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December Blog Promo - Misery Loves Company


Frozen or drenched: which makes for the worse commute?

We like to tell you all the benefits of walking, biking, riding transit and carpooling to work: the money that you’ll save, the friends that you’ll make, the pounds that you’ll shed, etc.

December can be a tough time to be Stevie Sunshine, so after entering the office like an ice cube last week only to arrive like a drowned rat this morning, we’re moving our crankiness to center stage.

To enter the contest, simply tell us which you dislike more for commuting: an Artic blast or an Alaskan deluge.  Just leave a comment and we'll pick our three favorites!

Here are the prizes:

Iron Woman/Man Grand Winner:  3 in 1 gloves from REI, waterproof and thermally insulated for maximum winter comfort.


Super Duper Commuter Winners: The SmartTrips Stay Active package, with an umbrella, pedometer, and more!


Terrific Transporter Winner: A tin of organic loose leaf tea.


Add a Comment


Jennifer Sutter

December 15, 2009 at 1:27 PM

wetness is worse than frigid. When you're wet it's hard to get warm even by working harder.



December 15, 2009 at 1:29 PM

I would rather bike commute in the artic blast! During the commute your body warms up and layering is easy. Too bad they don't make glasses-windshield wipers, other wise riding in the rain wouldn't be soooo bad. And, riding in the rain means you carry more weight as you and all your stuff get soaked. (Albeit minimal). Cheers to winter commuting! - Lou


Jennifer Martin

December 15, 2009 at 1:29 PM

I agree, most definitely I prefer the Arctic blast. You can dress reasonably well for temperature, but once you're wet, forget about it!



December 15, 2009 at 1:29 PM

100% the worst for me is the Alaskan deluge! At least with an arctic blast there's no remnants left over when you get to work, you're just freezing, but stepping into a warm office cures that. BUT if it's torrential downpours, and if you're like me, have some self-made rainwear then there's 100% chance that I am going to end up at work looking a fright and being completely soaked. I can't think of a feeling worse than wet socks...well, and wet jeans.


Sarah T

December 15, 2009 at 1:29 PM

I definately prefer the monsoon rain to having my face, fingers and toes frozen and numb. Just think, you get two showers in the morning instead of just one!


Lindsay Nyre

December 15, 2009 at 1:31 PM

As someone who walks to work, I prefer cold over rain (wet socks/pants, blerg). Plus all the boys love a giant pair of granny panties and thermals, right? Mmm, sexy!



Heidi Ambler

December 15, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Either you end up a drowned rat, or have to dress like Randy from A Christmas Story. I guess I prefer not being able to put my arms down over cold, wet feet.


SB Roberts

December 15, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Boy that's a tough question. The only thing that tends to get wet is my pant hem... however frozen fingers aren't any fun either and then you get on the bus and the driver has the heat blasting as high as possible (pant, pant)... Hmmmm, I'm going to have to say I dislike the arctic blast the most!

The spam question is very tempting with regards to my response! LOL!


Amy Nakayama

December 15, 2009 at 1:32 PM

I love and despise both artic blast and Alaskan Deluge for different reasons, obviously. If I had to pick one, I would prefer the actic blast as long as the winds aren't blowing me off my bike. The Deluge feels more dangerous, car drivers pay even less attention than normal.


Paul Swanson

December 15, 2009 at 1:33 PM

As a bike commuter, I prefer rain to arctic blasts. No worries about ice, and riding in the rain is kind of fun. Good rain gear is, of course, a must.

But what I really hate is strong winds. I live in East Portland, and the commute home from downtown is brutal when the east wind is howling.


Lloyd Frank

December 15, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Having grown up within 120 miles or so of the Artic Circle, i'll take freezing temperatures over heavy rain any day. But, seeing how this is Portland.....


Fred Kowell

December 15, 2009 at 1:33 PM

The artic blast was pretty serious especially last Monday with the wind hawking at 30MPH. I will take the wet wind versus the 21 degree wind.


Guido Piedra

December 15, 2009 at 1:33 PM

I'll take the Artic blast without snow. Unless they can make electric snow plows for bicycles :)

Cold vs. rain. It is easier to see in the cold vs a downpour. Plus, when was the last time you got wamr rain from an Alaskan deluge?


Paula Wendorf

December 15, 2009 at 1:33 PM

I prefer the rain. I can wait for the bus in the rain with an umbrella all day long. When its freezing, I can never be prepared enough. The cold still gets inside.


Jon Gornick

December 15, 2009 at 1:34 PM

I'd have to say the Alaskan deluge is the worst, but that's only because I wear glasses. Although, this morning I carried them in my backpack and put them on after my shower at work (I don't have a very strong correction, so I wasn't blind or anything). The cold & dry weather is fine to ride in. Layers and ski gloves, baby!



December 15, 2009 at 1:34 PM

I like arctic blast better than deluge at home. It makes the dog poop easier to pick up and since I have 12 paws to wipe when they are muddy, frozen is much easier to deal with. And the doggies dearly love going in and out and in and out.

For commuting, I think I like the deluge better. It's much more comfortable walking with an umbrella than having bits of me shatter off in the cold.


Katie Salazar

December 15, 2009 at 1:34 PM

I personally despise the rain WAY more than the arctic blast. An arctic blast doesn't generally leave my glasses spotted and steamed to quite the same degree.



December 15, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Alaska Deluge -- much more fun to splash in the puddles in my colorful rainboots as I run to my bus!



December 15, 2009 at 1:35 PM

I don't mind either way, my max stop is right by Pioneer Mall so I usually cut through the mall to get to work so I avoid the rain and cold.. Now if I can only avoid those annoying people who talk on their cell phones on the max...



December 15, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Gonna be in the minority here and say I definitely prefer the rain to the cold. I know it's heresy for a Portlander to use an umbrella, but if you can get past that hurdle and actually use one, it's not too hard to bundle up in raingear and use the umbrella as a rain shield and you're good to go. The Arctic cold, on the other hand, seeps into my bones and even when i get to a supposedly warm home or office, I find myself still chilled to the bone for hours after.


Julia Sparks

December 15, 2009 at 1:36 PM

I perfer the Alaskan deluge. With the Artic blast I can't get warm except when I am finally on the MAX! It's nice and warm and I can sit and read too feeling the heat on my toes.

I do not look forward to getting off MAX at Gateway and stepping into the cold, cold Artic blast! The wind so cold it takes me forever to thaw out.

The rain isn't so bad as long as you have a good umbrella and rain boots plus you don't have "Hat Hair" when you get to work!


Ann G

December 15, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Moving here from Spokane
I'm really enjoying the rain
The Artic Blast
A thing of the past
Last week was too much of a pain



December 15, 2009 at 1:37 PM

I prefer cold over rain for safety reasons - wet weather makes for slippery spots on roads, less reliable brakes, and (in my opinion) nuttier drivers.



December 15, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Any day the sun is shining is a great day. I would much rather have an artic blast than ice or rain. I can deal with the snow,it's the wind and rain that are not my friend. I commute 2 hours everyday and I would much rather ride, bike, or walk in sunshine!


Jayne Jones

December 15, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Well neither actually. the arctic blast makes me feel like a popsicle in a freezer and the downpour makes it hard with the wet clothes and hair, i feel like a wet dog trying to shake the water off.



