Just like the Eurythmics song from the ’80s, the rain just keeps on coming, but I have no interest in singing about it. I don’t especially enjoy riding in the rain. I’m not worried that I am going to melt nor do I actually mind getting wet. The main reason I don’t like riding in the rain is that it means I am going to have to clean the bike afterwards. Stupid, isn’t it? Safety? Not so much a concern. Getting sopping wet? Bring it on! Cleaning the bike, and in the interim riding a dirty bike? What a bummer!
When I awoke this morning the roads were dry. “Excellent!” was the word that jumped to mind as I busied myself making the coffee and tea. “I’m not going to get wet after all. Those weather experts have got it wrong again!” As you can guess, the forecast was for light rain in the morning, and to awake to a completely dry road was a bit of a coup. It turns out that I celebrated a little prematurely.
No sooner had I finished making the coffee and preparing the breakfast than I noticed the all too familiar droplets of water landing in the pond outside. “What the f….?!”, I said to myself. I ran to the front of the house to check the road. I don’t quite know whether I was expecting it to be dry in the front if it was so obviously raining in the back, but it was the first thing I thought of doing. I appreciate that it does not say much for my intelligence, but there we go. Not totally surprising it was raining in the front as well. I sunk down despondantly into my seat and ate my McCann’s Rolled Oats in sullen silence. I was going to be getting a dirty bike this morning.
By the time I got on the road the rain had stopped but the damage was done. The tarmac was wet and within the first 500 metres I could see the droplets of water all over the frame. A wet bike still looks so sharp. Its when it dries that you notice and appreciate that rain is not all that clean, and you couple that with the spray that the tyres throw up and you’ve got yourself a very gritty piece of machinary. Still, by kilometre seven I was back on dry roads, and they remained that way for the remainder of the ride down to the Campus. Despite the vigourous headwind, tipping the scale at 41 kph gusts right into my face at times, I made fairly decent time to the office. I like to think that having a few enforced days off the bike (due to ridiculous amounts of rain) had brought fresh life into my legs. I also find that imagining the return journey with the wind squarely in one’s back is a motivating way to tolerate the harshness of an overly bullish headwind!
The return ride home did not disappoint. Leaving Nun’s Island I felt the awesomeness of nothing. You know you’ve got a good tailwind when you don’t hear the wind in your ears. It’s a strangely silent ride. And you fly. Being on the fixie meant my cadence all the way home was up there but that did not matter one iota. I got home before the rain got me. Ha!