Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's Raining Again

The temperature is in the low thirties and it’s raining. I am not riding today. Cold is okay. Rain is okay. Cold rain is definitely not okay, so I am sitting at my computer listening to the song Summer by Joe Hisaishi. This is presumably wishful thinking on my part.

I have a learned a few things from riding in the rain in the past.

1. People will think you are crazy if you ride in the rain.

Now, I’m used to getting the freakshow look just for riding, but the interesting thing about riding in the rain is that a lot of other cyclists will think you’re crazy. This is a new experience.

2. Cars can’t see you as well in the rain.

I don’t suppose this one comes as a surprise to anybody, but it kind of hangs around in the back of my mind anyway.

3. Pacelines are no fun in the rain.

There are a few reasons for this, but one of the big ones is that the back wheel of the person in front of you is not your friend. That wheel will send up a spray of dirty oily water from the road. If you happen to be my height and ride in a standard sort of posture, that spray will h it you directly in the face. Some of it will go into your eyes, and some of it will go into your mouth. This is not delicious.

4. Your glasses will get very difficult to see through.

Anyone who wears glasses in the rain knows what I’m talking about, but what is merely annoying while you’re walking around is dangerous when you’re riding. Okay, if you’re as clumsy as I am, you might walk into a tree, and this would be bad. Riding into a tree, however, would be worse.

5. Your own back wheel is not your friend.

The spray that your back wheel is sending up into the face of the person behind you is also getting sent up your very own back. It will leave particularly cold and wet streak down the back of your jersey and down the back of your shots all the way down to the part of you that is in contact with the saddle.

What, you might ask, is the big deal? You’re in the rain. What difference can a little more water make?

A lot, as it turns out. This particular streak of water is somehow wetter than the other water which is falling all around you. Don’t ask me to explain this. I’m not a scientist.

Well, actually, I am a scientist, but I don’t do weather, so I still can’t help.

6. The rain makes everything slippery.

Every bit of paint on the road becomes as slippery as ice. The paint clogs up the pores in the road, the water pools up on top of it and your wheels, whether they are your friends or not, can slide out from under you with the greatest of ease.

Which brings us to a good thing about the rain:

7. The rain makes everything slippery.

This means that, if you do happen to hit the deck, you can slide across the wet asphalt without leaving so much hide on the road and covering yourself with road rash.

And of course:

8. On a hot day, the rain will cool you off nicely.

Of course:

9. On a cold day, the rain will make you miserable.

And, as I write this, it is a very cold day, which is why I'm sitting here and not in the saddle getting wet.

Still, it'll dry out eventually.

See you on the road.

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