December 15, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Drenched is preferable. But when the drenching combines with wind, making one drenched AND unable to go over 7 MPH -- then I would rather hop to work on my tongue than bike anywhere. And if I'm hopping to work on my tongue, I REALLY don't want the roads to be frozen.



December 15, 2009 at 1:38 PM

So, by the title of this article, you acknowledge commuting by mass transit (bus and train) is a miserable experience in this town? Deadbeats, drunks, thugs on Max always make my morning commute such a "wonderful" experience. TriMet won't do anything to keep non-paying riders off the buses AND trains so the rest of us, who already support the system with tax payments and fees, have to endure that abuse as well. So yes, it is a miserable experience.



December 15, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Wet is worse! It took a ride or two to figure out how to keept the fingers from freezing, but I finally settled on a latex liner under my regular glove, at least until I find a glove that is water AND wind proof!


Barbra Rice

December 15, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Cold and dry over wet and soggy any day! When it's wet, the windows steam up on MAX and you can't see out to gloat at the people sitting in traffic while you zoom by.



December 15, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Either is fine as long as there's no wind! In the cold I can layer up quite a bit, two jackets, extra pants, scarf around my head, and if the cold gets in I can just ride uphill for a while to get warm. But the wind cuts through any number of layers, as well as messing with my balance over tricky ice. I have great rain gear, pants, shoe covers, fenders, and I can stay pretty dry no matter how hard it comes down. But the wind blinds me, sprays water in my face, pushes me around, making for a miserable ride. Winter is no problem, cold or wet, except for that pesky wind!



December 15, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Alaskan deluge. After last week the rain feels warm on my ride in. And I can fully utilize my radiator at work to dry my socks!


Gretchen Newberry

December 15, 2009 at 1:40 PM

I think I have done my time with the artic blast (having grown up in Minnesota). I'd much rather take the Alaskan Deluge.



December 15, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Worste commute? Frozen by a long shot!

I walk to work every day, and while I will be the first to cringe at the idea of walking 2 miles in the pouring rain.. I would take deluge of rain over the freeze in a heartbeat!

My feet have trouble enough keeping steady on dry ground.. add in some frozen streets and WATCH OUT! :]


Michael Meteer

December 15, 2009 at 1:40 PM

I like them both!!! The arctic blast gives you a good excuse to squeeze into that crowded bus or the MAX just to share body heat. The Alaskan deluge is what makes Portland so beautiful! I've lived in deserts before; give me rain any day. If you're dressed properly, there isn't anything you can't do in Portland.



December 15, 2009 at 1:41 PM

After last week of commuting from Gresham to downtown in the teens and strong east winds, I never thought I would welcome the almost balmy conditions of a 36 degree, rain soaked commute! Eventhough I was able to bundle up with minimal exposed flesh, my water bottle kept freezing up so deydration became an issue!


Rockin Robin

December 15, 2009 at 1:41 PM

The liquid sunshine is back... I guess I really did prefer the beautiful sunshine and crisp clear days. It was cold, but we're Oregonians, we can dress for it - cheaply or by designer.


Scott Farestrand

December 15, 2009 at 1:41 PM

As winter comes on, I like to sleep(hybernate) more than in the warmer months. That makes my choice of weather easy to choose. Freezing your fingers and toes off may not be much fun but, those dry clothes are easy to take off, store so they can dry, and put back on in the afternoon (because they never get dry just hanging there).

Also, I simply feel safer when the streets are dry. Of course, I have to watch for that water that somehow leaked right where I usually turn.


Lorene Conn-Roth

December 15, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Well I much prefer the Artic Blast to Alaskan deluge. The artic blast is way prettier I travel in from St Helens and its a great excuse to stay home and relax when the roads are to icy. With the rain all you do is get wet, still have to come to work and with out fail my umbrella is not in the car so I am soaked by the time I get to work and I feel bad when I am running late and my carpool buddy is standing in the rain waiting for me while I self indulge in my morning White chocolate Pumpkin latte.


Ron Cheechov

December 15, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Was that sleet last night? That made for a cold commute. I will take the clear, cold days any time.



December 15, 2009 at 1:43 PM

I'll take either because what matters the most is that I'm on my bike, knowing that my carbon footprint is small, I'm burning off those sugar cookies, drinking hot cocoa with bailey's on the way to work, and getting smiles from other cyclists that are likely thinking "right on..way to keep it keeping on"


Bob Finlan

December 15, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Portlanders are prepared with their GoreTex shoes and water resistant coats, so the Arctic Blast days are the hardest to take!


kacy semma

December 15, 2009 at 1:43 PM

DRENCHed makes for the worse commute. My gym bag, large purse, and lunch bag accompany me everyday on my morning and evening rides on public transit (I ride the max and the bus). I also carry my cup of morning coffee, and have my ipod on. When it is raining, I try and hold everything closer to my body so that my stuff does not get wet balancing the weight so that I don't fall over and so that I can fit through the bus door. Even if I I remember my umbrella and rain boots, I inevitably end up spilling coffee on myself trying to hold everything and by the time I arrive to work I look like a drenched sherpa.


Devra Staneart

December 15, 2009 at 1:44 PM

First thought "Alaskan deluge, of course". I ride my bike and I find it easier to stay dry then I do stay warm. So if it's a raining I can deal, if it's too cold I worry about my finger tips and toes falling off and well there is the black ice. Let's not forget to mention the falling off my bike (not that it's EVER happened...LOL) because the tires hit the ice. Once I get to work I slip out of my wet clothes and use the extremely warm building to warm up for the day. Now mind you, if I didn't have the right gear I would go for the Artic Blast first and strangely enough for the very same reason. about neither............Is it summer yet.


Pamela Goodsby

December 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM

What I really prefer is "Summer Sunshine", but since that isn't an option for several months, I'll go with the Artic Blast only because (as others have said) "you can heat up faster than you can dry out" - and you can LAYER so you won't have a heat stroke once you get in the office :)



December 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM

No question, I prefer the sharp, dry cold. With the deluge, my glasses can't see, my chain loses its lubricant and drivers seem to lose sight of us. We are approaching the shortest day and its dark enough during commuting times without the added darkness of thick, rain-soaked clouds.
I can thaw out in a few minutes at home or the office. It often takes half a day to get dray agian.



December 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM

I'm an Oregonian at heart. I love all types of Portland weather and have become accustomed to commuting by Trimet in all of it. My fav? Cold, crisp and clear with a healthy dose of blustery wind. MMMmmm... exhilarating!



December 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM

I prefer the arctic blast vs the Alaskan deluge for sure! In the mornings it wakes me up before I go-go! I think it also wakes up the city and creates a buzz we're not used to!


Ben Grimm

December 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM

I would take… Cold over Wet over Ice/Snow

Dressing warm isn't that hard, although when your eyebrows start getting cold in 10 min there is something quite wrong with the weather. Wetness is just annoyingly labor intensive to put a shell over you arms, legs and feet. Fenders only do some much when its actively pouring. And the snow, well, it just made everything quite the intense adventure of survival that is fun to visit but not to live in.



December 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM

The worst is being caught by surprise. Until last week I could get away without wearing a hat the six blocks between the max and my office. I don't think I've ever been as happy to see the max as I was last week. I thought for sure my ears were frostbitten.
Last night was even worse though. I walked out of my building into pouring rain and realized I forgot my umbrella. Not even the sight of a crowded steamy max as protection from the rain could soothe the irritability I felt from knowing I'd be sitting in a drippy wet jacket & hat for the next hour.



