Road Racing in the Rain

I’m thinking about signing up for a road race this upcoming Saturday (Quabbin Reservoir RR in MA). As of today, its looking like showers for the duration of the race with temps in the mid to high 40’s. The race is a 65 mile loop with approx. 4,500 feet of elevation, which is already pushing it given my not so nimble 85kg frame.

My question is - does anybody find racing in conditions like this fun/worthwhile? It’s a two hour drive on a Saturday morning to potentially be wet, cold, and drinking dirty bike spray water for three hours. I’m just a Cat 5 so I’d like to get the experience in but not sure it’s worth it.

I’ll also likely end up doing a local practice crit on Sunday morning when conditions are expected to be better.

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I’m a local too, I won’t be going to quabbin. Too long of a drive to suffer lol I race Cx and I conditioned myself to ride in miserable feeling rain but those races are short and come with the territory but I don’t have the same tolerance for road.

Oh boy, I hadn’t looked at the weather for this weekend for a few days. Last time I saw it it wasn’t supposed to be too terrible. Rough. I’m a 5 as well and I already pre regged for Quabbin, so I’ll be there suffering because I don’t feel like wasting $75.


With that temperature and rain I would tend to skip it unless it was a targeted race for me. I don’t mind racing in the wet if it’s warm enough that I don’t have to deal with extra gear - but when it is cold and wet I get annoyed by the gear setup

My last race in the rain was similar to these temps. Morgul in CO. Low 40s, lots climbing. It was miserable. Over half the field DNF. I would not do it again.

I’m feeling like I’m going to skip this one. I don’t really like riding in the in rain to begin with and then dealing with cold, extra clothing, and soggy socks… not an exciting prospect.

I have til tonight to pre-reg so I’ll watch the weather just in case things change. Otherwise I’ll probably be nice and toasty, listening to the rain gently fall while I play video games, sip coffee, and take a leisurely spin on the trainer to wrap up my recovery week :ok_hand:t3:

I enjoy racing in the rain but, it’s more that I seem to do better (relatively) when conditions are tougher. 40’s and rain will be very challenging. I’d be wearing a clear waterproof plastic shell and VeloToes over my shoes for sure.

I’ll be at Quabbin in the Cat4/5 40+ race. Not loving the forecast but I have ridden further in worse conditions.

And it won’t just be rain - we’re looking at a 19 mph crosswind for most of the course.

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I would say that it’s good experience to get out and race in any conditions. Living in the Northeast (I’m NYC based), we don’t have the luxury of blissful warmth and sun all year round so in my experience it’s worthwhile slogging it out wind, rain or shine.

The dynamics of a race can be completely different in the rain and some tactics you may not have seen could play out. This is useful when learning to grow from Cat 5 upwards.

The key to handling the conditions is to dress correctly. I’m racing Quabbin in the P1/2 field this weekend and I’ll be wearing the following:

  • Long sleeved base layer
  • Long sleeved Castelli jersey
  • Castelli Perfetto rain jacket
  • Bib shorts with leg warmers underneath
  • Castelli ROS (Rain or Shine) overshoes to keep the feet warm
  • Gloves
  • Cycling hat under helmet to keep rain dripping away from the eyes

If you bring a towel and change of clothes in the car you’ll warm up in no time and you’ll probably feel a nice sense of achievement when you get home, tuck into some warm food and relax for the afternoon.

Good luck whatever you decide to do and let us know how you get on if you do the race!


I only race if it’s warm and sunny. I’m a fair weather cyclist :wink:

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Appreciate the advice.

Seeing what you wrote out makes me think I might be going into this under-geared. Assuming I race, I was planning on going with a long sleeve base layer, Castelli Gabba 2 jersey, possibly a wind vest, arm warmers, bib shorts, leg warmers, gloves, and overshoes. I’m missing the rain jacket, waterproof overshoes, and cycling hat.

Maybe I can throw an additional layer under the Gabba? I think it’s similar in material to the Perfetto.

I’m going long sleeve thermal base layer, short sleeve jersey, thermal gloves, bibs, shoe covers.

No jacket, no vest - in ~3 hours at race pace I will cook in all that, and I’d rather be too cool than too warm as the race goes on. The rain should subside in the first hour, and the air movement will dry everything better if I’m not as insulated in layers.

Game day decisions - bibs vs tights vs both (I dislike knee warmers), helmet cover vs cap, eyewear - clear vs amber.

Probably will go with cap because I’ve never tried the helmet cover and a race is no time to be field testing new gear.

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The Perfetto is just the newer name for the Gabba, there isn’t much difference. You won’t need too many layers and there is an OK amount of climbing meaning you’ll stay relatively warm with the majority of kit you’ve mentioned.

I would probably trade the wind vest for the rain jacket if it’s guaranteed going to be raining the entire race. If it’s only showers, I’ll be switching my plan from Perfetto rain jacket to wearing the wind vest instead. Vest is my favorite piece of kit - very easy to stash in a jersey pocket during the race but avoids freezing if really cold. Overshoes are definitely worthwhile or the toes might get cold over that duration. Cycling hat isn’t essential but it can be a good little touch on the rainy days.

I will usually bring a few options in the bag and decide based on the weather that day.

Good luck to all, I’ll be doing Tallac +3 rather than trying to kick anyone’s butt (or have my butt handed to me, more likely lol)

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Looking like the chance of rain is going down, but it’ll definitely still be windy and chilly! Still have no idea what I should wear.

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What a nice turn of events! Looking a bit chilly but I think I can deal with that as long as it’s not raining.


Heck yeah dude! TrainerRoad gang boutta squad up in the 5s!! :muscle:

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Any of you racing with me in 40+ ? I can use as many good wheels to work with as possible.

sounds not fun for that drive and conditions…40s and rain is the worst. I’d skip it for now

In the UK, we expect cold and wet conditions in the spring. As the saying goes, it’s never too cold to go out, you just need the right clothes. Exception is sub zero, when I may ride off road.