So what is the real scoop on Melbourne weather in regards to rain. I hear that it rains a lot but then statistically apparently Sydney gets more total rainfall, although I guess Melbourne has more rainy days.
Right now in Tokyo I am able to commute to work 99% of the time by bike (30 minutes each way). There may be 1 or 2 days max where I may decide to take the train because it's raining hard AND it's cold. If it's raining hard and warm, then it's not an issue as I can just wear sandals. My rain gear takes care of the rest of my body, or if it's just light rain, an umbrella does the trick. Most of the heavy rain falls during the summer.
What is it like in Melbourne? Are there a lot of days with cold rain? Does it usually rain up/down? Or do you get a lot of horizontal rain due to strong winds? When it rains, does it tend to rain all day? Or mainly sporadic showers throughout the day? For those serious commuters, how often does rain prevent you from riding to work, if ever. I don't have a shower at work and walking in drenched isn't an option either. I suspect my commute will be between 45 - 60 minutes.
I am about to touch on a touchy topic, but as I don't have experience with helmets, I need to raise it. How do you ride in the rain with a helmet and still keep your head dry? Or can't you? In Japan, no one wears a helmet, and most people simply use an umbrella because most people ride bicycles that you sit upright in. People commuting longer distances tend to have rain suits which have a hood with a visor designed with clear plastic to keep the rain out of your eyes. They somewhat limit your peripheral vision, but that just means you have to go slower and be more cautious and aware (remember that everyone is riding on the sidewalks or back streets). But I don't have a clear idea of how people commuting in Australia on road/mountain bikes wearing helmets pull it off, 1) because I can't imagine a hood designed big enough to fit over a helmet, and 2) because you can't use an umbrella on a mountain bike because of the angled riding position. So how do you do it? Although I guess one answer might be to buy a motorcycle helmet.
I really would like to get a feel for how realistic it is going to be for me to bike to work EVERYDAY, because if it's not realistic and I am going to end up having to take a train in half the time, then it will effect where we choose to live. Right now I am purposely planning to live in relatively close proximity to Beach road, so that I can ride the track in to St. Kilda.
Any and all information would be GREATLY appreciated!