05 July 2011

Getting Wet on Your Commute?

The Danish Meterological Institute also serves the interests of our bicycle culture. They've done a spot of research regarding how likely it is for you to get wet on your daily commute. Important research for any true bicycle nation.

Here's the rub, translated roughly from the DMI's article:

Let's take a fictional person, let's call her Kassandra. Kassandra lives a little north of Copenhagen and rides every to work every day between 07:25 and 07:55 and back again between 15:35 and 16:05. Kassandra doesn't mind a little light showers, but if the intensity increases to over 0.4 mm over 30 minutes (light rain), then she thinks it is too wet.

Kassandra works five days a week and has weekends and holidays free. That gives her 498 trips between September 2002 and the end of August 2003.

How often does Kassandra get wet either to or from her job that year? The answer is, in fact, rarely. On those 498 trips it was only 17 times. That is only 3.5% or on average 1.5 trips a month.

On the graph the yellow means dry trips and the blue means wet trips.
The numbers on the left (and right) are the number of bike trips per month (two per day).

So, basically, it's good news. In any climate the rain usually falls at certain times of day. Commuting at the same time every day gives you a steady statistic to work with. If you ride at different times every day, you're on your own... :-)

Here's a link to the original article on the DMI's website. It's in Danish.


Yokota Fritz said...

Pretty cool. Bike Winter Chicago publishes similar information about how likely you are to get snowed on in Chicago during the winter.

Anonymous said...

I cycle all the time in Dublin at all times of the day and considering rain in Ireland is seen as a birthright I am amazed how rarely I get wet. But I cycle a bike that was desgned for Denmark, its good in the rain ie mudgards etc. Also I am 100% cycle chic clothes complient ie I wear clothes for the weather out side. In a decade of all sorts of cycling I have being caught out 4 or 5 times where I can say I got wet.
A year ago I invested in an old fashioned cape from Germany got it on e-bay.de cost to Irl 10 Euro. It even folds in to its front pocket like a "mac in a sac" I wear my normal clothes and put the cape on the carrier. If it gets really wet I stop and put it on. I have used it a couple of times in the year. Yes I'm amazed myself.
Wearing it spread over the handle bars it creats an umbrella effect so my legs and trousers remain dry because its not close fitting I dont get too hot. My practial bike my modern waterproof cape and cyclng remains a pleasure in any weather.

weekilter said...

I don't see what's the big deal about riding in the rain. The alternatives are to walk in the rain or wait for a bus in the rain. With the proper clothing and protection for your eyes bicycling in the rain should not be a big deal.

debt consolidation nation said...

Ok but on those 3.5% of trips it's going to suck right? what's the likely hood if i have fenders and a rain jacket that I will make it to work dry or what percentage of me will get wet?

Erik Daems said...

This reminds me strongly of the Dutch site http://www.hetregentbijnanooit.nl (It rains almost never, so get on your bike).

jon said...

Haha, not something that people mention in Spain when trying to rubbish bicycle commuting!

Velo Doc said...

In Bogota we get very frequent heavy downpours. Many cyclists use rain jackets and pants made for motorcyclists which are fine but tend to get stuffy. I find an old fashioned bicycle cape, rolled up pant legs and plastic bags over my shoes is 100% waterproof. This kind of cape: http://www.thirdwave-websites.com/bike/gandarmes.jpg