Waiting for the rain to clear


A typical weather forecast for the past few weeks. Trying to find a bit of dry weather to go cycling. I went out at 14.00 and got lucky. Proof you shouldn’t always trust the weather forecast.

Sometimes, when I see a weather forecast I don’t like, I try another one, until I see something a bit more promising. Any cyclist becomes a devotee of rain forecasts. The ones I use are

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Often, once you get on the bike, rain isn’t so bad. But, when it’s raining outside, its tempting to try and find better things to do, and hope it clears up.


This week has been quite light on training, a few winter niggles still playing up. It’s that kind of niggle, that you can probably ride through, but you’re not entirely sure. It makes you think of Daniel Sturridge – a career plagued by injuries. Football pundits say he should just keep playing and stop being so soft. But, it’s hard to know unless you have the injuries yourself. But, this isn’t pain, just tiredness. Unfortunately, my sport physio seems to have closed down.

With the prospect of rain looming, I went to the Cow and Calf Ilkley, just five miles from Menston and a good climb. Mostly cross / tailwind up the climb. A few hard five minutes efforts. But, not 100%.


Cow and Calf


Cow and Calf – 1.2 miles @11%

When Ilkley Grammar school ended around 3pm, it was time to move on from the Cow and Calf. I remember the days when this road was quiet, but now it gets quite busy and at school closing time, there is logjam as students depart.


Cow and Calf


View over to Otley


I successfully dodged the showers, and it was actually quite a nice day to be on the bike. You kind of feel you have cheated the weather forecasters, when you get good weather when not forecast.otley-distance

View from East Chevin towards Pool in Wharfedale.


Still it was good to take a breather and head over to some different hills – East Chevin near Otley.

First I did the long steady climb up the A road towards Bramhope. It was fairly fast with mostly tailwind. I then finished off with the tough climb of East Chevin. It was fairly close to a route of last year’s Tour de Yorkshire. Though it was only about 10% of the distance. Still a bit of training in the bank.


9 Responses to Waiting for the rain to clear

  1. steve February 10, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    I had a forecast like that (rain-wise, at least) on Monday from the Met Office. In the end, we had some heavy drizzle mid-afternoon.

    In the last year or so, the Met Office seems to have been erring on the pessimistic side (previously it was the other way around), and other sites have their own consistent slant. Rain radar is where it’s at, and even then you have to guess when a particular blob is going to arrive or pass.

  2. Rob February 10, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    Two other weather resources you might like are weatherspark.com (lots of data presented on a big line graph) and a mobile app called rain alarm which shows live radar maps of rain and whether it’s moving towards you.

  3. Alm February 10, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    Home & Dry is another rain radar app which gives a two and a half hour forward window and is very accurate on exactly when and where the rain is so you can plan around it.

    • Kiver February 10, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

      Home and Dry does indeed look like a very impressive app, giving a prediction of where rain will fall, on a very local level, for the next 3 hours. For all of 2 quid I’m going to go on the strength of all the positive reviews and give it a spin, thanks for the recommendation.

  4. stan February 10, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

    The “Raintoday” app on android shows a rain radar and predicts upto an hour in advance. I’ve used this for +6 months and found it to be pretty accurate, and the app (free version) pushes alerts for specific or current location.

  5. Kiver February 10, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

    Rain Alarm sounds interesting, will give that a look, thanks.

    In my part of Kent we’ve apparently had 175%+ of average rainfall in January and it certainly feels like it. Even the odd day where the forecast has shown 0% chance of rain I’ve been treated to some sharp showers. Give me cold and dryer any day over this mild but wet winter we’ve had.

    Apart from anything else lots of wet roads means lots of bike cleaning, so I’m very much looking forward to spring, a dry road surface and maybe even getting off the bike now and again and thinking it could do without a clean…

  6. Dave February 10, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

    Try http://www.yr.no Its a Norwegian and I have found it very accurate.

  7. Stephen Gower February 10, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

    http://forecast.io is another one to look at – good for deciding if I should make my commute home straight away or wait a short while.

  8. Sascha February 11, 2016 at 10:57 am #

    Wunderground uses a lot of local weather stations by enthusiasts, then has its own prediction software / system. Quite often I find them to be spot on, other times they make the same mistaken forecasts as everybody else. http://www.wunderground.com/q/zmw:00000.19.03658

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