December 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Wet is better. In my mind's eye it can become a tropical paradise. Cold just makes me imagine my vital organs shutting down one by one.


Anna DiBenedetto

December 15, 2009 at 1:46 PM

I definitely hate the wet deluges more than the cold, but they both suck. I take the bus when it's that bad.



December 15, 2009 at 1:47 PM

I prefer the "Alaskan deluge"...extremely cold (forcing me to wear 2 jackets, scarf, gloves), but hey...I AM DRY!!!



December 15, 2009 at 1:47 PM

It was not so bad biking last week, even on the 17° morning I biked wearing 2 pairs of gloves, 2 pairs of socks, and lots of wool. The sunshine was awesome! And nothing makes you appreciate 40° and rainy like a week of sub-30 degree temperatures. I thought both scenarios were just fine :)

A little known secret that we bikers discover is that it's warmer when you bike than when you're either waiting in the cold for a bus or waiting in your cold car for the heat to kick in. Try it!



December 15, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella. ~Pepper Giardino

That said, I will take the sunny Artic blast over the Alaskan deluge any day!


Steven Corson

December 15, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Have to go with Arctic Blast over Alaskan Deluge. My ears only hurt for the first few minutes in the cold, until the nerves die, but I stay wet the whole way in the rain!



December 15, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Sadly, I'm not a tough Portlander. I'd take an arctic blast over a deluge. Sigh. But thankfully my work has a locker room with showers, so I'm set either way!


Eric Mullendore

December 15, 2009 at 1:48 PM

As a bike commuter the Alaskan Deluge is generally worse than an Arctic blast...unless it has rained the night before and then the roads freeze in the Artic Blast, in which case I stay home.


Scott Clement

December 15, 2009 at 1:48 PM

simply tell us which you dislike more for commuting: an Artic blast or an Alaskan deluge.

For commuting by bike I prefer to ride in an Artic Blast than an Alaskan deluge. The Artic blast brigs back memories of when when I was a kid, sitting on the front step of the house in August with friends. Sweat pouring down your face, till mom comes out with bowls of ice cream for everyone & we all eat to fast & get the dreaded ice cream headache. The short lived but intense pain just above the crown of your nose extending just above your eyes.

Yes riding in an Artic Blast does bring back fond memories...


Mike A

December 15, 2009 at 1:48 PM

I loathe the morning rain in near-freezing temperatures. I drive my car to a park-and-ride, where I board my vanpool. My car's sunroof leaks, so I have to cover it with a tarp on rainy days to prevent cabin flooding--often soaking me in the process. And then when the van arrives, it's like stepping into meat locker; it takes miles of driving before I can feel my extremities finally thaw out.


Nookies Mama

December 15, 2009 at 1:49 PM

I hate both! But if I won the organic tea, I could warm up at the office after an Arctic Blast or Alaskan Deluge commute!


Heather Karch

December 15, 2009 at 1:50 PM

I prefer the artic blast any day over the Alaskan Deluge. With an artic blast I can always vary my layers to get to the right temperature, not to mention all of the cute options available for winter accesories - hats, gloves, scarfs, etc. With an Alaskan Deluge you risk walking into work with your pants soaked to the knees or having to wear full rain gear on your walk between the bus to your front door. You can warm up fast once you get inside but it takes longer to dry out!



December 15, 2009 at 1:50 PM

I dislike the Arctic Blast more than the Alaskan Deluge. Even though I have a nice warm coat, the cold wears me out! I ride the bus every day to work, so when it is raining I walk under the awnings to my building. On my way home, I have an umbrella and boots, so I generally don't get too wet walking. Waiting at the bus stop in the rain is bad because there is no shelter. Sometimes I stand in a doorway nearby or across the street at a store with a large porch area until I see the bus coming.


Jennifer Callahan

December 15, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Any extreme weather makes for some great laughs in the carpool. Yes, we froze as we hustled the two blocks from the garage to work, but the sun was shining! Now we're back to the "normal" Oregon rain...
But carpooling helps!


Amy B.

December 15, 2009 at 1:51 PM

While I hate riding in the rain, especially when it's windy and it gets in my eyes, I think I would prefer it over winter conditions. When the roads are icey/snowy, you're more likely to slip and cars are more erratic and drivers are more distracted. So moral of the story is that I would prefer rain to ice.



December 15, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Rain please!!! I've lived in Oregon my whole life and I love the rain... it's awesome! And, since I ride max, it doesn't bother my commute whatsoever! The Arctic Blast froze me solid... I've finally thawed out now.



December 15, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Dry arctic blast over the deluge any day, but outside of the commute, I prefer the warmer rainy days.

That said, arctic blast gets less appealing when the condo on 39th and Taylor lets their sprinkler run creating an icy death magnet on the corner by the HAWK signal.



December 15, 2009 at 1:53 PM

The artic blast was fun for the first time this year. There was no precipitation so the roads were dry. My wardrobe was updated this year w/ a sweet pair of barmitts - if the hands & feet are warm - so is the rest of me.

Now I just need to upgrade to snow & ice tires in order to survive future icy roads!



December 15, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I remember splashing in the puddles in my youth and that was a hoot but now I perfer the Artic blast. When I used to walk across the Hawthorne and it was raining heavy and really winding my coat would blow over my head, my umbrella would be inside out and I would always get drenched. I'm going pass!!!


Evelyn Wilkins-Green

December 15, 2009 at 1:54 PM

My least favorite thing about winter commuting is taking an unexpected swim in a puddle the size of a small lake when getting off the bus. Sometimes it can be avoided, if you have herculean quadriceps that allow you to leap from the bus to the curb that was just a little too far to step to



December 15, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Frigid air I can combat with layers, but rain's soaked-through-to-the-bones chill lingers all day. A cold wind just hustles me in the door, feeling exhilirated to have arrived. Plus the journey turns my cheeks pink and jolly!



December 15, 2009 at 1:59 PM

i walk, and prefer walking in the rain (with an umbrella of course); it's kind of fun, especially jumping over the puddles. the arctic blast can be accompanied by that really low winter sun blinding me by shining straight in my eyes so it's hard to even tell if i have a walk sign or not.



December 15, 2009 at 2:00 PM

There is nothing worse than a downpour. It feels colder than being in sunny 10 degree weather. On a cold day all the bikers come in with pink cheeks and big smiles.



December 15, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Absolutly prefer cold to wet. I bike commuted year round in Ann Arbor, MI and Denver, CO. and found it so much easier than biking in the rain. For cold weather all you need is more layers and a scarf to breathe into (key!). When it rains, I have trouble not getting wet, despite the gear world. When I get wet, I get chilled to the bone and have more trouble warming up.



December 15, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Tough question - with Arctic Blast I was able to discover new clothes in my wardrobe, trying to see how many layers I could wear and still be mobile (by the way - it is 5. Adding #6 put me into weeble-people status) And I got to use those great hand-warmers that were in my stocking last year. But, br-r-r... I felt cold down to my bones and was pretty miserable. With the rain, I'm a little un-repared at first, spending the rest of the day trying to dry out. But by spring I have remembered to bring my umbrella EVERYWHERE (well, maybe not down the hall to the restroom, but pretty much everywhere else). So.. I guess I'd have take the rain over the cold.



