Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Joys of a Rainy Day

Many bicycle riders have commented on the extra feistiness exhibited by drivers when it's raining. I personally suspect this is because driving in the rain is miserable - all the highways slow to a crawl, it's hard to see, and many cars are either inching along or speeding like maniacs without regard to the conditions. And they just have to chug along and deal with it. Miserable.

Bicycling in a light rain is no big deal, as long as you have some kind of rain jacket or poncho, and maybe a hat with a wide brim. Or you know how to ride holding an umbrella. I haven't mastered that yet!

It's also exhilarating. That beautiful, fresh smell of damp earth and greenness. The interludes of chilly air, steam, or light mist.

But when it really starts pouring, it's just a big, fat excuse.  Duck in somewhere for a beer until the rain lets up - and don't forget to call your friends who might be nearby. Pop in to a store you've been meaning to check out, but are always in too much of a hurry. Or just find a good awning and watch the downpour.

Late afternoon rainstorms yesterday and today have created just such a situation. Watching the giant red blob on the radar yesterday, I phoned the Beau and asked if he wanted to wait it out somewhere with me. We settled on Park Tavern - a few minutes away but they have $1 beer when it's raining. We were actually there for 30 minutes or so before it started pouring.
They have a huge patio where we could watch passing traffic, as well as joggers and soccer players in the park. Even though I write about this stuff every day, I was still amazed at the number of bicyclists I saw while we were there.
After the rain tapered off, I headed home myself. There weren't any drops of water actually falling from the sky, but they were still spattering off the trees. The pavement was soaked, and huge puddles stood at every low point. Fortunately, I was dressed in rainy day fashion - patent leather shoes and a synthetic-fiber skirt which resist light rain and dry quickly. And skin, of course. You don't get much more waterproof than your own skin.

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