Some days on the bike trail call for an additional measure of stubbornness. Like today, when the rain was blowing sideways and the head/side wind was gusting at up to around 35 mph. I felt like a character in one of those stop-motion animation films where the Greek God of Nastiness appears in the form of a tower of swirling rain and wind and tries to swat me off my bike with his water hand.
Clearly, I need to sacrifice more goats if I’m going to keep up this commuting thing. Or maybe just one goat. Go away and be appeased, Greek God of Nastiness!
Normally, I like riding in the rain. Today, not so much. But in a typical Seattle drizzle, I like the feel of the water droplets hitting my face, and the sound of the tires whooshing through the wet pavement. Rain also thins out the crowds on the trail; only we who are stubborn remain.
True, riding in the wet is a little riskier, but here are the things I do to keep safe and dry. Even when the GGON appears.
1. Slow down. I ride about 20 percent slower. Brakes don’t work as well in the wet. Same is true for everybody else’s brakes. Visibility sucks. Slow down.
2. Wear a visor. Even those tiny, 2-inch visors that come with most bike helmets really keep a lot of rain from hitting your eyes/and or glasses.
3. Keep your blinkies on, even in broad daylight. You know how I love the blinkies.
4. Give others plenty of room, and don’t pass them in tight turns. They might slip. You might slip. Badness will ensue.
5. Assume invisibility. I always assume that that cars/other cyclists/dogs and whatever else don’t see me until they prove otherwise. I say always, but today I assumed a driver slowing down for a stop sign also saw me coming through. She didn’t. Not too close of a call, but I’m sorry I broke my rule.
Tonight I stopped to buy chocolate, and during the 15 minutes I was in there a huge, biblical storm swelled up out of nowhere. So my sixth tip is, don’t buy chocolate in the rain. Not unless you’ve already sacrificed a goat.