December 15, 2009 at 2:03 PM

You can always get warm but you can't always get dry. If you're cold you just pedal harder and head up-hill or pull over for a quick 100 push-ups.


Diane B

December 15, 2009 at 2:04 PM

I'll take either the Arctic Blast or the Alaskan Deluge, although when it's raining I get to wear my cool rain boots and splash through the puddles and little streams, kicking up water! Great fun and makes the walk to the bus stop less of a dreary drudgery pain.



December 15, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Artic blast for sure. It is easier to get warm when you are dry. Then add some wind to the rainy day and it is even worse. When it is windy and rainy even the umbrella does not help.



December 15, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Prancing over puddles vs visualizing your puffs
Drops obsuring your vision vs sun blindness
Howling hail vs barbaric wind
Let the winter blast return!



December 15, 2009 at 2:06 PM

I would much rather be in an Artic Blast! My personal T-stat is programed low to cold. But trying to dry out from an Alaskan deluge is the worst! You have to start over from square one to look somewhat acceptable for work.


Sylvia James

December 15, 2009 at 2:06 PM

I definitely prefer the Alaskan deluge / drowned rat scenario rather than ice (Arctic Blast). My strong work ethic as a public servant propels me into work regardless of the weather. I purchased spikes and chains to strap on my boots, and still I have sadly fallen on the ice, painfully landing on my knees, 3 years in a row! Drying off upon wk arrival is easier than reversing frost bite pain & arthritis. Please pick me. A prize would off-set the medical bills a bit. I had maniscus surgery and eventually will need knee replacement. It's not easy getting old, DON'T DO IT! :-)



December 15, 2009 at 2:06 PM

I take the cold! Use an umbrella, you say? Umbrella schumbrella - doesn't do its job when the wind turns the thing inside out. It also doesn't do anything for my lil piggies which prefer to remain dry.



December 15, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Since I've lost 20 lbs. biking to work, the Arctic blast is no fun. I've gone to the triple layer approach (spandex, sweats, rain gear).

I'm a good swimmer, so I don't mind the rain.

Either way the warm showers and the locker at The Standard make biking in a cinch.


Jill Hutchinson

December 15, 2009 at 2:07 PM

There are definitely pros and cons to both weather conditions. Along with heavy rains you get a free bike wash, puddle-splashing fun, and the pride that goes along with being more than just a fair-weather commuter. However, I also get sweaty while riding with all those impermeable layers on, there's increased danger because of decreased visibility for drivers, and sometimes you have to put soggy gear back on for the ride home.

The deep freeze usually means sunny skies in Portland, it doesn't require much special gear to ride in the cold (just layer up), and most of the time you have the bike lanes to yourself because there aren't many others willing to brave the chill. On the other hand, my eyeballs get so cold they tear up and I walk into work looking like I've been crying all morning, no matter how thick my gloves are my fingers ALWAYS get cold, and the cold air can sting the lungs.

But all in all, I prefer the cold - the sun wins out!



December 15, 2009 at 2:08 PM

My other half always reminds me of a Russian saying. "There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing." That being said, I still prefer the cold, to a torrential down pour because it's a whole lot easier to stay warm than it is to stay dry! Drivers are bad enough when the weather is clear, add horrible rain and you really become invisible to them!



December 15, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Artic Blast is the worst when your legs are full of titanium rods! UGH! You'll never know such pain. An Alaskan deluge is not much better, because my hairdo cannot keep up with all the moisture. However, I would vote for rain over cold any day, as long as you can keep the wind to a light breeze.



December 15, 2009 at 2:10 PM

I much prefer riding my bike in the cold because I can layer up for the Arctic blast. With the cold I just have to make sure that I can bend my knees enough to pedal and bulking up on top is no problem for reaching the gears/brakes. I hate coming in wet to work and I hate trying to see in the rain and then cars can't see you as well and you get splashed etc. It is way more frightening knowing that people don't have good defrosters in their cars. Also, your bike needs more maintenance when it rains a lot.


Lola Goldberg

December 15, 2009 at 2:13 PM

All depends on the gear you've got. As a priviledged cyclist, I have waterproof boots, a full rain suit, layers for the cold and wool gloves... however, when it dips well below zero, as it did all last week, even two pairs of lined wool gloves, stretched over each other, could not stop that biting wind from penetrating the bones of the delicate digits and warming up from that kind of freeze is the most painful part. I'll take the trucks spraying sheets of oiley water as I wait to bike across intersections.



December 15, 2009 at 2:13 PM

That's a hard one! I like the cold because it looks pretty outside all icy, but commuting on potentional ice makes me nervous. I like rain because I feel that it is renewing the world, but I don't spend as much time outside. Hmmmm, I think I like the cold better because I can leave my string cheese on my windowsill at work all day and it stays cold! (Seriously!!)



December 15, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Let's weigh the pro's and con's of each...rain vs. below-freezing temperature.

Rain: waterproof mascara saves the day =)
Cold: dry flakey skin =(

Rain: better outfit options, thanks to rain gear =)
Cold: bulky, multi-layered look =(

Rain: arrive at work feeling dampish =(
Cold: arrive at work feeling neutral, thanks to the Broadway Hill. =)

Despite the smiley face results of this quick evaluation, I really prefer to be dry when I commute to work. Plus, I love those crisp, cold mornings with the sun shining over the river.



December 15, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Frozen is much worse. I nearly got hypothermia just walking through town to work last week, with gear. I'll take the deluge.


Don Graves-highsmith

December 15, 2009 at 2:16 PM

An Alaskan Deluge provides the atmosphere to achieve a deep Zen-like peace that will linger as you dry out with a warm cup of coffee or tea. An Arctic Blast requires eye-straining concentration to avoid the maddening minefield of slick spots that can throw you into the curb or car lane, creating a potent headache that no warm beverage can cure.

So you ask yourself: Would I rather pack a dry set of clothes to change into, or pick the gravel out of my knees and elbows for the next two days?


Rachael White

December 15, 2009 at 2:17 PM

After that artic blast which turned me into a bikecicle I am loving the rain. It's helping me thaw out. I think even the slime in my tires froze last week.



December 15, 2009 at 2:17 PM

It is a blast to ride max. Why I say this is because when you cannot feel your face, hands, or feet and you see the light coming down the tracks you know warmth is in sight.



December 15, 2009 at 2:17 PM

as a friend of mine says: There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes! That said, it is the wind, not the rain/cold that really matters.


Susan Barthel

December 15, 2009 at 2:20 PM

When it's blasted cold I love rain. When it's falling cats and dogs I long for a blast of cold. It's all a chill thrill til the bus arrives.



December 15, 2009 at 2:21 PM

As long as it isn't windy, I prefer the Arctic Blast. Last week was particularly mild for being so cold.



December 15, 2009 at 2:23 PM

I have never been to Alaska so I would not know what an Alaska deluge would look or feel like. I know what an arctic blast is, I have been to minus 15 degree cold. Either way, bring it on and I will just laugh at that. Yeah, me and my ride Fuji, we like to hump, oh I mean ride fast when it's cold.


Matt Smith

December 15, 2009 at 2:25 PM

To choose blast or deluge is tough.
Both types of commute can be rough.
Numb fingers and toes,
Or rain dripping from nose,
Either way leaves me feeling quite gruff.



December 15, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Just cold? Layer, layer, layer then strip, strip, strip. Easy!

