Usefulness Of Personal Weather Station

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by BobCochran, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. BobCochran

    BobCochran Well-Known Member

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    While not strictly "cycling equipment", I wonder if anyone out there has a personal or home weather station of the kind suggested by Weather Underground? Does it help one decide whether to ride on a given day, when to ride that day? I've been toying with the idea of getting one.

    Thanks

    Bob
     
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  2. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Nah.
    A personal weather station won't tell you much more than a thermometer and a look outside would have.
    Really local conditions.
    I've tracked down a website which lists temperatures in different, high-resolution locations. I look at mine, then at the end- or turnaround point of my ride, and dress accordingly.
    By all means buy one if you wish, but don't use cycling benefit as an excuse.
     
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  3. bykster

    bykster Member

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    I feel really weird that this is the first time I'm hearing about a home weather station and although I must admit that in concept that sounds fun, it just doesn't feel like it's a much bigger improvement over other weather services. I mean, you can get all you need from the internet, you can always find advice on wherever you are locally, that really shouldn't be a problem. However, if you're going riding somewhere long distance for few days then it might be useful. That is, if that weather station is transportable. If not then I just can't see a way for somebody to use it.
     
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  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Wait a minute...

    A 'weather' website is telling to you to buy a weather station?

    Is their website really that useless?

    I use WU, Accuweather, Weather.com, Windfinder, NOAA, Intellicast, Windalert and a few others. None of them are so lame as to cause me to think I need some kind of home weather station.

    There's about 30 local weather stations with high-zoot meteorological instrumentation broadcasting highly accurate data across the web, my phone, the car radio and then there's the TV weather channel.

    I determine the weather I ride in. Although I do not deliberately go out to get drowned in a downpour, shit happens. I'm pretty sure I was made 100 percent waterproof and bikes, while a bitch to clean up and detail out, generally look like new afterwards. I ride through high winds and some light snow and even the gloom of night. The postman ain't got jack shit on me.

    I either look outside and chance the sketchy stuff, go look at the radar maps and wind direction and throw a leg over and stay closer to home or the car/truck. Or I just wing it, look where the black clouds are and try my damnedest to head the direction they aren't.

    Seriously, how far is anyone in North America from having the latest up-to-the-minute, complete weather forecast right down to METAR/NOTAMS and the ideal humidity and dew point for drying the nail polish touch-up job you just did to your carbon fiber fork dropouts??? Those green blobs on the screen...and everybody's got some sort of screen on them these days...why that thar is the wet stuff. The darker the green, the wetter the wet stuff generally is.

    We won't talk about that blue and purple crap. That's voodoo.

    Is there something I'm missing here? Is this some sort of weather gizmo that is still live when your house that's already full of battery or wind-up crank powered emergency radios with weather alert freq's goes dead in the zombie apocalypse?
     
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  5. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    And lastly...

    We are roadies. There are rules.

    Rule #9
    If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Fair-weather riding is a luxury reserved for Sunday afternoons and wide boulevards. Those who ride in foul weather – be it cold, wet, or inordinately hot – are members of a special club of riders who, on the morning of a big ride, pull back the curtain to check the weather and, upon seeing rain falling from the skies, allow a wry smile to spread across their face. This is a rider who loves the work.
     
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  6. BobCochran

    BobCochran Well-Known Member

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    Ha ha CampyBob, you sure make me laugh, and also help me see the practical side of bicycling. I also see dabac's point.

    I was thinking of something like these:

    http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/buyingguide.asp

    which are installed at a (presumably home) location like so:

    http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/installationguide.asp

    My rationale is that our National Weather Service typically provides point forecasts for many or most USA postal zip codes. In my case, I get point forecasts based partly on conditions recorded at Andrews Air Force Base which is well to my south. About 14-20 miles south of here? It is far enough away that I start thinking the temperature and winds at my location could be markedly different from those at the base. Hence my interest in recording weather information for my own little microclimate.

    So how can that benefit my cycling? It helps me decide how to dress for a ride. That is my excuse.

    ....however you are correct to assert Rule #9. And you make me laugh in the process, too.

    Thanks a ton!

    Bob
     
  7. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    I've never thought about getting a personal weather station, let alone getting one just to tell me when conditions will be perfect for cycling, but I do have a couple of apps on my phone that do the trick and give me pretty accurate info on the weather forecasts that also go quite in-depth.

    The weather is quite a big interest of mine and I use my phone quite a lot so I've configured it to have the forecast on the home screen. It's pretty handy when I'm just checking the time because everything's there that I can see.
     
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  8. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Well, but unless you're unusually sensitive to humidity or air pressure, a thermometer and a look outside would have told you just as much useful info.

