Lake Overholser Water Release

This gallery contains 11 photos.

After 3 years of endless drought, we here in central Oklahoma at least, were with desperately needed rain.  It’s gotten so extreme, that our city reservoirs must release water to prevent flooding. After a tip from my Mother, Grace and I took a little photo date down to the Lake Overholser Dam to catch some photos […]

#30DaysofBiking Days 7-10: Ditches and Cycling Don’t Mix

Making Progress

As mentioned before, my father Mark and I, with maybe more enthusiasm than sense, have taken on the daunting task of doing a sewer line replacement on our own and without heavy earth moving equipment. Progress has been good, at least until today, but I must admit that, I was not nearly in good enough shape to have taken this project on. I have been going home absolutely exhausted and sleeping much like the dead. However, I have been keeping up with my #30DaysofBiking, but only just barely. By barely, I mean that with stubborn tenacity, I have been forcing myself to ride up the block and back for the world’s shortest of rides. ;) But, I remain committed to the project, even if I am taking a loophole to stay in the ride.

All Dug Up

The project was getting close to fruition as of the end of day yesterday. The ditch was completely dug up and we even removed almost all of the old line. We purchased the new line and fittings and were excited to get the job finished today, but the weather had something else in mind.

And the Skies Opened Up

Cold rain and ice made any progress basically impossible, and it wasn’t exactly ideal cycling weather either. I did make a cold, wet one block ride, but it wasn’t fun nor fulfilling. The weather looks good for tomorrow, so with a little luck, this massive job will be done by the end of the day. It will be nice to get back to some nice relaxing cycling for my daily physical exertion.


#30DaysofBiking Day 3 – More Darn Rain

OK, today wasn’t a wonderful cycling day. The temps were lower, the rain was more intense and the novelty of riding in cold rain had worn off.  Even my impervious gloves were drenched through by the time I got to work. Thankfully, I have improvised a little glove and balaclava dryer out of my desk fan:

I had hoped that by the time I got of work, the rain would have relented a bit, but in fact in it had increased in intensity:

I know you will think this is pure Okie exaggeration, but on a part of the bike path on Lake Hefner, there were ducks swimming the puddles across the path. I was soaked to the bone by the time I got home. However, even though you would think there would be nothing redeeming about riding in this weather, you would be completely wrong. You have no idea how fantastic it feels to put your feet up in front of a warm fire when you get home.

 

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#30DaysofBiking Day 2 – A Damp Day

It wasn’t a spectacular day for riding. Well, lets face it, it was dreadful riding weather. Temps in the mid-30s with a constant drizzle and rain and stiff winds. However, I was really glad I  suited up in my rain gear and faced the elements, because in fact, the rides today were great. The most important thing to remember is that so long as you are pedaling, you are generally going to be warm. I was glad I toughed it out, though I’m not thrilled that tomorrow looks to be much the same.

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Car Free OKC: Rain? Don't Sweat It!


Though many of us believed that it would never happen again, over the last couple of weeks we’ve seen some decent rain storms make their way through the city. Not nearly enough to make up for the drought, but it is a start. Normally, I must admit, I am a complete wimp when it comes to riding in the rain. I will usually avoid it at all costs. Which is funny because I don’t have any particularly bad experiences, but it just doesn’t strike me as the thing to do. When you decide to go car free, you don’t really have a choice and last week I had to make a couple of trips in the rain.

In doing so I learned a couple of really important things: first that riding in the rain can not only be refreshing, it is a lot of fun and secondly that there is nothing to it. I own a decently expensive rain suit made of some not-to-be-named breathable fabric that I purchased when I lived in Chicago. In Chicago during the spring and fall you can get these really chilly rains that can make a damp ride down right miserable. For those kind of rains a nice rain suit or poncho is critical to save you from just hating every second of your ride.

For some reason, probably because of the price tag, I feel the need to don my full set of rain clothing to face a summer Oklahoma rain storm. However, as much as modern breathable waterproof fabrics are a great improvement from the rain gear of the past, the fact is that they still suck if it is warm out. The amount you end up sweating when all geared up is just as bad as the moisture you would have gotten from being exposed to the rain (and it smells worse). If your ride is reasonably short and you plan on changing clothes at your destination, just get rid of the gear and let the rain fall. A warm summer rain just feels fantastic especially after the heat we have just been through.

For longer rides, I know that rain can lead to some chaffing issues that should be avoided and in those cases I would recommend getting a riding poncho versus a full rain suit. At least with the poncho you can get some air flow and they make some really nice special built ones like this. However, on Freewheel I have frequently used the large garbage bag to great effect and you can’t beat that price.

The only other tip to keep in mind is that even with an aluminum or carbon fiber bike, you will still have steel components on your bicycle. It is important dry out the crevices and nooks and crannies when you finish your ride if possible. At the very least, give it a nice rub down when you get home. Additionally, you will need to add some fresh oil to your chain and generally you should schedule your chain and gearing for a nice cleaning after some riding in the rain.

But I think the important lesson to take away is that you should just really enjoy the ride and not be afraid of a little damp. The world looks really neat on a bike in the rain . . .