Dharma Doc’s Bicycle Adventures–From Fair Weather to All Weather?

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I am working on a transition from being a fair-weather bicycle rider, to more of an all-weather rider. Recall, I am only bicycling it now, having sold my truck, and saving a lot of $$$ in the process. The emphasis here is on “more of,” as I still plan to avoid riding in the rain. A little drissel is okay, but not actual rain. I’d rather walk, or better yet, avoid having to do it at all.

I followed this same trend when I started riding Harleys, back some 25+ years ago. Then I was mostly commuting into Clemson University from our farm some ten miles away. Back then, I had a car or truck to drive on foul weather days. Now I don’t have that option, but most days only need to go a mile or so to get to most places I need or want to go. As the years went by, my requirements for riding the Harley became narrower and narrower. Toward the end of those days at Clemson (1998), I was riding only as long as the temperature were say between 60 and 90 degrees, and on sunny days. No rain. On the several long trips I took on the Harley, inevitably I’d get caught in rainstorm or two. I can be remember pulling into the Dallas area drenched to the bone, boots full of water, leathers soaked through and through, shivering. Ugh!

I also try to avoid riding after dark. I have a Varia back-looking radar made by Garmin that presents a bright rear light that blinks wildly to any approaching vehicles. However, my front light is not very noticable to oncoming cars or cars pulling out on the road. I have a new light system for my ebike but that runs off its large Bosch battery, but have not installed it yet as I’ve been so busy renovating, downsizing, and decluttering, and then getting the converted-office-transitioned-to-an-apartment rented, as lamented in my last post.

While I have ridden my bike one time uptown (1 mi) at 26 degrees, just to test it and me out, Tues I rode to the local grocery store at 49 degrees, and then Wednesday (yesterday) at 51 degrees. On the first, I was overdressed with thermal underwear, insulated jeans, winter vest, and boots. Coming back I really should have shed the vest at least. Yesterday, no thermal underwear, same vest and jeans, and my Ariat work boots. The previous day I used my lace-up hiking boots. I was surprised that it was quite easy to even ride in boots. Such goes my learning curve.

This more all-weather riding is also part of my preparation and hardening up for my upcoming bicycle tour, which is coming together for early April 2022, just around the corner, so to speak. On that I will be facing a wide range of weather conditions, reasonable hopefully through the Sonoran Desert from Tempe, AZ, then the high mountains passes in New Mexico (8000 ft elevation at its highest), potentially cold, as in freezing weather, then back onto the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas. More on this in my next post.

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