Cold and wet? Layer, layer, pray the 'brella opens, walk bent over in the wind, blink around the raindrops on the specs then strip, strip (danged umbrella--blew inside out!), s-t-r-e-t-c-h back up straight, wipe off the specs, sit in damp clothes all day.




December 15, 2009 at 2:29 PM

If April showers bring May flowers, then with December ice you pay a small price...but, with December rain there is little strain to ride the train!



December 15, 2009 at 2:30 PM

I would prefer to arrive cold not drenched. Usually you have no spare clothes and you will eventually warm up. But not always will you be able to get dry and look nice.


Ryan Good

December 15, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Sorry, I just can't pick. Any day that I can ride my bike is a great day! Last week, I got to work in the morning with icicles in my beard and felt like a superstar- like Jeremiah Johnson on a Surly. This week, I get to work after 6 miles of splashing through puddles and having a blast- feeling like a kid who's getting away with playing in the rain- only to peel off my rain gear to expose my clean, dry work clothes underneath. It's like going from Superman to Clark Kent! One minute I'm Bike Commuter Hero, and the next I'm just mild-mannered Ryan the map guy. And then I get to spend the whole day looking forward to the ride home. Plus, all this crazy weather gives me an excuse to buy new gear! So sorry, I just can't pick. Arctic Blast, Alaskan Deluge- or for that matter, summer heat wave- whatever, bring it on! Whatever the weather I'll be out there on my bike with a big, goofy grin on my face!



December 15, 2009 at 2:34 PM

I make sure to go to the REI clearance sale during the summer to pick up winter riding rain gear to prepare for the Alaskan deluge in Dec/Jan/Feb. I love riding to work in a heavy cold downpour. I pull into work, my rain gear dripping and drenched (do you really need fenders in a downpour?), my work clothes underneath dry and still pressed (thanks Magik Starch), my hair slightly if I'd just taken a shower. Rain, schmain. Bring it!



December 15, 2009 at 2:35 PM

The worst commute is a wet commute. I ride the bus for 26 miles each way and can be warmed up by the time I get to town. If I'm wet - I usually wind up wet for at least half the day. Of course, if the bus driver's didn't sit and wait until five minutes before their scheduled departure to let the passengers board the passengers might not be so wet!!



December 15, 2009 at 2:37 PM

I think it's a more uncomfortable ride when it's freezing, but slightly more logistically difficult when it's raining. I'd rather ride in the rain, though, than the cold. Riding in the rain, once adequately covered, is a lot of fun - you go up hills so much more quickly! Riding in the cold, however, is a crap shoot - the difference between 20 and 25 degrees is gigantic, and it seems the only way to be comfortable is overlayer to a ridiculous extent & ride slowly. I don't mind going slowly once in a while, but the restriction of movement from wearing: a tshirt, henley, sweatshirt, second sweatshirt, longjohns, pants & two pair of socks, huge scarf, heavy jacket, & two pairs of gloves actually gets to me. If you don't layer enough, well, you still have seven thousand layers AND you're worried about frostbite AND your slowed reaction time as a result, and if you have just slightly too many layers, the constriction combined with the sweat makes for a very uncomfortable ride.

Riding in the rain, however? Whaaat-ever! Even if I DO get wet, it's rare that it's actually a problem. If I'm going in to work, well, it's slightly inconvenient, but I'll dry & my boss knows that I bike to work. And if I'm going home, I can always hop in the shower. And this is only if it's absolutely pouring, which it rarely is. The rest of the time, my fenders, and if needed, some rain pants take care of the rain with no problem, and it's just fun! But above all else - we live in the Pacific Northwest, and if you can't hack riding in the rain, then you may not get very far on your year-round commute!



December 15, 2009 at 2:38 PM

There are 3 impediments to bike riding:
cold, dark, and raining.
Only when all 3 are happening at the same time is there a problem. That was last night.



December 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM

After much thought I have decided that the worst commuting weather is the Alaska Deluge. When we are in the Arctic Blast, I can put on the handy dandy long johns, gloves, hat w/face guard, scarf, 2 sweaters, 2 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of sox, and of course your Arctic coat and be perfectly okay....that is until I get on the transit bus or max at which point I am stripping like it was my profession (only to have to put it back on before exiting at my destination), but no matter how many layers I may have on in an Alaska Deluge one layer gets wet, then the next then the next and no amount of heat on the bus or max is going to warm your lovely buns up again (try 8 hours of sitting in wet clothes and pneumonia is just around the corner, not to mention an old, wrinkled raisin will have nothing on you and the way your skin looks!!).



December 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM

def the cold! I only rode my bike on Monday last week and was at the mercy of Tri-Met for the remainder. Bring on the rain!


Kathy Van Hecke

December 15, 2009 at 2:41 PM

I much prefer an Arctic Blast to a an Alaskan Deluge.

Although the Arctic Blast is cold and windy, generally the colder temperatures mean clearer skies. Once everyone on the bus warms up, they sit back to enjoy the sunshine.

But an Alaskan deluge is usually both cold AND WET. You slog through the water under cloudy, rain-drenched skies then hope to be able to snag a place under the bus shelter. Once you get on the bus or train, the floor is slick and the seats are wet. As the train or bus warms you and you start to dry out, the windows fog up and prevent you from seeing outside unless you wipe the window with your hand. You definitely feel enclosed and cut off from the rest of the world.

So I'd take cold, clear skies over wet, foggy windows anyday!



December 15, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Easy one....the arctic blast wins by a deluge. Although the cold was bone chilling, it made me feel as though I was in one of my favorite Oregon cities...Bend. It was cold but bright and beautiful. This deluge of rain is typical of Oregon winter weather....and spring weather...and fall weather...and...well you get the picture. They don't call the Rose Bowl contender Oregon Ducks that name for no reason!


Kellie Cloud

December 15, 2009 at 2:44 PM

While being cold is tough, I would rather be cold and dry than cold and wet. We are comparing an Arctic Blast to an Alaskan Deluge, not a Tropical Monsoon. Trudging through snow and ice can be fun, but trying to stay or get dry is never fun.

Have you tried to stay dry under one of the new downtown bus mall shelters?? It only takes a small amount of wind to make the shelters completely useless. In an arctic blast, at least you only have to worry about wind, not wind AND rain.



December 15, 2009 at 2:51 PM

It's not just heat that is preferable as dry; a dry cold is also better, so hit me with that Arctic blast and keep your deluges in Alaska!


David Burns

December 15, 2009 at 2:52 PM

I can dress warm for Cold, or waterproof for Wet. Those are not too hard. Wind and Dark are each workable as well. But combinations of these elements are much worse; they all seem to multiply each other.

Rain that comes straight down is easy, but you'll find out how waterproof your gear is when it comes sideways. If you think you can bike on snow & ice, try it with a crosswind! If you biff into a snowbank, oh-well. But if you slide into a rain puddle, that's got you wet for sure (unless your rain gear looks more like diving gear.) Of course, even if you are cold and wet, with an East wind slicing through you, a majestic Dawn or firey Sunset can make it all worthwhile -- unless those events both seem to be happening during your lunch hour when everything is clouded over.

So, I guess I'd rather wet, since that rarely combines with windy, while cold almost always has a harsh east wind.


Robert Tompkins

December 15, 2009 at 2:54 PM

I prefer the artic blast - I have skiied in colder weather than we had here last week so I just put on my ski outfit and rode my bike to work.

