Saturday 25 May 2013

I'm so tough, I'm amazed I haven't rusted

The office isn't equipped with enough bike parking for everyone that wants to ride when the weather is good - if you aren't in the garage by 0730, good luck with finding an easy place to park the bike. It reached the point this year where we were going to have to start double stacking to fit them all in. Cycling to work, and on weekends, has become so popular that the company is now handing out branded kit to cyclists for participation in events, and the last such event saw a pack of 30 of my work mates tooling down the highway together.

That was summer. When the weather was nice.

It's now getting pretty ugly. It's not that cold yet - I haven't switched over to the full length gloves and dug out the undershirts - but it's nippy enough to need booties and limb warmers. And we're now getting rain reasonably frequently.

I don't mind the rain, as the cloud cover makes for a warmer morning. Yes, there is a big difference between 7 degrees and 11 degrees, even if one is dry and one is wet. For me, a wet 11 degrees is comfier than a dry 7 degrees.

The rain though has washed away all the soft cocks. There were a few days last week where mine was the only bike looking for a parking spot. Everyone thinks I am nuts, but the only things you need for riding in the rain are a good spray jacket and a tough mental attitude. The body might be soft, but the attitude is not. Whenever I start riding on a miserable, dark, wet morning, I think of this:

  • I slept in a warm, dry bed last night
  • I had a full night's sleep
  • In 45 minutes, I will be in a hot shower
  • After the shower, I will dress in dry clothes
  • After that, I will have a good breakfast with a nice coffee
I then think back to my time in the reserves many years ago, and the miserable conditions during every winter exercise. Broken sleep. Hard ground. No shower for a fortnight. Rat packs. Rat pack coffee. Being wet and cold for days at a time. Filthy clothes. Shaving with cold water. Thawing frozen fingers in a container of coffee.

Compared to then, riding to work is pretty comfortable. So I suck it up and turn the pedals, and before long, I'm relaxing in that hot shower.

1 comment:

kc said...

Whenever I begin to feel sorry for myself, I think how my grandmothers did in the early part of the last century, out on the tall-grass prairies of Montana. I got it good.

Hiking has not been miserable for me yet, and camping was wet only 3 times so far. This is my choice, and I make it accepting whatever weather conditions are!

My dad used to say that his National Guard time was like yours - miserable conditions & food - but at least no one was shooting at him.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for the reminder!