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.


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.


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