My mother used to always tell me when I complained about getting wet, that "you might be sweet as sugar but you are not going to melt" but it didn't seem to help yesterday and today.



December 15, 2009 at 2:55 PM

I'll take cold over wet, please. When it's cold I can just bundle up more. When it's wet, all my clothes are drenched (even if I am dry underneath) and I can't see because of the raindrops pelting me in the eyeballs.



December 15, 2009 at 2:55 PM

I grew up in Alaska, so I've done my fair share of commuting in Arctic blast conditions. I can also tell you that because there's hardly any humidity in Southcentral Alaska, it's easier to handle because layering works because of the dry cold.

Now that I call Portland home, I can say with certainty that a wet commute is much easier to deal with than an Arctic blast. More humidity means that layering in the cold doesn't work as well because the cold penetrates through the layers.

In my opinion, it's easier to find a good water-resistant coat with a hood that will cover me up enough so that I can leave it to hang dry when I get to the office. I also keep a shawl in my office to wrap up in and fight off the last bit of cold. Give me a wet commute in Portland any day!


Bob Fielder

December 15, 2009 at 2:56 PM

I like the Alaskan deluge (warm and wet) because I can still use use my fingers well enough to find and show my bus pass!


Paul Dixon

December 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM

I much prefer the cold to the rain. When it's cold, you simply pedal faster...can't do anything with rain!!!



December 15, 2009 at 2:59 PM

it's really a toss up and completely dependent on which of the three generations of train I end up riding on. 1st gen ... sit in the middle of the train and you can sorta dry out, so let's pick deluge for this trip. 2nd gen ... ooohh the best; sit next to the heater on an arctic kinda day and all is well with the world. 3rd gen train ... sorry you lose for both types - heck you even lose on a over-the-top sunny day. The spiffy new 3rd gen bullet train is just a traveling artic wind tunnel all on it's own. There is no one place to get warm, dry off or be vaugely comfortable for your ride home - skip this one and wait for the next train.



December 15, 2009 at 3:07 PM

I like and don't like both, because I can't control the weather. Just face it, and hope for the best.



December 15, 2009 at 3:10 PM

I can't stand commuting in the rain, how can people that live here forgot how to drive whenever it rains. It's nothing new people don't tailgate and if you don't feel comfortable driving the speed limit or at least the same speed as everyone else on I-5 get out of the left lane and let the 2000 cars behind you pass. Thanks. :)



December 15, 2009 at 3:11 PM

I'd pick cold. Cold weather is easier on the bike than all the dirt and grime kicked up when riding in the rain. It's also alot easier to be seen by cars when it's clear and cold.


Terry Brenneman

December 15, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Definitely prefer the Arctic swoop. It's the exception rather than the norm. It also means ice is forming at lower elevations in the mtns and the ice climbing routes will be in this weekend!


Jeff Sammons

December 15, 2009 at 3:14 PM

I've made the comment many times before I'd rather be cold than Cold and wet. Portland doesn't get 65 and raining during the winter. 40 and raining feels colder than 20 degrees. Besides if it's raining all your work gear gets wet, if it's cold all you need is a nice cup of Northwest Joe to warm you up from the inside.


Susan Barr

December 15, 2009 at 3:21 PM

An artic commute with sunshine tricks me into going out, and when I am out there, compels me to move...FAST. So it's a better commute for staying healthy and active. Unfortunately, our lovely rain makes me scurry from shelter to shelter and is not conducive to making me move. (that's the excuse I gave to my husband for why we need a Wii).


Steve Walti

December 15, 2009 at 3:26 PM

While the rain brings us our green scene, a cold snap brings us back to reality that never shall the two meet again.



December 15, 2009 at 3:33 PM

I walk 2 miles into work every day and I absolutely prefer the Alaskan deluge. Getting wet is nothing; I would never think to complain about it raining during my walk. But the arctic blast last week made me complain to anyone who would listen. My face was like ice! (Even though I wrapped my face like a mummy) My fingers were frozen! (Probably didn't help I've only knit myself fingerless gloves) It can rain the entire rest of the winter and I'll be a happy walker.


Gee Xiong

December 15, 2009 at 3:35 PM

I'm gonna say I dislike the Arctic blast since I've never been to Alaska but by reading everyone's comments, the Alaskan deluge seems pretty nice compare to the Arctic blast. I dislike the freezing temperature but I love riding the Max and seeing people out enjoying it too. It doesn't really bother me. I always tell others "just relax and you'll get there".



December 15, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Arctic blast preferred. I've got the gear to keep warm. Plus cold here usually comes with clear skies and we could all use a little sunshine in the winter.



December 15, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Who cares? Bring on the Artalas Deblast! I take the bus in either case or combo. It's slower, but warm, dry, and safer than walking or bicycling in winter.



December 15, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Waiting for the MAX line in the cold is the worst thing, cold wind blows right through you on the platform.
At least with the rain I can stay under roof and as long as I'm wearing rubber boots my feet can stay dry.



December 15, 2009 at 3:54 PM

As much as I do not enjoy riding in pouring rain, rain gear and fenders work wonders! I discovered last week that getting chilled to the bone by the artic blast was very painful and unpleasant. It seemed like the wind was always blowing right at me and this week, I am fighting a cold and dealing with very dry chapped skin.

Note to other bikers out there riding in the rain -do whatever it takes to get more visible - it really VERY hard to see folks on bikes when they are wearing dark colors AND not bothering to use any lights...



December 15, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Let's be honest. We all prefer the combination of the two because everything shuts down and we have a nice day at home with the family. And as a bonus, there are fewer cars (and buses) on the road so cold and wet (snow) makes for the "perfect" storm.


Ryan Thomas

December 15, 2009 at 3:57 PM

I really prefer the monsoon. I love the maniacal laughter that bursts out spontaneously when I realise I simply can not get any wetter no matter what. Cold just isn't as amusing.


Teresa Hatfield

December 15, 2009 at 4:12 PM

I prefer the brisk air--wakes you right up + the sky is clear! Wet is too funky for some people!


Stew White

December 15, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Both are 'attractive' in their own special ways. If I am riding the bike I tend toward the Arctic Blast....hopefully with dry corners and no spills!

The Alaskan Deluge would be preferred if I am running, just a few degrees really help preserve the lung tissue. And as we speak, to the deluge I go!



December 15, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Well, liquor warms the coldest days,
and I like my liquor cold,
so that's okay.
But being wet just keeps on sucking,
even after the rain.
That's why I prefer the cold
to a wet and soggy day.



December 15, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Well as the song goes "Singin the Rain..." You have to be prepared to ride in the wettest conditions any given day in the NW. I certainly don't envy being a weather forecaster in the NW.

However, even with the best rain gear there is still the issue with rain on the glasses and getting splashed by passing buses and cars so I personally prefer to ride in the worst cold over the wet any DAY!


