Creative commons photo by Kin Mun Lee
Creative commons photo by Kin Mun Lee

Tucson bike advocates may get their wish to have Tucson be more like Portland.

All signs are pointing to a strong El Niño, which means a wet winter for Tucson.

While a day or two of wet riding is manageable and sometimes even a little fun, the prospect of Tucson becoming Portland may not hold the same allure if it means rain, rain and more rain.

Last week’s deluge got me questioning how do you ride in the rain effectively? What’s the right gear to get you back and forth relatively dry.

Of course fenders our always a solid choice for riding in the rain, but in most years fenders in Tucson aren’t needed and many Tucson cyclists don’t want to carry around the extra weight. Check out this site for some cheap DIY bicycle fenders.

I’ve got a rain jacket and pants, but they don’t breath and frankly I end up just as wet, but it isn’t rain that has me soaked.

So what tips do you have for making riding in the rain manageable? Share them in the comment section.


3 thoughts on “El Niño and biking in Tucson”
  1. “I’ve got a rain jacket and pants, but they don’t breath and frankly I end up just as wet, but it isn’t rain that has me soaked.”
    I have had the same experience. These days, I keep dry clean clothes at my office, and then get soaked on the way in and strip down and dry out in the bathroom if I need to.
    I would love to hear other ideas.

  2. I keep fenders on my bike year-round, because there’s always a fire hydrant running in the street, or some numbskull pumped his pool into the road, or someone’s irrigating the bike lane instead of their plants. The roads here have a lot of water on them at any given time if you ride far enough, and the fenders are nice to keep all the oil and grit from getting thrown up on your back and feet as you ride through it.

  3. A few decades back I commuted daily to UA and fixed up an old Peugeot bike with fenders and baskets for the ride. I also bought decent rain gear, jacket and pants and rode through every rain for many years. Only drag was the old style rim brakes with dodgy stopping distances.  Good multi layer rain gear made all the difference until the water proofing wore away from too many washing. I recently found a couple of British products made by Grangers, a washing liquid and a spray application for maintenance of coatings. Used it on ski gear and can highly recommend it. With good gear and a properly equipped bike riding in the rain isn’t so bad. Or so I thought until we were in Portland last  winter and saw what real rain riding is like. Rusty bike and sad eyed riders. Tucson is pretty nice after all.

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