Saturday 21 April 2012

Riding in the wet

It's been a wet week here in Sydney - more local flooding, and our big dam is overflowing again. As usual, those I work and socialise with are rather stunned that I continue to ride when the heavens are opened.

Why shouldn't I?

It's not like rain will kill you, especially when it's between 16 and 20 degrees at the moment. It rains, I get wet, I finish my ride and have a shower. What's the problem with that?

I had a run in with Sod's Law this week.

Monday - I could hear rain spattering on the roof when I woke up. I considered going all soft and sleeping in a bit in the hope it would pass, but I hardened up and got on with it. By the time I hit the road, it had stopped raining, and the rain held off until I was about 100 metres from work. About a minute after I parked the bike, it started utterly bucketing down - I couldn't see the building across the road for a few minutes. It just goes to show that being soft will get you soaked.

Tuesday - got soaked on the way home, so I put the shoes and helmet in the dryer so they'd be dry the next morning. You've got to think ahead...

Wednesday - woke up to find it bucketing down. Put dry shoes, gloves and helmet on, had wet shoes and wet helmet 10 seconds later. Dried shoes etc again on Wednesday night.

Thursday - repeat of above, except I didn't bother drying anything. Why go through the effort when it will just get soaked again the next morning?

Friday - pulled on wet shoes, helmet and gloves and rode to work without a drop of rain. Arrrghhhh! Had to put up with wet shoes and socks on the way home too, and it didn't rain at all.

Like I said - Sod's Law in action.

Anyway, why ride in the rain?

Because the alternative for me is to catch a bus, and buses become as unreliable as Italian boyfriends when it gets wet. On a good day, I can go door to door by bus in 45 minutes. Due to traffic etc, those good days are rare. It can take 90 minutes to get home, most of that being spent waiting at the bus stop in town for a late bus. When it rains, the timetable goes out the window. Work colleagues who came by public transport were arriving 1-2 hours late this week, and they were all wet and bedraggled.

It take me 40-45 minutes on the bike most days. If it's raining really hard, you can add 5 minutes to that. Unless I have a breakdown or puncture, my trip to and from work is as timely as a Swiss watch. I really can't stand walking to the bus stop in the rain in a suit, standing under a leaking bus shelter (in a suit), standing in a slow moving, steamed-up bus as it inches into town, and then running the gauntlet of the city streets and puddles to get to the office. And then doing it again getting home, which usually involves having your umbrella blown inside-out halfway home. What would you prefer - getting wet and being late in a suit, or getting wet and being on time in lycra?

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