Susan Drake

December 15, 2009 at 4:46 PM

A mother's commuting haiku:

Teen daughter drives past
Me frozen at my bus stop
Irritation wells



December 15, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Sunshine and cold do more to stimulate my imagination than driving rain. Last week I layered up and imagined during my commute that I was downhill skiing as I caught glimpses of Mt. Hood. Heavy rain just fogs my glasses, clouding my vision and leaving my imagination dripping into puddles in my cubical.


sam hass

December 15, 2009 at 5:06 PM

I much preferred the arctic blast to the monsoon. Its easy to warm up; it takes longer to dry out.


barbara dow

December 15, 2009 at 5:15 PM

I read down far enough to see that most commuters posting prefer the extreme cold to the extreme wet. I thought about saying I prefer the wet, in case it might make my answer stand out more, but I cannot tell a lie. I prefer the cold: the cold is easier to protect against (just add a layer where it counts), lends itself to more creative and fun antidotes (like buy a cup of coffee in a paper cup and keep your hands warm as well as enjoy the drink), and looks and smells better (especially once you and fellow-commuters are inside!).



December 15, 2009 at 5:25 PM

I FOUND A WINNER: It's Lauren!

"Heavy rain fogs my glasses, clouding my vision, as my imagination drips into puddles in my cubical."

We met on Tri-Met. It was cold & wet, but I never noticed. You smiled, wiped your foggy glasses, but the door's closed and the bus took you away before we could exchange numbers. Your name was Lauren. Contact me in the Personal Ads.


Blue Bickford

December 15, 2009 at 5:53 PM

I prefer the artic blast. As walker, I'll keep warm with the exercise. With the Alaskan deluge I arrive warm but unhappy!


Abby Dawson

December 15, 2009 at 6:08 PM

Cold vs. Rain? What about both?
It is much easier to warm-up after you arrive, but wet stays around all day. I just hate putting on my wet clothes and gloves for the ride home in the evening.



December 15, 2009 at 8:57 PM

I prefer the artic blast over the alaskan deluge. Everyone is more cheerful and friendly when it is cold and dry. When it's wet, people's attitudes and dispositions just appear 'soggy'.



December 16, 2009 at 12:08 AM

I lived on the east coast with the horrible damp "in your bones" cold and monsoon "changing to ice" storms for 25 years and Montana with snow up to the eaves from October to April. Drenched or frozen, I will take Portland weather any way, any day.



December 16, 2009 at 6:07 AM

I definitely prefer the Alaskan Deluge bike commute. It feels like an accomplishment when I come into work dripping wet. I believe it's how I prove that I am a native Oregonian. Plus we have many more wet days than (frigidly) cold days so it's good to get used to it!



December 16, 2009 at 6:27 AM

I have lived in Boston and Alaska, two places that gets lots of snow. Living in Alaska people would have to shovel snow off their roofs. In Boston I remember one winter we got so much snow that my brother and I was jumping of our 3 story apartment to the snow below. WHAT FUN!! But I will take the rain any day only because I know how to swim if it rains for 40 days and 40 nights in Oregon.



December 16, 2009 at 6:55 AM

Deluge is worse! My gear isn't even dry the next morning when I'm ready to head out it in again! Why did I complain about the cold? You also seem to get more incredulous looks when you tell people you bike in 15 degree weather.



December 16, 2009 at 6:56 AM

After last week, the Artic blast and having to use the new bus shelters is the worst. The design that was approved for bus riders use offers no shelter at all from the wind blowing and the cold. At least if it's raining, they do keep the rain off the top of your head. I wish the people responsible for the design and the approval had to stand in the shelter at 5th and Pine for just 5 minutes in the afternoon while waiting for the bus and the wind is blowing so hard it knocks you around. Those waiting were better off standing as close to the building as they could. Bring back the old bus shelters!



December 16, 2009 at 7:17 AM

I prefer the Artic blast, not the deluge. Rain and fog make dangerous riding conditions. It's also easier to stay warm in cold and dry conditions than in the rain.



December 16, 2009 at 7:22 AM

I am going to break the rules and say I don't want to pick neither one. I just can't pick one or the other, cold is bad and wet is bad, cold and wet go together in the Northwest. So either one is just as bad as the other. Sorry I just can't pick one.



December 16, 2009 at 7:35 AM

Listening to 35 minutes, twice a day, of football talk, outlining plays, players injuries, coaches hired, players traded, scores, colors of uniforms, times of games and more!


Kathryn Nordstrom

December 16, 2009 at 7:58 AM

I'd prefer the Artic Blast! My thighs are burning just thinking about the Alaskan deluge! I'm not talking about my muscles either, I'm talking the chafing from the wetness!


Shelly Triplet

December 16, 2009 at 8:00 AM

My take on the weather is that you get what you get with Portland. Very unpredictable. I think that the Sleet is the worst! It is both of the two and when you get on the bus your glasses fog up - other people are a little ripe due to sweating and freezing! What a combination.
Yummmm! hahahahaha


Susan Cower

December 16, 2009 at 8:05 AM

It's raining, it's pouring I'm soaked, I'm moaning,
The cold's such a blast, makes me move oh so fast!

Prefer the cold! It's hard to dodge rain drops


Vittoria Piazza

December 16, 2009 at 8:18 AM

give me rain, any day!! even if i have to wait for the bus for a while, i can bring an umbrella and not be miserable. the cold, on the other hand, is vile. i left new hampshire to get away from that stuff. the wind and icy air cuts through all clothes, and makes even a moderate wait for the bus seem an eternity.

i take the bus on rainy days, but when it is 10 degrees, i just can't handle it, and i cave in and drive to work.



December 16, 2009 at 8:20 AM

The walk from the parking garage to the office can seem like miles when the arctic wind is cold enough to freeze the steam from your coffee to your upper lip!


Jenna Smith

December 16, 2009 at 8:32 AM

In terms of comfort, I prefer wet to cold. In terms of enjoyment, although an artic blast may give us the shivers even as we bundle and layer up to brave the cold outside, the panorama of fallen snow, icicles, and commuters bundled up in their best winter fashions has joy in it and makes the cold bearable.


Robert Halstead

December 16, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Come now!!!

We live in Oregon where the chilly Alaskan Air is an Arctic we get the best of both worlds...freezing rain!!! So not only does it soak you...but we get a bonus of chilling you to the bone. To make it even better, we get some blustry winds so the wet, freezing, rain hits you sideways while you are waiting at the bus stop or the crosswalk. Why limit to arctic or Alaskan when we get both. It does make for a interesting winter and makes us appreciate Fall, Spring, and Summer even more...doesn't it.



December 16, 2009 at 9:34 AM

I'll take the cold, if I get cold and can warm up during the day. If I get wet--I'll be wet all day.



December 16, 2009 at 10:11 AM

I prefer the artic blast! Nothing wakes you up quicker than a brisk walk to and from the MAX in 15 degree weather... not even a double shot espresso from Starbucks can match that invigorating feeling!



December 16, 2009 at 10:32 AM

I like the rain most of the time, but not during my commute. The rain coming down sideways makes my work clothes wet and dirty. I can always bundle up against the cold, but the heavy rain gets in somehow.


Matt Novak

December 16, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Hello Fellow Bikers !

As a year round commuter I always prefer the "Fairbanks" type of riding. With the Artic Humidity being as low as 25% their is a smaller risk of sliding on ice packed pavement. Plus you can always find unique ways to keep your face warm when using a scarf.


Barbara Sabath

December 16, 2009 at 10:46 AM

'Tis better for me
to be out in the wet
than the cold.


Cleaner air and
the promise
of a rainbow
to behold!


