have arranged a ride in advance with someone else... you don't want to let them down by bailing on them, so you head out in the rain anyway, and then you realise it's nowhere near as bad as you thought it would be.

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bennett_346
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby bennett_346 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 00:39 am

Find something steep. Usually aren't deep in mud as anything wet just goes down the slope.

querhoch
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby querhoch » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:11 am

yes, and sits at the bottom waiting for you.

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Bartimaeus
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby Bartimaeus » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:34 am

bennett_346 wrote:Find something steep. Usually aren't deep in mud as anything wet just goes down the slope.

Hmm, my experience is that steep wet chalk is hard to climb as there can be little grip, and potentially lethal to descend. I had a big crash on a chalk/flint gully a couple of weeks ago. It was dark, it was raining... it was very slippery.

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bennett_346
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby bennett_346 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:36 am

Bartimaeus wrote:
bennett_346 wrote:Find something steep. Usually aren't deep in mud as anything wet just goes down the slope.

Hmm, my experience is that steep wet chalk is hard to climb as there can be little grip, and potentially lethal to descend. I had a big crash on a chalk/flint gully a couple of weeks ago. It was dark, it was raining... it was very slippery.

Never ridden on chalk. Up north we never really get it. Sounds awful.

lostboysaint
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby lostboysaint » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:42 am

Bartimaeus wrote:
lostboysaint wrote:There's almost nothing rideable here in Hampshire today, completely awash with mud or, in the case of the South Downs, the lethal chalk slurry (that top 25mm or so of wet chalk that resembles soap and offers no grip).

Just over the border in West Sussex we have Kingley Vale which always has some rideable trails - even the chalky ones are 'interesting' rather than lethal... for me it's 3 miles to get there (off-road most of the way) and I pass a pub on my way home. OK, in truth I rarely 'pass' the pub. My buddies are still riding at QE, though there are parts of QE that are, shall we say, "challenging" in the wet.

For motivation I find the best thing is to have arranged a ride in advance with someone else... you don't want to let them down by bailing on them, so you head out in the rain anyway, and then you realise it's nowhere near as bad as you thought it would be.


I don't know anyone that's ridden QE in the last couple of weeks that thinks it was anything other than a waste of effort. It's a shame that it's had quite the publicity because it hasn't worn particularly well in some places. There's still some good stuff "off piste" however.

I rode a lot of the stuff around Leydene, East Meon, up the back of Butser last weekend and although slippery it was doable. It'll be interesting to see how it's fared after this latest load of rain.
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miss notax
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby miss notax » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:48 pm

Wet or damp chalk = an off at some point, in my opinion.....! On dry chalk you have half a chance.

I am still riding in the mud / bog that is the New Forest. I must admit that i'm not washing my bike afer each ride at the moment though - only when it actually grinds to a halt and refuses to work :oops:

I keep praying for a heavy frost as crunchy frozen mud is perfectly acceptable in my book!
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bennett_346
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby bennett_346 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 13:34 pm

miss notax wrote:I must admit that i'm not washing my bike afer each ride at the moment though - only when it actually grinds to a halt and refuses to work :oops:

Same. Last year i was washing the mud off more often i think i did more harm than good. Afterall cleaning it wont remove mud from the bearings, only mix in water, and anywhere else mud doesn't do any harm if you leave it on the bike anyway.

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Butterd2
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby Butterd2 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 13:52 pm

I just remind myself that I always enjoy a ride once I get out there, so get your gear together the night before get up early and go before you wake up properly and start worrying about the rain. By the time I do wake up I'm a couple of miles into a ride, heart pumping legs warmed up and feeling good, the rain doesn't mater then.
As per a previous post, I hate getting wet on my roadie but have somehow convinced myself that an MTB ride should result in me cold wet and muddy otherwise I've not really done it properly.
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jehosophat
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby jehosophat » Fri Dec 21, 2012 16:28 pm

It pays to find which trails just about hold it together in the rain too - I am near some of the other posters on here and yes Hants is a mess right now, but there are some very quiet singletrack routes that are perfectly passeable, indeed on Sunday one nice section was quite dry/fast with just a few leaves on it. That beats a 2mph slither through horse/4x4/boot tracks under inches of water...

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njee20
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Re: Wet weather tips.

Postby njee20 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 18:14 pm

Road bike.


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