    (Sure, you COULD use it to track trends, as in is air pressure falling or rising, which is a very crude indicator of weather to come)

    You'll be leaving the reach of your own little microclimate rather soon anyway.

    So, since you already know the weather where you're starting from - or can know well enough by the use of a window and a thermometer, the info you'd benefit more from is the weather along the route.
    Which the personal weather station won't help you with.
    Unless you have a friend or a relative along your intended route that you can set the gizmo up at. Then call, have a nice chat, ask about the weather there.
    Don't get too friendly though, as then you'll chat all your riding time away.
     
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  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    How to dress?

    We dress like professionals.

    We layer. We wear a good base layer, a swag jersey and a Gabba 2 jacket. We look fabulous and the world envies our physique and our fashion sense.

    We remove and stash our arm warmers in our pockets. We carry glove liners for cold mornings that will become less cold as the sun climbs higher. We stuff gels in our pockets and a bottle of syrup. And a sweet cake or energy bar.

    And then we ride.

    If we look at the black clouds and feel the cold rain hit our face, we pull our zippers, move our hands to the drops and pick up the pace. And we allow a wry smile to cross our face because we are badasses. Period.

    You will get cold.
    You will get wet.
    You will sweat buckets and stink to high heaven.

    We accept these things. We are roadies.
     
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  10. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't a less time consuming option be to check the weather at the place you plan to head to and compare it to the weather where you currently are as an indicator as to how to dress and such? Just a thought.
     
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  11. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty much what dabac implied.

    Look at the approaching weather that will arrive during your ride time window.
    Look at the weather predicted for the area you will be riding in.

    Knowing all the facts. Seeing all the radar images. Listening to all the reports. Understand that they may be thrown out the window in the blink of an eye and the weather pattern may be completely different than what you have expected.

    Clothing must be shed and stashed or pulled out of your pockets and worn if you are prepared for reasonable and expected changes.

    Yesterday, jackets were unzipped. Vents were opened. I carried a balaclava in case of a cold rain, but it was never needed.

    I looked at the forecast. I studied the approaching rain on the radar. I allowed a wry smile to cross my face and rode despite a less than ideal day.
     
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  12. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    I've got one of these, which i quite like. They're branded as "Smart" or Digitech, etc, I suppose depending where you are. It's easy to use and set up.
    There are some reviews on Amazon. Some quick Googling suggests that there are dozens of similar products.

    It looks quite nice and has been very reliable, but all it really does for me is stop me having to go outside to read a thermometer.... then I eventually put one on a window, anyway, so I can read it from inside. . :D Also, we have a good weather service on the 'net, with temperature and wind displays around the suburbs.,
    http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR024.loop.shtml#skip


    To answer your question: it's a bit of fun, but not overly useful compared to the bureau website and a cheap thermometer.



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  13. BobCochran

    BobCochran Well-Known Member

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    @531Aussie, thank you very much. I suppose I'm being overly high tech and need to reallocate that itch to the need to "just get out there and ride".

    Bob
     
  14. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, I see.

    I completely suck a reading people, like if they are implying stuff and such :D
     
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  15. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    If you're a "gadget guy", then you might enjoy playing around with one.

    I find it slightly harder to get motivated to ride on easy days/sessions in cold weather, because I know I'm just gunna roll around for an hour or two and not get very warm. Hard sessions are much more fun, even on cold nights, because I warm up and get to race a few dudes on the local "drag strips".

    Here are a couple of my motivators: 1) lying on the couch watching tv is much more satisfying after earning it by doing a ride.
    2) If you're unsure about riding, get out on the bike, and then decide if you wanna ride, because you can always turn around after 10 minutes. The next thing you know, you've done 10km, so you might as well do an extra 20 or 30 to make it worth while.
     
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  16. igasmurfa

    igasmurfa New Member

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    Hmmm, seems like an awful lot of complication when you can hop on and see. Of course, if you ride for a long distance and the weather turns bad you just need to ride harder and outrun the storm.
     
  17. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of looking into high-tech gear. I mean the stuffs out there so why not use it? And if you have an interest in that sort of stuff then that makes it all the better :D
     
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  18. BobCochran

    BobCochran Well-Known Member

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    @Susimi, don't worry if you can't "read" people. I can't either! :)

    Bob
     
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  19. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    Heh :)

    It's always been one of my downsides, unfortunatly.
     
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  20. oportosanto

    oportosanto Well-Known Member

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    I use windguru and I like it a lot because it's pretty reliable top track the weather down, so I really don't have a need to invest in a personal weather station.
     
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