Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rainy Rainy Rain Rain

20 miles of beautifully warm and soggy riding was actually enjoyable after the past few days of the icy slushy sketch-fest that is snow-riding.

Thursday mornings I ride with Helen: tough cookie and life coach. We seem to be casually bartering bicycle coaching for life coaching. I am as dumb about how to live my life as I am knowledgeable about how to ride a bike, so it's a nice trade.

As we rode through the pouring rain over the floating dock on the somewhat high waters of the Willamette River, it reminded me of a wet watery ride in a different time and place. I will take you there now, through the power of blog.

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San Francisco Bay Area. Winter of '98. An El Nino winter. Relentlessly pouring rain and your author - me, posing as a lonely lowly bike messenger on slick city streets. (insert musical underscore of your choosing here)

Crrrrrrkkkk. That's what static on my old brick radio sounded like. My dispatcher, Danny Red Hot, sending me from downtown to South of Market (aka SOMA - hey, that's the name of my bike, too!) and then out to North Beach.

Young rookie that I was, I had already mastered the "longcut". The messenger longcut works much like a shortcut in any other line of work. The gist of it is that the long way is often quicker (after calculating certain variables like elevation gain, traffic patterns and wind direction).

So. Off I went to my pick-up South of Market. Checked 10-8, then embarked on a longcut 'round the Embarcadero with a plan to cut west after Pier 9 or so.

Mother Nature was sad that day. She cried and cried until Old Man Wind joined her blow for blow. As I rode under the Bay Bridge, the white waves from the bay were madly lapping up and over the sidewalk and benches and into the gutter.

There comes a point of no return in certain scenarios. Pedaling through waves as high as your bottom bracket, high enough to fill your water bottle even, is not one of these times. There was no way to turn back and nowhere to hide.

So, I forged ahead, at one with the bay and my bike and the rain. It was glorious and one of my absolute favorite moments on a bike.

2 comments:

  1. It sounds like some Cambridge Raincoats are needed! Sorry to plug my product but as one who cycles at least 10 miles a day in my normal clothes (my bike being my preferred method of transport), I have come up with some raincoats which are excellent for those who ride upright bicycles. I created them in response to the lack of attractive rainwear for women who ride bikes but men have asked for them too so the new range, available from late Feb, will include 2 lengths for men and women and a range of colours - including some very bright colours so that hi-viz won't be necessary. They also have optional reflective features designed by a graduate artist of The Royal Academy of Art.
    The raincoats are made in England from a fabric which is extremely lightweight, waterproof, windproof and breathable. They were designed by a tailor trained on London's Savil Row.

    The new website should be up and running in the next 10 days but in the meantime you can find us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Cambridge-Raincoat-Company-Ltd/119496104768724?ref=tn_tnmn) or contact me via email:- sally@cambridgeraincoats.co.uk .

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sally. My Gore-tex jacket works wonders and it's pink!

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