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Should I Ride Today? Flip A Coin…

by Warren T

Slicks and Ice

My Slicks and Ice really don’t like each other. I was considering Fritz’s idea about using the zip ties, but haven’t gotten the chance to work on it … yet.

I agree with kimbofo

“Most people have a general interest in the weather … when you become a cyclist you develop a more specific interest in all things meteorological, because the weather can make such a difference to your journey.”

She has a wonderful post that shows the difference between Metcheck’s cycling forecast and that of the BBC. I love that Metcheck has so many hobby specific forecast options. The cycling specific forecast tracks rain, UV, wind speed, direction and gusts and has a SweatIndex. I’m trying to find something similar that will give me that kind of detailed forecast for the Kansas City area but haven’t had much luck.

Having spent the majority of my adult life reading the forecast as part of my job, I can honestly say the next day’s forecast is really anyone’s guess. With all the computer models, they still don’t know. There was an old Bizarro comic that showed two angels standing aside as G*d was laughing at a TV screen showing the “5 day forecast” — one angel said “Don’t bother him, he’s watching his favorite sit-com.” Some months back I set up a spreadsheet that tracked the five day forecast for Weather.com, NOAA and the four major TV stations and found that the Weather.com came closest, followed by NOAA — but it was still a joke. I finally gave up on the long range stuff. I’m going to be keeping an eye on several sources today, as we have another blast of winter weather headed our way.

When trying to come up with an acurate hour by hour forecast, the TV stations do a better job; but they still tend to stick with details for temperature and precipitation/cloudiness. I’d love to see something along the lines of Metcheck here in the states.

What do you use to check the weather before you head out on your bike?

 
The Chariot Summer Sale - 2013

6 Responses to “Should I Ride Today? Flip A Coin…”

  1. Steve says:

    Rain is my biggest issue. If it looks like it might rain on me, I check my area’s doppler radar to see if any precipitation is projected along my route. This link provides radars for areas throughout the US: http://weather.noaa.gov/radar/national.html

  2. Paul of N.W. GA says:

    Being a full time car-free utility-commuter cyclist weather forecasts are about the same as horoscopes. When it’s getting time to go to work, I check the radar and leave a few minutes early if it’ll help, other than that, any weather is good biking weather as long as I dress for it… : )

  3. Dan says:

    I use the 5 day forecast to kind of plan ahead, but I’ll check the current conditions several times each day before making the ride/no-ride decision. A day that looks totally useless for riding in the long range forecast may be great when I get to it.

  4. Fritz says:

    I ride daily regardless of weather, but I decide on bike and clothing depending on the forecast from the previous evening. The 5-day is generally good enough for planning, especially in California.

    For me, reading the forecast is a little more important than just looking out the window; I have a 20 mile bus ride over the Santa Cruz Mountains to get to work, and the weather can be somewhat different between the coast (where I live) and the Bay Area.

  5. Val says:

    Opening the front door and stepping out to take a deep breath is my best tool. This has no effect on whether I ride or not – I always do – but it does help me choose what clothing to wear at the beginning of the journey, and what clothing to take along, just in case. On days that threaten to snow, I’ll even take along the studded tires, so that I can install them for the ride home after it starts. I always try to be prepared for worse weather than anyone thinks will happen, and I’ve never regretted it.

  6. Mike in Florida says:

    I obsess on the weather. My area, being on the Gulf coast, has volatile weather. A morning of gorgeous sunshine can turn into an afternoon of wicked thunderstorms—and does, every summer. I don’t mind riding in the rain. I don’t even mind riding in heavy downpours, and I have pretty decent rain gear. I use a helmet cover, a rain jacket, Rainlegs, and waterproof booties. My bike is fendered so I actually stay pretty dry where I care to(since I wear shorts I don’t care if my shins get wet). I do HATE the filthy bike I end up with afterwards. I’ve just upgraded to Kool Stop salmon brake pads, so I shouldn’t have the gross black brake pad residue anymore. I do end up with a sandy nasty mess when it’s done, though.

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