Dave Pex

December 16, 2009 at 11:01 AM

I'm good with one OR the other. Cold and wet together equals ice, and it is difficult to steer, stop or stay upright on ice! Wet is fine, as booties, rain pants, and GoreTex can keep all but my face dry. Cold alone can be hard, as last week I was unable to keep my thumbs warm with down mittens! However, because wet can create slick conditions, given the choice, I would go with cold as my preference.



December 16, 2009 at 11:06 AM

I really don't like getting to the office wet and having to sit and dry out all morning.
I would generally say snow is much nicer, and rarer, except when you loose your keys in a snowbank.



December 16, 2009 at 11:15 AM

I prefer the rain. Once my feet get cold it can take all day to warm them back up. Even with wool socks on I can't keep my feet warm.


joel waits

December 16, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Riding a bike in that downpour i blew a hole in my rain pants(Thank you holiday season) and arrived at work soaking. On the ride home at 3am i didn't wear them and felt like i swam home. When it was freezing it did feel like i was riding with no clothes at all! But riding home on the ice was kinda fun. Weighing the options im gona have to go with the cold.



December 16, 2009 at 2:23 PM

If I didn't love the rain, I wouldn't live in Portland. I have my rain shoes from Keen and my lovely red flowered umbrella I bought in Chiang Mai to cheer me up. But walking around on ice and worrying about my pipes freezing? I'd rather skip that.


Eini Lowell

December 16, 2009 at 2:31 PM

In bright arctic air I feel so bold
When bundled up against the cold.
But in the drenching winter rain
My good visibility is on the wane.


Jennifer Sellers

December 16, 2009 at 3:19 PM

I prefer the Arctic Blast. The sunshine makes me happy even if I am cold. However, this is Oregon, so we can't really complain too much over the rain as it is what makes this place so special.


rick j

December 16, 2009 at 9:18 PM

i would say rain because i don't have the gear
and i grew up in the northeast & lived in
wisconsin for five years so i can handle cold
but being wet at work really sucks.


mike B

December 16, 2009 at 10:43 PM

I prefer arctic blast to Alaskan Deluge because:

  1. I wake up
  2. The bugs die
  3. I can put my cold fingers on my wife's neck and she screams for joy (I think)
  4. It forms condensation on my mustache so that I can cool my coffee down easier
  5. I don't have to mow my lawn
  6. The sun comes out and makes me squint
  7. I don't get wet when I'm hanging Christmas decorations on the roof
  8. I get lots of sympathy from the nurses, and they ask me to tell them how I slid off the roof headfirst and landed in the hospital.

lourdes c.tancuan

December 17, 2009 at 7:47 AM

I prefer the arctic blast cuz' one way or the other you can always change into dry clothes at work, so long as you remember to pack up. Proper attire, a good raincoat, good boots....a real Oregonian needs to invest on the right clothes when commuting. Everything becomes ok when you have the right attitude.


Kyenne Williams

December 17, 2009 at 7:52 AM

Gosh, what a choice - freeze or drown. They say hypothermia is painless, and so far that's LIE. On a personal basis, it's a draw as far a personal suffering goes (the truck that roars by during a downpour and you wash up two blocks away vs. thawing out one finger at a time, and the intense pain when the blood begins to circulate again). In the end, I vote for rain - I intensely dislike walking in fear of falling, or doing a half-gainer off the curb (from bike or feet).


Christine Hicks

December 17, 2009 at 8:11 AM

It's a whole lot worse to endure an Alaskan deluge on your way to work. Umbrellas work, to a point, but they don't keep your pant legs from getting wet, and if it's the least bit windy, your umbrella turns inside out, and then it's time to buy a new one.
I'll take an Artic blast any time over a deluge.



December 17, 2009 at 9:07 AM

"Misery Loves Company" carpooler definitely prefers rain to snow and ice. I put my beloved car in to get new studded snow tires put on so buddies would be safe, and it got hurt. It fell off the jack so that was that. After the holiday season and repairs we will be "Back On the Road Again".



December 17, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Definitely prefer the deluge to the arctic blast. With the deluge, you can preoccupy yourself with visions of snow falling in the mountains and mushrooms growing in the woods to obscure the realities of road grit slime covering every bike and body part. But for those of us with a downhill component to the daily commute, the arctic blast contorts my ride into a cryogenic tunnel. Let it rain.


Cathy Barnes

December 17, 2009 at 9:57 AM

After experiencing both in the past week, I'd have to agree with everyone who voted for the deluge over the arctic blast. My fingers and toes were numb, the hood on my coat kept getting blown off my head from the wind gusts, and my face was totally frozen with icycles. If that's not misery, I don't know what is!



December 17, 2009 at 10:41 AM

As a public transit rider, I have to vote for the Alaskan deluge. It's usually a bit warmer when it rains, and I am somewhat portected from the wet under the bus shelter. No respite from an arctic blast while waiting for the usually late bus!


Jen Loretto

December 17, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Let it snow! Long underwear, double wool socks, oversize outer clothing, down jacket, wool cap and gloves and my favorite hiking boots. Get a 2 hour head start and crunch, crunch, crunch to the bus stop. Watch admirably as the driver navigates through snow plowed streets. Read a good book and text your friends. Take pictures of the snow white houses. I did that for 2 solid weeks last year and it was a blast, except when we failed to push the bus out of the snow bank off Interstate Ave. It was 'weigh' too heavy. Haha


Vinh Mason

December 17, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Brrrr! A chill just spiraled down my spine as I'm still trying to warm up from the drizzly commute this morning. So, DRY Arctic Blast is my vote all the way. Bicycling last week, I found that ear muffs tricked my brain into thinking that it's warm despite the frozen fingers and ice cream headache. Cheers to ear muffs!


Erin Kelley

December 17, 2009 at 12:19 PM

I dislike the Alaskan deluge more than the Arctic Blast. The Arctic Blast allows for easy Vitamin D transmission and helps alleviate the SAD so many people here seem to get. It was like spring again! Just really cold. :-)



December 17, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Here’s my haiku attempt:

Frozen face and toes
Bundled up like a Sherpa
But at least I’m dry

I hate being cold AND wet and since Portland doesn't tend to get that extreme cold very often or for very long, I'd definitely choose arctic blast because that means there's the possibility of snow!



December 18, 2009 at 7:02 AM

I prefer the Arctic Blast (as long as its dry) to the Alaska Deluge because:

  1. As long as I remember to move my fingers and thumbs, I don't have pain in my right thumb when it warms up. I hate it when my thumb throbs for hours. Double gloves help!
  2. Much less bike maintenance since I dry my bike and rims off every evening when its raining.
  3. I don't have my rain gear hanging in the garage to dry.
  4. Better visibility.
  5. People are happier when its sunny!
  6. Just as long as there is no snow because it keeps me off the bike and the roads get sanded. Then I get cranky when I have to take the bus.


December 18, 2009 at 8:34 AM

I'd rather have rain any day than cold wind that gets into my sinuses and ears, owe! I grew up here in Portland so I have web feet and NEVER USE AN UMBRELLA!


Chena Mesling

December 23, 2009 at 9:07 AM

Give me dry weather, frigid cold or very hot, any day over the rain! My gear stays wet for days - but amazingly I am warm within minutes of arriving at work if I'm not wet.


David Blanchard

December 23, 2009 at 3:05 PM

I'd rather be wetter but warm,
than freezing my buns in a storm.
My fingers get numb (it’s not really my bum)
and my mustache begins to deform.

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